HALPERN, Jack (1927-1973)

Scope and Content

Papers of Jack Halpern on South Africa and race relations, 1958-1970; comprising correspondence and papers on Southern African politics, 1958-1965, including drafts of articles by Halpern and press cuttings; correspondence and papers on the High Commission Territories (Basutoland, Bechuanaland and Swaziland), 1958-1970, including publications, drafts of articles by Halpern, press cuttings, notes and correspondence; correspondence and papers on Swaziland, 1961-1968, including drafts of articles by Halpern, material on Swaziland's Constitution, publications, political party material, press cuttings and correspondence; correspondence and papers on Lesotho [formerly Basutoland], 1952-1968, including publications, political party material, draft articles by Halpern, correspondence and press cuttings; correspondence and papers on Botswana [formerly Bechuanaland] 1961-1970, including publications, drafts of articles by Halpern, press statements and cuttings, correspondence and photographs; correspondence and papers on the Central African Federation, 1961-1964, including draft articles, publications and press cuttings; draft articles and press cuttings on Malawi, 1962-1963; articles and press cuttings on Zambia, 1958-1969; correspondence and papers on Rhodesia, 1958-1972, including publications, material on the Rhodesian General Election, Dec 1962; material on the Pearce Commission, 1971-1972, correspondence, draft articles and press cuttings, (including statement and cuttings on Halpern's expulsion from Rhodesia, Sep 1963); drafts and notes for Halpern's book South Africa's Hostages (Penguin, 1965); correspondence and papers on Amnesty International, including articles by Halpern and correspondence on his work as Secretary-General, and his resignation, 1964-1965; general correspondence 1960-1973 including letters on his expulsion from Rhodesia, 1963, applications for jobs, 1963-1972 and family correspondence; miscellaneous papers including draft articles and broadcasts, 1965-1968, printed papers, press cuttings, 1963-1968, periodicals, appointment diaries, 1962-1971; Sophie Halpern's correspondence and papers, 1963-1967.

Administrative / Biographical History

Jack Halpern was born in 1927 in Berlin. Because of the Nazi persecution of the Jews, his parents emigrated to Johannesburg, South Africa, where he was educated. His interest in the problems of developing countries was stimulated by two and a half years spent in Israel, where his was a member of a Kibbutz, and later joined the technical staff of a company bringing water to the Negev Desert. Returning to South Africa he became a journalist and married. After editing technical and industrial journals he became Editor and Publications Officer of the South African Institute of Race Relations. In 1960 he was appointed editor of the Central African Examiner in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia, and became the Central African correspondent of the Observer , the New Statesman , Dagens Nyheter , and Politiken . In September 1963 with the Rhodesia Front in power, he and his wife were arbitrarily expelled from the disintegrating Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland by the Prime Minister, Sir Roy Welensky. After arriving in Britain Halpern served as Secretary-General of Amnesty International, 1964-1965, and, writing under his nom-de-plume of James Fairbairn, as Africa Correspondent of the New Statesman . He died on 11 May 1973.


The papers are arranged in 11 series as described above.

Access Information

Open although advance notice should be given. Access to individual items may be restricted under the Data Protection Act or Freedom of Information legislation.

Other Finding Aids

Catalogued to item level (see link to repository catalogue).

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Alan Kucia as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project.

Conditions Governing Use

A photocopying service is available, at the discretion of the Library staff. Copies are supplied solely for research or private study. Requests to publish, or quote from original material should be submitted to the Information Resources Manager.

Custodial History

The papers were deposited at ICS by Mrs Halpern.

Related Material

The ICS holds a large number of collections relating to South African politics, including African National Congress (ICS 1), Mary Benson (ICS 6), Ruth First (ICS 117), Marion Friedmann (ICS 20) Ruth Hayman (ICS 30, Baruch Hirson (ICS 32), Mandela Trials papers (ICS 52), Josie Palmer (ICS 57), Edward Roux (ICS 67), South African Institute of Race Relations (ICS 95), University of Cape Town (ICS 81-82), University of Transkei (ICS 19).