The Question:
What was different about the social contract in Australia that made possible Jewish organizational activties that were inconceivable in South Africa?

Just a few indicative points:
  • Anti-Apartheid Activist Ruth First after police torture fled South Africa to teach in a university in Mozambique. She was killed on August 17, 1982, by a letter bomb that had been sent to her in Mozambique.
  • The assasination was ordered by Craig Williamson, a major in the South African Police.
  • The veracity of above established in 2000 by the SA Truth and Reconciliation Commission which gave Williamson amnesty.
  • Oswald Pirow, a one-time minister for Aviation, and on the right Oswald Pirow wing of the Africanner dominated National Party was an open admirer of Nazism. Pirow had personally met Hitler in 1933. And he was not alone in the National Party, which ruled SA for many years, and introduced apartheid. More details on the Andrew Cusack blog
  • About 6000 Jews escaped from Nazi Germany to South Africa, but with increasing antisemitism South Africa passed the The Aliens Act of 1937, blocking any future such emigration.
  • Australia admitted approx 7000 Jewish refugees 1933-1939.
  • In December 1938 the Australian Government announced that it would admit 15,000 'non-Aryan' refugees over the next 3 years.
  • For full details see the online account Australian Jews and the Holocaust

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