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Pollack Family
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ZJC Project Presentation
In this video Dave Bloom describes in a webinar conference called Community History Online (CHOL) held 11th August 2021, the work done to preserve the story of the ZJC.. Learn More...

A brief history of the ZJC
Watch this recording of a presentation given to a Synagogue in Toronto on 1st August 2021 - on the history of the Zimbabwe and Zambian Jewish Communities.. Learn More...

Geolocation of ZJC homes in Harare and Bulawayo
A new project has been launched to map the homes of former ZJC homes in Harare and Bulawayo. Please use the link on the page to an online form to add your own details.. Learn More...

Latest Warren Hills tombstones - 28th June 2021
See images of the latest Warren Hills tombstones and members of the HHC at the consecration.. Learn More...

ZJC Reunion 13th June 2021
Over 300 people registered for the Ndaba and you can see a full recording of the event on this page.. Learn More...

An African Trading Empire
Dec 13 2019 - A new page on the site with text from the first chapter of this fascinating book recording the story of the Susman brothers and Wulfsohn who created a farming and commercial empire in Southern Africa.. Learn More...

Additional Ketuboth added
December 2016 - ZJC has gratefully received from Colin Gordon some missing Ketuboth from the period 1956-1959 which have now been added to the website. . Learn More...

Audio Visual biographies
December 2016 - ZJC is pleased to publish a number of audio visual biographies of former members of the community.. Learn More...

Bulawayo Hebrew Congregation committees
July 6, 2016 - We have added two comprehensive documents prepared by David Gelfand and listing a) the numerous committees of the Bulawayo Hebrew Congregation going back to 1923. b) a list of all the Presidents of the Bulawayo Hebrew Congregation going back to 1894.. Learn More...

Bulawayo Hebrew Congregation - full copy
June 2016 - Pleased to advise that Paul Bernstein has scanned the full Bulawayo Hebrew Congregation Centenary magazine published in 1994. It is now available on the ZJC website. Many many thanks to Paul for all his efforts and contribution in digitizing this material and preserving it for us all. There is a summary of the contents of each section. See the material here.. Learn More...

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 Hugo Pollack was born in Hamburg on 12 March 1868 and died in Rhodesia on 10 July 1919.

 He made his way to Mozambique and then to Rhodesia, we believe, in 1888.  We know for a fact that he arrived in Rhodesia prior to 1890 as he participated in the Matabeleland rebellion for which he received a medal from Queen Victoria with the inscription “Trooper H. Pollack”.

 We believe he left Germany due to the economic recession and possibly to avoid serving in the Prussian army which was compulsory.

 Heading for Mozambique he moved onto Penalonga where he had a trading store and at the same time a gold mine that was not greatly successful.

 In 1900 Hugo Pollack was naturalized British and thus added the second “L” to the Polack name.

 Prior to the turn of the century, he left for London where he met our grandmother Mary Ferns who was born in Liverpool on 31 July 1870 and later died in Rhodesia on 16 January 1927 age 57.

 They fell in love and he brought her to Cape Town on 11 November 1904 where they got married and then moved back to Rhodesia.  They had 3 children who were born in the UK.  He sent my grandmother to bear the children in the UK before she returned to Rhodesia.

Samuel Hugo Pollack (my father) was born first on the 3rd June 1906 in Stretham and later died 8 July 1983 age 77 in Durban.

The second child was Stella Pollack who was also born in the UK in 1908 and died 2 October 1918 in Rhodesia from Peritonitis (burst appendix) being only 10 years old.

The last child, Bernard Pollack, was born 1910 and died that same year due to falling out of the pram and the nurse not telling anyone about it.

Hugo Pollack flourished as a good businessman having a wholesale business in Mutare and also being a merchant of stock in Beira.  Photots we have show him as a very well dressed dapper man.  He was well educated in Germany and also played the piano.

 Other bits of family history was that during the 1st World War citizens came to arrest him for being of German origin.  His wife, although being born in the UK was of Irish origin, got on top of the tine roof with a shot gun and advised them to leave or else she would shoot them.  They left him alone after that.

 Unfortunately in 1918 a serious case of influenza spread throughout the world and on a journey to Rusape to see an old friend from Austria, Ikie Cohen, he died on the train and was buried in Harare at the age of 52.

 Prior to his death he had ordered machinery to set up the first biscuit factory, which then became Wright’s Bakery.  He had collected a number of properties in Harare, Mutare, and Penalonga and of course had been given a settlers farm by Queen Victoria called ‘Stella Vale’ named after my father’s sister.  It is also interesting to note that my father was only 12 at the time of his father’s death.

Hugo Pollack was one of the 22 founding members of the Harare Hebrew Congregation in 1895 each donating a princely sum of 5 pounds 5 shillings.

As my grandmother lost both her husband and daughter just 3 months apart she began to believe in the fairies and went to live on the farm until she died in 1927.

Grandpa Sam was only 21 when he had lost his whole family.  He was then taken under the wing of the Cohen family, my mother’s family.

Samuel Hugo Pollack married Bella Cohen on 14 April 1929 at the Salisbury Synagogue.  They had two children Estelle Rosemary Pollack born on 12 February 1930 and Alvin Hugo Pollack born on 30 June 1936.

Estelle was schooled at the Dominican Convent Salisbury and left having obtained a Cambridge School Certificate.  She worked for Sir John Noble Kennedy in the governor’s office.  In 1950 she left and married Dr David Abraham Michelson and went to live in Cape Town where he was a practising GP.

Editor : For separate biography of Bella Pollack - click here


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