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Auerbach, Dr. Franz

  • Pessoa

Dr. Franz Auerbach originated from a Jewish family who moved to South Africa in1936 to escape Nazi Germany. After his tertiary education he obtained a Teaching Diploma at the Johannesburg Teachers' Training College in 1947. He became one of South Africa's renowned educators through his contributions towards educational change. He was a founder of Jews for Social Justice and a Vice-President of The World Conference on Religion and Peace - South African Chapter (WCRP-SA).

Leibbrandt, Robey

  • Pessoa

Robey Leibbrandt was an Olympic boxer, winning the light heavyweight bronze medal for South Africa at the 1934 Empire Games. He later returned to Berlin to study Sports. He joined the German Army during the Second World War, was trained as a paratrooper and dropped on the Cape Town coast in 1941. He formed the Nasionaal Sosialistiese Rebelle, drumming up anti-British support until his arrest in 1943, after which he was sentenced to death for high treason. His sentence was commuted to life imprisonment by General Smuts.

Georgette, Madelaine

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The artist Madelaine Georgette was born in New York in 1947, and lived in South Africa for the first 27 years of her life. The project "A Just Society" was supported in part by public and private grants in the USA.

Babette Kabak was Madelaine Georgette's mother, who lived in Johannesburg for many years. She was an activist and involved in the American Field Service Organisation.

Cullinan, Sir Thomas

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Sir Thomas Cullinan - (1862-1936)

He was born in the Eastern Cape, entered the building trade, and took part in the native wars during the eighteen seventies. He moved to the Eastern Transvaal where he was successful at his trade but soon entered the field of mining. In 1896 he founded a plant at Olifantsfontein for the production of brick and tiles. After taking part in the South African War, Cullinan secured the right to exploit the still unprospected property of Willem Prinsloo, on which in 1902 was discovered the Premier Diamond Mine, the world's largest diamond property. During his industrial career he was Chairman of the Premier Mine, Chairman and Director of the New Eland Diamonds Ltd., director of several gold mining companies and owner of the Consolidated Rand, Brick, Pottery & Lime Co, Ltd. In addition he was interested in farming and aforestaton and owned several farms.

Sir Thomas took a keen interest in politics, being an advocate of responsible government for the Transvaal and the Free State and representing Pretoria North in the first Transvaal parliament, He was a great advocate for Union and was elected for the same constituency to the first Union Parliament. In 1910 he was knighted for his services to the Diamond Fields. During the First World War he served as a major in the campaign against the Germans in S. W. Africa and was mentioned in despatches for gallantry in the field.

Mackenzie, Rev. John

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Rev. John Mackenzie was born in Scotland in 1836. He first came to South Africa in 1858 as a missionary in Bechuanaland. After his return in 1869 he took residence at Kuruman. He rendered his service to Sir Charles Warren on the occasion of the Langeberg Expedition of 1878.

Feldman, Richard

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  • 1897-1968

Richard Feldman was born on September 15, 1897, the son of Joseph and Minnie Feldman, in Lithuania and came to South Africa at the age of 13. His education took place at the Jewish Government School, Johannesburg. He joined the family firm of L. Feldman and Tobacco & General Supplies Ltd., where he rose to be a director. In 1931 he married Freda Ginsburg and had one son and one daughter. He died on 14th February, 1968, after a long illness.

He was a man of wide interests and with a strong social conscience. After the first world war he became Chairman of the Doornfontein Branch of the Jewish War Victims Fund. His sympathy for the underdog led him to join the South African Labour Party and he was secretary of the Party's Organizing Committee before being elected to the Transvaal Provincial Council in 1943, a position he held for 11 years. He was a member of the Central Rand School Board and his interest in education, both European and non-European, showed itself in many ways.

For several years he was an executor of the Morris Isaacson Education Fund, which grants bursaries to deserving African students. This fund had its origin in the Peretz School for Africans, which Feldman established earlier and which was incorporated into the Isaacson Fund.

The South African Ort. Oze was another body which benefited from Feldman's enthusiasm and he played a vital role in developing Ort (Society for the Promotion of handicrafts and of industrial and agricultural work among the Jews) in South Africa.

All his life Feldman was a writer and was a contributor of articles to the daily press on a wide variety of subjects. His abiding love was for the Yiddish language which he had learnt as a boy. In 1935 he had published in Warsaw a volume of short stories in Yiddish entitled Schwartz un Weiss.

These stories had as their theme the difficulties of living experienced by the non-Europeans in South Africa. After the second World War a second and enlarged edition of his work was brought out.

Smuts, Jan Christiaan

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Jan Christiaan Smuts, 1870-1950

Born on the farm Bovenplaats outside Riebeek West, Cape Colony, on 24 May 1870, his education took place at Victoria College, Stellenbosch, and Cambridge, where he read for the bar. He served with distinction in the South African War, 1899-1902, and in the first World War during the East African campaign. Smuts had a distinguished career in politics, being Prime Minister twice. During the second World War he played an important part and helped to draft the covenant for the United Nations.

For a full biography see the Dictionary of South African Biography Volume 1, edited by W. J. de Kock

Macartney, Earl George

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George Macartney was born on 14 May 1737 at Lissanoure, Ireland, and educated at Trinity College, Dublin, graduating M.A. in 1759. He then travelled extensively on the Continent and then made the acquaintance of Stephen Fox, brother of Charles James Fox. In 1764 he was knighted and went as envoy extraordinary to St. Petersburg, where he concluded a commercial treaty with Russia. He was returned to Parliament for Cockermouth in 1760, but resigned when elected for Antrim in the Irish House of Commons, in view of his becoming Chief Secretary for Ireland, a post he held from 1769-1772.

From 1775-1779 Macartney was Captain-General and Governor of the Cariboo Islands (Grenada, the Grenadines and Tobago). He was at his post in Grenada in 1779 when the island was attacked and captured by the French. Macartney was taken to France as prisoner of war but was soon exchanged. In 1700 he was sent on a confidential mission to Ireland and in the same year was appointed Governor and President of Fort St. George (Madras) by the East India Company. On his journey back to England he called at the Cape of Good Hope in October 1705.

Macartney's next missions of importance were to Pekin (Beijing) in 1792 and Italy in 1795, where he negotiated with Louis XVIII of France, then in exile in Verona. Other honours fall to him; in 1772 he was made K.B., in 1776 Baron Macartney of Lissanoure (Irish peerage), in 1792 Earl Macartney and Viscount Macartney of Dervock in the peerage of Ireland and in 1796 Baron Macartney of Parkhurst, Sussex, and of Auchinleck, Kirkcudbrightshire.

In failing health, Macartney, on 30 December 1796, reluctantly accepted the appointment of Governor of the newly captured colony of the Cape of Good Hope. He arrived there on 4 May 1797 and remained until November 1798 when his health compelled his return to England. Because of his continued ill-health, he refused all further offices offered to him.

Macartney married the Lady Jane Stuart, second daughter of John Stuart, Earl of Bute, but there was no issue of the marriage. He died on 31 May 1806.

In youth Macartney was considered one of the meet handsome and accomplished young men of his day. He had scholarly tastes and possessed a fine library. It has been said of him that no public servant over left office with purer hands

Synge, FC

  • Pessoa

F.C. Synge - Theologian, Warden of St. Paul's Theological College, Grahamstown.

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