Rusty Bernstein's Papers includes personal correspondence to family and comrades, professional documentation relating to his career as an architect and inventor, and a large collection of writing, including drafts and material for his political biography Memory Against Forgetting as well as articles, essays and literature relating to prominent events in the liberation struggle (The 1946 Mine Workers Strike, The Freedom Charter and the Rivonia Trial). The collection also includes written material relating to his political career in the Communist Party and involvement with the ANC and as editor/contributor to journals like Fighting Talk and The African Communist and a lecture series given in Moscow to young militants of the ANC. Hilda Bernstein's papers include a series of journals dating from 1967 to 2001 and personal diaries written whilst in prison, and on travels throughout South Africa and Europe. A large part of the collection marks her involvement with women's rights and work for the ANC Women's League. There is also a considerable collection of art records documenting her career in London and Europe. The bulk of the collection is comprised of records relating to Hilda's extensive writings - books, articles and political literature. Of particular prominence is material collected for her most recent book The Rift, which captures the experiences of South African exiles. There is also a large collection of correspondence both personal and professional and political brochures relating to her position as City Councillor for the Communist Party in Johannesburg from 1943 to 1946.
The records kept by Hilda (viewed as 'evidence' of Hilda's activities) far outnumber those kept by Rusty. It would be misleading to presume that this is in any way a complete archive of the Bernstein's activities. On the contrary, there are large gaps. For example, there is very little in the collection relating directly to the Freedom Charter, in which Rusty played a major part in the organizing committee and was responsible for drafting the country-wide submissions that would become the Charter. Consideration should also be made for the possibility that Hilda is a more conscientious record keeper than Rusty was, or that due to persistent banning and arrest Rusty was forced to destroy evidence of his activities or resist the documentation of these activities. In truth, the reasons for the shape of this collection are too numerous and extensive to state. As it stands, the researcher can at best make this deduction - that Hilda's work and influence in the liberation struggle, particularly in the role assigned to woman, is vast and unique, and deserves attention beyond the shadow cast by Rusty's political career. In Hilda's case it is a matter of the biography that has yet to be written.
Correspondence, pamphlets, newsletters, publications and press statements concerning the following: The Rivonia Trial, including a summarized version of Nelson Mandela’s defence statement at the trial and the script of a radio broadcast on the Rivonia Trial (36 min.) (1964 - 1975). The World Campaign for the Release of South African Political Prisoners, and a summary of support for the campaign (1964). The persecution of Winnie Mandela (1971). Political prisoners in South Africa (1975). The Treason Trial, including schedules C and D of the indictment, a list of the accused and their association with certain speeches, gatherings and publications (1956 - 1961). Biographical profiles of Nelson Mandela, Govan Mbeki, Andrew Mlangeni, Raymond Mhlaba, Dennis Goldberg, Walter Sisulu, Lionel Bernstein, Elias Motsoaledi and Ahmed Kathrada. Appeals for the release of Nelson Mandela including an appeal to the people of South Africa smuggled out from Robben Island, with an introduction from Oliver Tambo (1980). A copy of the international declaration for the release of Nelson Mandela, initiated by Archbishop Trevor Huddleston, as well as a list of signatories to the declaration (1981). The Sunday Post campaign for Nelson Mandela’s release(1980 - 1981). United Nations notes on the Release Mandela Campaign, a statement by Chief Albert Luthuli on the sentencing of the Rivonia Trialists (1964), extracts from an address by H.E. Mr. B Akporode Clark to non-governmental organisations at UN headquarters (1980), biographical profiles on Nelson Mandela, and the Free South African Political Prisoners Campaign (1980). A survey of events and actions in honour of and for the release of Nelson Mandela, prepared by the British Anti-Apartheid Movement, October 1984. Observances of Nelson Mandela’s 60th birthday (1978). The collection also consists of bound volumes of Spark, Guardian and New Age newspapers, for which Brian Bunting served as editor. They include newspaper reports on Nelson Mandela’s 1962 Africa trip showing photographs of Nelson Mandela together with Oliver Tambo in Algeria, Nelson Mandela’s tour of Algerian army camps and headquarters together with Robert Resha, Nelson Mandela meeting with Tunisian government representatives, and Nelson Mandela together with Colonel Tadenesse Biru in Ethiopia.
Newspaper articles from The Irish Times, The Guardian, New York Herald Tribune reporting on the Rivonia or sabotage trial of 1962-1964. Includes newspaper clippings on the raids, the death and burial of Albert Luthuli in 1967.
1964, Race war in S.A. imminent S Africa accuses UThant of partiality. Churches urged to act on South Africa. Widespread police raids follow Job bombing. ANC praises Mwalimu's stand on South Africa. Freedom leader asks for S.A. action including the release of Nelson Mandela, South African issue, South African police resume raids on Cape Town Homes increased prison repression on political prisoners. We regret to announce their deaths, Vuyisile Mini, Wilson Khayingo, Zinakile Mkaba ( Dulcie et decorum) Hanged in Pretoria.
Newspaper articles on South Africa 1963 Hard bargaining between western powers and South African States: Arms embargo on South Africa. Liberation a burden for all Africa, More arms support arms embargo to South Africa, End trading with South Africa Nyerere, South Africa urged to heed U.N. and strive for racial harmony: Uthant attacks apartheid, S.A. on brink of disaster, Four escape S.A. police, Escape trio on way, Cell guards coshed in escape - police: SA. Exits watched, Expel S. Africa call to U.N.: Arms blockade suggested, Mystery fire at airport delays Goldreich's arrival in Dar, Escapers due in second freedom flight, Airline doubts over safety: EAA recalls rescue plane: flight To Mbeya, Goldreich and Wolpe fly out: Stops in Federal territory avoided, ANC fearful of another kidnap plot, Beware of the avalanche South Africa told. The Hodgsons in Tanganyika and fighting on, Goldreich and Wolpe "evil traitors, Scandinavians give Verwoed a chance: Find alternative to apartheid. Daily Newspaper in Tanzania on South Africa.
Correspondence, memoranda, newsletters, pamphlets, reports, publications and other campaign materials concerning: The World Campaign for the Release of South African Political Prisoners (1964 - 1967). The Rivonia Trial, and a call to save South Africa's resistance leaders, including Nelson Mandela, from the death penalty. Nelson Mandela's statement from the dock at the Rivonia Trial, translated into Norwegian. Amnesty International reports on prison conditions in South Africa (1965).