In order to counteract the guerilla policy of the Boers during the South African War, Lord Kitchener adopted a number of new strategies, including the systematic destruction of Afrikaner farmsteads and the placing of women and children in concentration camps. These were erected between 1900 and 1902. However, the British military authorities were unprepared to accommodate the influx of such large numbers of people, and the inadequate food and medical supplies resulted in the deaths of over 26,000 in the camps. A visit from the British humanitarian, Miss Emily Hobhouse, a delegate of the South African Women and Children's Distress Fund to the Orange Free State camps, followed by the Fawcett Commission at the end of 1901, eventually led to an improvement in the camp system.
There were around 50 concentration camps situated in the Transvaal, Orange Free State, Natal and Cape Colony. Winburg camp was erected in Orange Free State in 1901.
Five photographs of Winburg Concentration Camp, Orange River Colony, South Africa, taken by Hermann Oppenheim on 15th April 1902.
The photographs were purchased from Select Books, Cape Town, in March 2002.Access Conditions
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South African War, 1899-2002 | Concentration camps