During the 1930s, many bright young Afrikaners went to Europe to study. There, they were inspired by fascism which was gaining popularity in Spain, Italy, Portugal and notably, Germany. It was during this period that Afrikaner intellectuals began to use the word Apartheid, meaning separateness. Among those who studied in Germany were Hendrik Verwoerd, prime minister of South Africa from 1958 to 1966 and Piet Meyer, controller of the state broadcasting service for 20 years.
In the 1940s, universities were not yet rigidly segregated and bannings had not yet stifled political debate (as they would in the 1950s). Students were exposed to Africanism (the idea of forging an African nation), liberalism and Marxism.
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