Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu celebrates his 88th birthday today. Photo: Shayne Robinson / African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town – Rivonia Trialist Denis Goldberg unveiled the Forgotten Liberators exhibition at the Old Granary in Cape Town yesterday, as part of celebrations to mark Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu's 88th birthday today.

The exhibition, sub-titled Third World in World War II, in partnership with the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, was launched on the eve of Tutu's birthday in the city yesterday.

It displays how colonies became battlegrounds for the warring nations and their countries to exploit for food and war materials.

The exhibition, developed in Cologne, Germany, by Recherche International makes the point that 26 million people lost their lives in this conflict, more losses than Germany, Italy and Japan combined - six million Jews and 20 million black people, gay people, gypsies, communists and allied soldiers, including Third World conscripts.

“The exhibition’s opening placards were of black soldiers, entitled Liberators of Europe from Nazi Racism, and I had to bring it here to South Africa and translate it into English.

“Just recently I watched a news insert where it was celebrations of 200 000 in WWII.

Video: David Ritchie / African News Agency (ANA)

"But there were 330 000 soldiers, they just left out 80 000 Africans and the almost 30 000 coloured, Malay and Indians who served in the Cape Corps, many of whom died in battle,” he said.

He said 90% of the raw materials for World War II came from the colonies and millions died of starvation so that the major powers could sort out the world between them.

Goldberg said it was fitting that the Dennis Goldberg and Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy foundations were collaborating on the eve of Tutu’s birthday, an advocate for peace when peace was needed now.

Former Rivonia Trialist and long-term political prisoner Denis Goldberg introduced the Forgotten Liberators exhibition at the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)

Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation chief executive Piyushi Kotecha said the foundation was honoured to launch its first collaborative project with the Denis Goldberg Legacy Foundation Trust.

The foundation’s chairperson, Niclas Kjellstrom Matseke, grandson of activist and founding member of the ANC Simon Matseke, said the exhibition told the stories not told by the Western powers, which could speak to its trend to exploit the Third World.

The exhibition will be on display at the Old Granary until the end of the year. The ninth annual Desmond Tutu International Peace Lecture at the Cape Town City Hall today will be delivered by Zimbabwean-born businessman and philanthropist Strive Masiyiwa. 

The lecture is titled “Overcoming corruption and restoring citizen trust, locally and globally”.

Cape Times