The Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (Afrikaner Resistance Movement) or AWB, is a far right, Neo-Nazi, white nationalist political organisation and former paramilitary group in South Africa, founded in 1973. It was led by Eugène Terre'Blanche (1941-2010) from its inception until his death. They are committed to the restoration of an independent Boer republic or Boerestaat within South Africa. In their heyday they received much publicity both in South Africa and abroad as a white supremacist group.
Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging in The Guns of the South
In 2014, members of Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging traveled to 1864, under the guise of an organization called America Will Break, to help the Confederacy win the American Civil War. The AWB hoped that the independent C.S.A. would eventually become an ally with Nazi Germany, South Africa, and other racist regimes in the future. To that end, the group gave Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia and General Joseph Johnston's Army of Tennessee AK-47s, as well as other items from the future. The automatic weapons made up for the Confederacy's lack of manpower and industry, and in 1864, the Confederacy won the Second American Revolution. The AWB set up shop in the town of Rivington, North Carolina, and came to be known as the Rivington Men.
Although the Confederacy was grateful for the Rivington Men's help, Robert E. Lee grew increasingly suspicious of the group's claims that the end of slavery was a disaster for the white man. He also realized that the group had a revolutionary mind-set, regarding fanaticism and a willingness to use violence to overturn the existing order as positive values, which was diametrically opposite to Lee's solidly conservative way of thinking. Lee grew particularly disgusted when the group attempted to assert control over him as he contemplated a run for the presidency; the fact that the AWB openly believed they could control Lee and dictate his and the Confederacy's course actually encouraged Lee to run.
When the AWB men realized that Lee would not knuckle under to them and perpetuate slavery, they supported Nathan Bedford Forrest as a candidate in the 1867 presidential election. Though the AWB poured their immense amounts of gold and political influence into backing the Forrest ticket, Lee defeated Forrest. Desperate, the Rivington Men attempted to assassinate Lee at his inauguration on March 4, 1868. Despite shooting as many as a hundred others, including Lee's wife Mary, Lee survived the attack.
The Richmond Massacre backfired horribly for the AWB, and in the end it cost them everything. A hastily-assembled Confederate force attacked the AWB's Richmond offices soon after, and killed every AWB man inside during the course of a fierce battle. The Confederate public united completely behind President Lee, and the AWB's once-prominent status in Confederate society evaporated overnight as they became the most hated men in the country. The AWB's attempt to kill him became one of Lee's strongest sources of political support; no one wanted to be associated with the AWB in any way, and Lee used their fierce pro-slavery stance against them to great effect.
The C.S. Army surrounded Rivington and laid siege, and while the AWB employed all their advanced technology and fighting prowess to hold on, with a mere few dozen facing thousands, the outcome was never in doubt. After an unexpected breach in the line was created by C.S. Army Colonel Henry Pleasants, the AWB's defense of Rivington collapsed and the Confederates swiftly overran the town, led personally by Lieutenant General Forrest. The few surviving AWB members were taken prisoner, and the organization was broken apart.
A variety of fates awaited the AWB's surviving members. Unrepentant men like Konrad de Buys were hanged for treason, while others, like Benny Lang, were spared in return for their full cooperation with Confederate efforts to understand and use the captured technology and information from the future. Harsh terms were imposed even on those who cooperated: they permanently lost the right to vote in Confederate elections, they were permanently forbidden from participating in Confederate politics in any way, they were to be permanently separated from other ex-AWB members and would never be allowed to communicate with them, and the Confederate government would keep them continually under close surveillance. This proved too much for some; one ex-AWB man sent to the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia hanged himself, unable to stand being watched so constantly.
- Eugen Blankaard, a minor fictional character in The Guns of the South, who is an analog of AWB founder Eugène Terre'Blanche.