As part of our festive season content, the Cape Argus retrieved articles from its archives looking at what made news in 1922, and 2002.
The article below was published in of the Cape Argus, dated Cape Town, Thursday, 15 June, 1922.
(Note: The author of the original article is not mentioned or referred to in the article.)
Stranded in Germany - Plight of a Cape Family on “holiday.”
City [Cape Town] Merchant and Wife
Through Adv Will Stuart, M.L.A., Mrs Elsa Oppenheimer, to-day obtained an order for restitution of conjugal rights.
An affidavit was put in from the defendant, Julius Oppenheimer, a Cape Town merchant, who declared that he did not intend returning to his wife but was prepared to pay her £10 a month until she remarried and a similar sum for each of the three children until they attained the age of 18.
Petitioner, in her evidence taken on commission in London, stated that she was at present residing in Germany with her children. She married her husband on October 11, 1904 at the Synagogue in Cape Town.
In 1913, with the consent of her husband, she left with the children for an extended holiday trip, having been medically advised to spend two years in Germany.
While she was away, war broke out and she was compelled to remain in Germany.
Immediately after the Armistice she wrote to her husband asking him for money with which to return to South Africa with the youngest child, the other two children intending to remain behind in Germany to complete their education.
Her husband replied that he thought it better that she wait until all the children were ready to accompany her back. She wrote that they could all come immediately, and he answered that he would go to Germany to see them.
Since then he made all sorts of excuses and her impression was that he did not intend to call for them or allow them to return to South Africa.
In a letter he stated that they were temperamentally united to each other.
He had sent funds regularly for the maintenance of herself and children at the rate of £30 a month up to October, 1921, since when she had only received £50. It was the first time he had been irregular in his payments.
In the event of non-compliance with the restitution order, defendant will be called upon to show cause why the marriage shall not be dissolved.