Dullstroom (Mpumalanga)


Dullstroom is situated in eastern Mpumalanga (Transvaal prior to 1994); it is 45 km from Pretoria, 53 km from Lydenburg and 35 km from Belfast. The town was established in 1882 and proclaimed in 1893. Dullstroom is one of the most popular Transvaal resort destinations for trout anglers. The area is also well known for its elm and beech tree groves, planted by the Dutch immigrants.

The first Jew in the area seems to have been S Sachs, a farmer, in 1904. Zevulon Rodkin, a Russian immigrant, set himself up as a general dealer in Dullstroom in 1915. His nephew, Isaac Kaplan, came to work for him in 1921 and stayed for 4 years. Another nephew, Szafa Pomeravitz arrived in Dullstroom from Antepole, Russia, also to work for his uncle. In 1922, Mr B Schmahmann was a general dealer and proprietor of the Transvaal Hotel.

There is mention of contributions to Zionist funds in l921-22 from Dullstroom, but there was too small a Jewish presence for any formal Jewish activity.

Jews were farmers, general dealers and hoteliers. Leonard and Sheryl Bert and their family moved to Dullstroom in 1983 where they had a pharmacy, restaurant and curio shop. Although they no longer live there, they still own a business there (2000).

Isaac Kaplan, co-founder of Cape Gate in 1929 with his brother Solly Kaplan, and brother-in-law Solly Kushlick, was resident in Dullstroom at one time.

There are no census figures of Jews in Dullstroom for the sample of years chosen for this research.