Kimberley, South Africa


Finberg, Mickey & Dorothy

Kotkis, Eleanor née Finberg

Contributed by Eleanor Finberg of Johannesburg November 2019

I am Eleanor Finberg now known as Eleanor Kotkis. I was born in Cape Town. I came to Kimberley with my parents Mickey and Dorothy Finberg when I was 10 years old. I also had a brother who was two years younger than me. Unfortunately, he was very ill and died in 1963 from Aplastic Anaemia. He is the only one in our family who is buried in the Jewish cemetery in Kimberley.

My husband Ronnie, and I got married in the Kimberley Shul on 9 April 1972 and have been married for 47 years. (see our wedding picture on the wedding gallery soon). We live in Joburg. We both still work. I work as a pharmacist. We have two children who are now in their 40’s. My how time flies! They went to King David school in Linksfield, which gave them a fantastic education. Our daughter lives in Melbourne with her husband and 3 children and my son Ilan, lives in London with his wife and 3 children. So, we are left here all alone.

They have followed the trend and their children are now going to Jewish schools in both Melbourne and London. We see them about once a year and were lucky enough to celebrate our eldest grandsons barmitzvah in April in Melbourne. Our youngest granddaughter is 3 living in Melbourne. (see the picture at the end)

My father Mickey Finberg was in South African Airforce during WW2 as a gunner, officer, lieutenant and observer. His plane was the only survivor of 2 major battles called Boston Tea Party and Marauder Massacre. He was in 24 Squadron from 1940 to 1944

In Milton Jawno’s opinion, Mickey was a war hero having flown very many active missions as a tail end gunner in Liberator bombers. Milton says, ‘I saw his logbook. Please believe me, this modest man was a true unsung war hero.’

In the picture on the left is Mickey Finberg is in his SAAF uniform.

Below that he is wearing his medals from WW2 at a celebration of 60 years since the end of war. He was the oldest soldier at that celebration in 2005. Mickey had his own business as a manufacturer's representative for V. Katz appliances Cape Town and others.

My mother Dorothy Finberg had a Beauty Salon and they also ran a private boarding house. My parents have both passed away. My mother Dorothy, 14 years ago and my dad, Mickey Finberg, 12 years ago. They were living in Joburg at the time. I wanted them here, so they lived in my house for a few years and then in Sandringham Gardens which is the Jewish home for the elderly.

Compiled by Geraldine Auerbach MBE November 2019
From information and pictures contributed by Eleanor Kotkis
Posted by Eli Rabinowitz November 2019