Jewish immigration set in at the beginning of the 19th century, and between 1830 and1930 consisted of about 70,000 souls, mainly pioneers from England and Germany. From England came Benjamin Norden, the first president of the Cape Town community, and also brothers who were named de Pass. They were ship owners in Cape Town and led the seal, whaling, and fishing industries. Daniel de Pass was one of the first sugar planters in Natal Province. Lionel Philipps, boss of the firm Eckstein & Co., was the president of the Johannesburg Chamber of the Mining Industry.
The Brothers Mosenthal founded the domestic wool industry, and operated both the mining industry and the breeding of ostriches. The great upswing of the diamond industry is linked with the name of the German Jew Alfred Breit who assisted Cecil Rhodes to an extraordinary degree in opening up the Transvaal and Rhodesia.
Next month: More on the Jews of South Africa.
Ezra James Nollet is a retired U.S. government chemist living in Poland where he is officer of the local synagogue in Legnica. Before the Deluge appears the last week of each month.