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    Wiesenbacher

    25th May 2005

    Thanks to Edwin Wulfsohn , Marlene Katzman and Merle Wiesenbacher for this piece.

    Before the Wiesenbachers left Germany, Freddy remembers one morning on the way to school seeing the shul on fire (Krystalnacht)The family left their home for a few weeks.  They stayed with non-Jewish friends one of whom was Oberregierungrat Binder, who took a real chance giving them shelter.  They also took refuge in Adolph's old business after the new owner gave them the
    keys.  It was after this that Fred was sent to Zurich.  As the whole family
    wanted to emigrate from Germany  visas were needed.  Fred's mother had a cousin in Zurich who was the consul for Costa Rica.  He gave them a dummy visa for Costa Rica which allowed them to get into Switzerland.  Meanwhile, Sammy Weil (Fred's uncle) in Johannesburg tried to get them into South Africa but couldn't.  He eventually got them permission to go to Northern Rhodesia.

    Fred left Germany in November, 1938 at the age of 12 and stayed with
    cousins, Sigburt and Lotte Gut in Zurich and waited for his parents.  They arrived in March, 1939.  Fred had his Barmitzvah in April 1939 in the Loewenstrasse Shul, Zurich with Cantor New.  They left Zurich in July and sailed from Genoa to Durban - a trip that lasted six weeks.  Sammy Weil's wife, Rossel, picked them up in Durban and drove them to Johannesburg.  A few days later they took the train to Lusaka.  The first Jew who met them in Zambia at Livingstone Station (while on their way to Lusaka) was Mr Furmanovsky (Ronnie Elkaim's father) He was a taxi driver and he told Freddy's father "You may as well stay here in Livingstone because it is no good here, but it is also no good in Lusaka."  However, they carried on their journey.  When they first arrived in Lusaka they stayed for a short while at a boarding house for Jewish refugees, which was run by Mr Simonson. After a few months, they rented a house for 3 pounds a month.

    Freddy went to Junior School in Lusaka.  When his sister, Trude married Harry Wulfsohn in Lusaka and the married couple went to live in Livingstone, the family followed.  Adolph Wiesenbacher went to work for Harry Wulfsohn, managing a small textile business.  Freddy completed his Junior School and then went to Technical High School in Bulawayo and matriculated.

    Freddy was refused admission to University in South Africa because he was regarded as an 'enemy alien' at the time.  He returned to Livingstone to work as a supervisor in Mr Katz's plywood factory. After about a year, he went to Ndola to start his own timber business, manufacturing parquet flooring and box sheets.  In that small factory he had an accident, cutting off the fingers of his right hand.

    After the accident, it was decided that, now the war was in the past and he was able to enter South Africa as a student, Fred should enrol for a B.Comm Degree at Wits University as well as work part-time for his uncle, Sammy Weil, at a comapny called Weil and Asheim, doing stock control.

    After a few years, he went back to Bulawayo, where he had some agencies selling garments and he joined L Moritz in his indent agency.

    In 1952, Freddy met his future wife Inge Simon.  They married in 1954 in
    Bulawayo. Shortly afterwards they moved to Salisbury.  They had four
    children:  Tony, Susan, Debby and Joanne.  The family were members of the Harare Hebrew Congregation.

    In 1961, Freddy's father, Adolph passed away.  Freddy became more actively involved with the Jewish Community.  At that time, Freddy's mother and sister and her family were also living in Salisbury.  All the children attended schools in Rhodesia.  Some of them went on to study locally and others abroad.

    After the Indent Agency,  Freddy started a shirt factory with Jeff Cohen.
    They then distributed fabric.  After a few years, Freddy went into his own
    business, Meadowbrook, which was a C M T business making garments.

    Freddy set Tony up with an agency business in Byo in 1976.  After a few
    years, Freddy and Tony started a fabric business in Bulawayo and Harare (Brook Fabrics)

    In 2002, Tony and his wife, Merle, and youngest son, Yaron went to live in Cape Town where two of their children, Ilan and Talis were already studying. They started a company called Peace River Trading.  A few months later, Debbie and her husband, Tony Rubin and their children Daniel and Joshua moved to Cape Town and joined Tony in the business.

    Freddy and Inge followed at the beginning of 2004.  A short while after,
    Inge became ill and sadly passed away.

    Freddy's eldest daughter, Susan lives in Pennington, Natal with her husband, Duncan Anderson. She too works for Peace River Trading looking after the distribution and warehousing.

    The youngest daughter, Joanne lives in Perth with her husband, Alistair
    Brunette.  They have two sons, Eric and David.


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