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Curious about Lindenberg family history article

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: [unknown]
Surnames/tags: Lindenberg South_Africa
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A newspaper article by Guy Beckett

My great grandfather, Gustav Lindenberg, was a German Jew who emigrated from Germany circa mid 1880's to settle in the Boer Republics, to be followed by some of his brothers, one of whom was Herman Lindenberg.

Gustav is believed to have started one of the first gold mines in one of the areas surrounding Klerksdorp, and together with his brother, Herman established their family store-keeping business known as Lindenberg Brothers.

Gustav also served in the Prussian Army probably in the mid to late 1870's, and was a master of one of the local Freemason Lodges in the Klerksdorp area.

Gustav could not bear to be without his childhood sweetheart, Josephine Kunkel, and so briefly returned to Germany where they were married in 1894. Their four children, Ellen, Clarice, Charles and Alfred (my grand-father) were born in the Klerksdorp area in 1895, 1896, 1897 and 1898 respectively. Ellen, Clarice and Alfred were baptised in the Catholic parish near Klerksdorp, but I have not been able to establish whether Charles was a practising Catholic.

Gustav was wounded in action at the Battle of Magersfontein on 11 December 1899 and died the following day, 12 December in the hands of the British Forces, and was the second Jew to have lost his life while fighting for the Boers. He was a member of the Bloemhof Kommando but on the day fought in the Swedish Contingent of the Scandinavian Corps on the side of the Boers.

His surviving spouse, Josephine and their four very young children were interned in the British Concentration Camp in Klerksdorp, this, after their properties and livestock were destroyed by the British Military. My great grandmother, Josephine must have been a heroine of some note. First she lost her husband and then suffered the trauma of being interned in a concentration camp and further being dispossessed of all her worldly goods and means of livelihood, yet she stood by her children and brought them up. What a role model she must have been for those who have suffered extreme adversity in life.

My knowledge of my maternal Lindenberg side of the family is very scant indeed. Josephine's granddaughter, Mary, was my mother who divorced my father way back in 1958 when I was but only six years old. So I grew up not knowing of or even being associated with the Lindenberg side of my family, and this in large part is what is driving me to get to know exactly my great grandparents and their four children were and how they lived. I do not even have a single photograph of any member of my Lindenberg family.





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