by Elisa Chen
He was one of the few Afrikaners who stood with the anti-apartheid movement.
His Life and Accomplishments
Born on April 23rd, 1908 in the Orange Free State. Died May 8th, 1975.
He was born into a wealthy family as the son of Percy Fisher, a respected Free State Judge, and grandson of Abram Fischer, also a highly regarded conservative politician. His grandfather was prime minister of the Orange River Colony from 1907-1910. He was a well-educated man, having studied law at Grey, the University of South Africa, and becoming a Rhodes Scholar in Oxford. His family and education lined Fischer up to possibly be a very important figure in the government, with people expecting him to become chief justice or even prime minister. However, over his life he came to betray those expectations.
Bram Fischer was remarkable South African lawyer of Afrikaner descent who was dedicated to communism and is known for being the legal defense for important anti-apartheid figures. Bram Fischer was a lawyer and chairman of the SACP.
While at Oxford, Fischer visited the Soviet Union and converted to Stalinism. In 1937, he married Molly Krige and they both became members of the CPSA.
As for his career, his practice gradually expanded and he came to specialize in mining law for the great mining houses.
Contribution to the Anti-Apartheid Movement
"In court, he was the epitome of the ideal English barrister: quiet, unassuming, exquisitely polite and thus often disarming to a hostile witness, and, when necessary, devastating in cross-examination." (South African History Online).
Fortunately for those were at Lilies leaf farm on July 11, 1963, Fischer hadn't been there when the police raided it, so he led the defense team. It was a brave action, for some of the documents seized at the farm were actually in Fischer's own handwriting. In the end, Mandela and seven other accused were found guilty. The only significant accomplishment which may be attributed to the defense team, was that the accused were sentenced to life imprisonment, and not death.
Life and Accomplishments Part 2
Bram Fischer. Digital image. ZAR.co.za. ZAR.co.za, n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2015.
"ZAR.co.za - Biography of Bram Fischer." ZAR.co.za - Biography of Bram Fischer. Web. 15 Nov. 2015