After the Nazi occupation, the younger Mr. Bizos turned embroiled in an enterprise, led by his father, to spirit to security seven New Zealand troopers trapped behind the traces. In May 1941, the troopers and their rescuers slipped out of Greece on a fishing boat and have been themselves rescued by a British warship, the H.M.S. Kimberley, which took them to Egypt.
From there, Mr. Bizos sailed to South Africa along with his father as refugees at a time when racial oppression appeared unchallenged and pro-Nazi sentiment amongst some Afrikaners ran excessive. The prepare taking them from Durban was compelled to divert to a station in Johannesburg to keep away from crowds of Nazi sympathizers protesting the arrival of the “filth” of Europe.
His father discovered work in a munitions manufacturing unit in Pretoria, the capital, and later labored as a store assistant there, whereas his son stayed with Greek mates of the household in Johannesburg. After struggling to study Afrikaans and English whereas working as a store assistant, and after scraping collectively tuition cash, George Bizos enrolled at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. He accomplished his regulation diploma in 1950, two years after the National Party got here to energy and commenced codifying apartheid. He was admitted to the Johannesburg bar in 1954.
While Mr. Bizos’s two brothers later emigrated to South Africa, he didn’t see his mom for greater than 20 years, till she traveled to South Africa within the Nineteen Sixties. His dad and mom appeared distant from one another by then, he wrote, along with his mom expressing “no wish to see my father” earlier than returning to Greece a number of years later.
His father died in a freakish method in 1969. Recovering from a bike accident, and sporting a plaster solid on one leg, he fell in a toilet at his residence after leaving a espresso pot on a range. The espresso boiled over, extinguishing the flame, and his father “succumbed to the leaking gas,” Mr. Bizos wrote.
Working with two different attorneys — Mr. Mandela and Oliver Tambo, who went on to steer the A.N.C. — Mr. Bizos represented purchasers in obscure rural locations in circumstances that exposed the trivialities as a lot because the ubiquity of legal guidelines devised to maintain the races aside.
In a foreword to Mr. Bizos’s memoir, Mr. Mandela stated that he and Mr. Tambo had regularly acted because the instructing attorneys for circumstances during which Mr. Bizos was the courtroom advocate representing victims of apartheid. Later, Mr. Bizos was the among the many attorneys representing Mr. Mandela and others in epochal trials within the Fifties and ’60s that turned landmarks in South Africa’s trendy historical past.