Fonds BC621 - Dr Ernst Landsberg Papers

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Dr Ernst Landsberg Papers


  • 1935-1968 (Creation)

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5299 items

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Biographical history

Dr Ernst Landsberg was born in Remscheid-Lennop, West Germany, in 1903, the son of Julius Ferdinand Landsberg (1868-1915) and Marie Hoff (1876-1959). At the age of six he attended a private school and later the Real-Gymnasium. He taught himself Greek, Arabic, Turkish, Iranian, etc., and developed an interest in mathematics and physics, especially Einstein's theories. He was awarded the degree of doctor rerum politicarum by the University of Frankfurt in 1925. He worked as a financial editor on the Berliner Tageblatt until 1933, when he left Germany for political reasons. He arrived in South Africa with his family in January 1934 and settled in Cape Town. From 1935 to 1968 he was on the staff of the Cape Times, first as a financial writer and later as Financial. Editor. He was for many years the Cape Town correspondent for the London Financial Times and also edited the South African Financial Yearbook and the Handbook of South African Stocks and Shares (now the Stock Exchange Handbook). From 1969 to 1973 (?) he gathered information and wrote articles for Die Ensiklopedie van die Wêreld (this publication was later abandoned) and for the Standard Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa. Dr Landsberg took an interest in civic matters and was involved in the establishment and running of the Care Gift Shops. He was also actively associated with the Action South and Southern Africa movement. He had a very deep interest in mysticism, symbolism, and the occult. He studied the Egyptian sacred books and translated some passages into English and German from the hieroglyphics. He made translations from Hebrew texts into English and German and compiled glossaries of. both Sanskrit and Mahayana. Towards the end of his life he became a buddhist and was the head of the Tibetan Buddhist group in Cape Town. He died in Cape Town in 1976.

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The Landsberg Papers were presented to the University of Cape Town Libraries in 1976 by Dr Ernst Landsberg through his sister Dr Erika Landsberg, and number 5299 items. The papers have been arranged. according to a chronology established in discussion with Dr Ernst Landsberg and Dr Erika Landsberg. The collection mainly reflects Dr Landsberg's deep interest in symbolism, mysticism, Semitic and oriental languages, Egyptian studies, Hebrew studies, Tibetan Buddhism. There is a small section of articles and information collected for the Ensiklopedie van die Wêreld, and also for the Standard Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa. These articles are on various industries and metri­cation. The sections E, F, G, and H comprise material received from societies whose lectures and papers are only available to members. Access to these sections is therefore restricted and these documents will be made available only on production of authorisation from the society, and in the case of F1, no access without permission of M.Erler, 8 München – Icking, Irschenhäuserstr 5, W. Germany.


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  • English

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  • English



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