Series AE - Robins Collection

Job confirmation letter from Q.ESinger, Bulawayo, to Artur Robinski, Berlin Letter and envelope from Herbert Burmann & Loon, Solicitors and Notaries Public to Herbert Ro... Letter and envelope from Herbert Burmann & Loon, Solicitors and Notaries Public to Herbert Ro... Letter and envelope from Jewish Committee for Relief Abroad, London, to Herbert Robins, Royal Hot... Letter and envelope from Jewish Committee for Relief Abroad, London, to Herbert Robins, Royal Hot... Letter and envelope from Jewish Committee for Relief Abroad, London, to Herbert Robins, Royal Hot... Postcard of Hitlerhaus from unidentified sender to Herbert Robins in Port Elizabeth Postcard of Hitlerhaus from unidentified sender to Herbert Robins in Port Elizabeth Handwritten letter and envelope from Thea Schraml to Herbert Robins,Port Elizabeth Handwritten letter and envelope from Thea Schraml to Herbert Robins,Port Elizabeth
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Reference code

ZA UCT BC1556_AE

Title

Robins Collection

Date(s)

  • 1900-2015 (Creation)

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Series

Extent and medium

161 items

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The collection was donated to the South African Holocaust and Genocide Foundation through the Cape Town Holocaust Centre by Steven Robins in 2016.

Scope and content

The collection contains correspondence, documentation, publications and photographs related to the Robins family from the early 1900s to 2000. Herbert Leopold Robinsky was born in Poland in 1907. The family lived in Culmsee, Poland where Herbert’s father David owned a shoe shop. Shortly after the end of World War One the family decided to move to Berlin, Germany hoping to find a society more tolerant of Jews. In the 1920s Herbert moved to Erfurt, Germany where he found employment as an apprentice supervisor at “Kaufhaus Romischer Kaiser.” In 1933 while living in a flat with a couple ‘Herbert encountered a young woman wearing a pair of Swastika earring. He remarked that they were beautiful and that she should put one through her nose as well. The young woman was offended and went to report Herbert to a friend of hers who was a part of the Gestapo. Later Herbert was arrested and taken to the local police station where he was charged with ridiculing the government’ (Silence in my Father’s House, unpublished draft by Steven Robins). Two weeks later he was released. It was then that he decided to prepare to leave Germany. After three years of preparation and with the help of his cousin Siegfried Reich, Herbert made his way to South Africa and settled in Port Elizabeth. Later he opened his own clothing store named Glenfield Fashions, met and married his wife Ruth and had two sons Michael and Steven. In the 1960s Herbert initiated a claim with the United Restitution Organisation on behalf of his brother Siegfried and his sister in law Edith both of whom had perished in the Holocaust. Herbert was also advised to claim for the effects he suffered because of his unjust imprisonment. His dealings with the URO continue into the late 1960s. In the early 1970s Herbert applied and received German citizenship. He continued to live in Port Elizabeth until his death in 1990.

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