Kimberley, South Africa


Stein, Leslie


Leslie Stein

year born

1937 (in Kroonstad)

3 words that exemplify what it was like growing up in Kimberley 

Relaxed, friendly and warm



Date left Kimberley

In Kimberley at School from 1951 – to December 1954

Age when left


Reason for leaving and where went

Went to stay in Israel.

Scholastic achievements, degrees qualifications and where they are from

B.Sc (econ), M.Sc.(econ) and PhD, all from the London School of Economics

Where live now

Sydney Australia


Retired economics professor

Marital status

Married Clara

Place and date of wedding

London February 22, 1961

Place partner born


What partner did/does

Geography school teacher and holder of a Ph.d



Two children. Mark, born in London in 1966 and now a specialist physician (in endocrinology). Karen born in London in 1967 and now a partner in Deloitte (an international accountants firm) Mark lives in Melbourne, Karen in Sydney.


Father: Name; year of Birth; where born; when he came to Kimberley; his occupation; when he died; at what age; and where buried 

My father, Jack, was not born in Kimberley nor did he live there. I came to Kimberley in 1951 as a border at Kimberley Boys High School and in 1953 I then stayed with my aunt Helen Brown. My father was born in 1912 and died in 1984, He was a bookkeeper. Buried in Johannesburg.

Mother: Name; year of Birth; where born; when she came to Kimberley; her occupation; when he died; at what age; and where buried 

My mother’s maiden name was Maresky. She was born in Kimberley 1914. She worked as a secretarial assistant. She died in 1993 and is buried in Cape Town.



Maternal grandparents Names; years of birth, Where they came from (and if they lived in Kimberley – what years) What they did, when they died, at what age and where buried

My mother’s father was Jack Maresky, the son of Avraham Leib Maresky who came to Kimberley immediately after the Boer War to work as a blacksmith. He hailed from Lithuania in a town called Karalitz. He was born in 1892 and died in 1969, buried in Kimberley. My mother’s mother was born Dvorah Chessen in 1889 and died in 1938 and is buried in Kimberley

Paternal grandparents Names; years of birth, Where they came from (and if they lived in Kimberley – what years) What they did when they died at what age and where buried 

My father’s parents Mordechai and Rachel came from Shavul in Lithuania. I don’t know when they were born but Mordechai died in 1958 and Rachel in 1966. Both are buried in Johannesburg.

After Kimberley

When in Israel I became an ardent Marxist and on my return, I joined Hashomer Harzair which was a Zionist Marxist group. But my journey to the left did not stop there for in next to no time I left the Zionist movement and became active in the anti-Apartheid movement serving as a trade union organizer, which explains why I did not go to university in South Africa. In the wake of the Sharpville massacre, a state of emergency was declared and all hardened leftists (and I am not talking about student movement liberals) were rounded up and detained for months on end. Luckily for me, Norman Friedmann let me hide in his apartment. When, Clara, my future wife, went to my flat to get a change of clothing, a neighbour told her that at 4 or 5 in the morning the police were hammering on my door. Soon after that, I drove down to Cape Town and boarded a boat for Britain. In those days there were not computers updating migration officials and I had a valid passport from my Israeli stint. The Six Day War represented a turning point for me. I was shocked by the fact that my leftist friends were supporting Nasser and by the subsequent anti-Zionism that soon morphed into old fashioned anti-Semitism. In a nutshell, I regretted associating with such people and over time I evolved into a traditional liberal, or what today would be thought of as a moderate conservative.

At the moment (Summer 2017) I am occupied in writing a book on Western intellectuals, the Islamic threat and anti-Semitism. Since retiring in 1987 from being a professor of economics, I have written three books on Israel's history. That is, The Hope Fulfilled: The Rise of Modern Israel, The Making of Modern Israel and Israel Since the Six Day War. You can view them in Amazon. And apart from anything else, I have to read through a wad of research applications in my capacity as a member of a major hospital's human research ethics committee.

Read my memories of Jewish Youth activities in Kimberley in 1953-54.

Leslie Stein, Sydney Australia, August 2017