Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #458) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #458)
Transcript: and condemnation of his fascism sprang not from any carefull examination of its totalitarian tenents but simply from the fact that he attacked my own kith and kin.
From the moment I agreed to attend the conference the prospect of visiting Ethiopia attracted me more strongly than would have been the case of I were going to London, Paris, Berlin or New York. Ras Abebe (check spelling and date of his death), the national hero who led the Ethiopian people against Italian aggression had just died in the abortive coup in December 1961 but the Emperor was still alive and I doubt if any of the delegates to conference were not as keen as I was to meet him.
From Khartoum to the imperial capital we flew on the Ethiopian Airlines piloted by black airmen and with black hostesses. Until December 1961 I had paid little attention to geography and when I developed an interest in the subject I naturally concentrated on South Africa and we knew very little about the rest of the world, including Ethiopia. Dim memories of press accounts of the Ethiopian terraine during the war against the Italian aggression made me expect a country of highlands, dense forests and thick undergrowth and unique rock formations and as the plane was coming down I scanned the country as far as the eye could see.
At the airport we were met by Getashew Mekasha, Deputy Foreign Minister, and other officials from his Department and our delegation stayed at the Ras Hotel. With the exception of the UN building where we met, the imperial palaces and the university, there was hardly any building or mansion that could at all compare with the imposing skyscrapers of South Africa. The city as a
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