As told by his son, Brian Anziska

Harry and family

Lt-Rt: Harry, Naomi, Don and Brian

My father, Harry Anziska was a General Practitioner in Bellville for about 30 years from the mid-1940s  until the mid-1970s.

He was also the doctor to many local industries over the years. One of the industries manufactured asbestos products. Much of the data in fact came from UCT. In spite of his efforts to protect the mainly black workers, the Swiss owners refused to do anything. He was a keen fisherman and rugby coach for the Bellville team. He represented the club at Western Province level for many years. We frequently met  and entertained visiting international teams - a thrill for his two sons, Don and Brian.

Ultimately the club decided that an Afrikaner was preferable to a Jew and he was  dropped as the club representative.

Just like every doctor in the Northern Suburbs he had separate waiting rooms for Whites and non-Whites. However, after hours he would see middle class non-Whites in the White waiting room. I left South Africa for specialist training in the States in 1970. My brother followed in 1973. This was too much for my parents.

They came to the USA in 1977. My father showed great determination and took the  very difficult American licensing exams. He practiced in nursing homes until his untimely death from cancer in 1987. He made a surprisingly good adjustment to America, enjoying his grandchildren and taking upon several new hobbies which included an  antique collection. My mother passed away ten years later.

In retrospect, apartheid imprisoned all of us. In spite of our privileges as Whites, we Jews lived in a gilded ghetto terrified of implied antisemitic threats from the Afrikaners. The English too were socially antisemitic. Nevertheless, the South African Jews were a unique and wonderful community whom we were privileged to be part of.