(1) What would scare a pre-teen, far rural, farm boy more than a van-full of Police?
When the war began in 1939 my father’s elder brother was in Germany. He had decided to visit our relatives on the original family farm from whence my grandparents immigrated to South Africa in 1883. The war began and he barely got out; by making haste to get into Norway which was neutral at the time. One of the ships in the 21 ship convoy he was travelling in was torpedoed and sunk in the channel between Britain and Belgium. On arrival back at home he told us that the matter with Hitler will never succeed and that it was not a good matter; some believed him, others not. Our community was basically German speaking; it was also taught in the junior school. Further towards town were mostly Afrikaans speakers whose sentiment was still very anti British as a result of the Boer-war some four decades earlier.
It then came about that a wedding took place and the reception was in the School hall. The German –speaking School Principal was the MC. As it goes at weddings where there is wine etc; the Principal became rather “loose tongued” and he got onto the stage and sang the “Heil – Hitler” out “full throttle” (or throat). Two days later, on the Monday morning the Police arrived there to arrest him (at school) and it cost him quite a few years in concentration camp. The SA Government of the time was pro-British, there was obviously a “spy” at the wedding.
The moral of this story: Do not take sides nor open your mouth; before considering the consequences very carefully, and knowing the facts of the matter first-hand and without any doubt.