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Saturday, 9 October 2010

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SOME BACKGROUND TO "ALIWAL", the novel by Adam Yamey which is available to purchase on www.amazon.com as well as www.lulu.com :

I have been researching the life and times of Heinrich (later Henry) BERGMANN (1830-1866). A first cousin of Peppi BLOCH (born SELIGMANN), my mother’s great grandmother, he was the first of my blood relatives to leave the German territories to settle in what is now South Africa. Indeed he was one of the first Jews to reach theCapeColony.
Born in Dittenheim, Bavaria, his father was Lazarus BERGMANN and his mother Klara (‘Gluck’) SELIGMANN, daughter of Jakob and G├╝tel SELIGMANN of Ichenhausen, near Augsburg. For those interested in my research, I have already published two articles in the journal Stammbaum published by LBI in New York City (see: Issue 25, Summer 2004 pages 26-31, and Issue 30 Winter 2006. Both may be accessed on-line onhttp://www.lbi.org/Stammbaum.html ).
Since then I have done further research, but naturally gaps remained in my knowledge of Bergmann’s biography.
In brief, Heinrich Bergmann left Dittenheim around about April 1849, and arrived inCape Townseveral months later. After a short sojourn there, he travelled inland to Graaff Reinet where he worked in a trading store owned by the MOSENTHAL brothers from Kassel and its manager Phoebus CARO from Posen. He did well, and was soon asked to open a new branch store in Aliwal North, a new town on the Orange River at the frontier of the Cape Colony. He made a great success of this, and visited Frankfurt-on-Main in 1860 where he married Charlotte Jenny SCHUSTER whose family lived in the Judengasse (Her father Lazarus Beer SCHUSTER is listed in:http://goldschmidt.tripod.com/schust.htm ).
After this, Bergmann’s life becomes obscurer. It is well recorded that he took his own life in 1866, and was buried by his friends Koos and David DE WET in Aliwal North.
The reason that Henry took his life is shrouded in mystery and controversy.
My new novel, “Aliwal”, is a fictionalised biography of my tragic relative in which I have invented a series of events leading up to his suicide. It is a story that may not necessarily be true, but is at least plausible.
In my novel, “Aliwal”, I have tried to fill the gaps between the facts with a series of imaginary but plausible events, and in so doing have created a fictionalised biography of my tragic relative.

Some of the places that appear in my novel

Budding authors may be interested in Richard Grayling' supportive website :