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ROSENBERG, Maximilian (Max)

Born: 1874 11 04
Died: 1932 10 03


Was born in Niedermeiser, now Liebenau, Hesse, Germany. Son of Simon Mathias Rosenberg and Frieda Friede Rosenberg. The three brothers worked in their father's wood import and export business, but Max went to Hamburg where he was trained as an architect. When the city was ravaged by a cholera epidemic in 1892, he moved to Cape Town, where the powerful businessman Henry Atkins took him under his wing, an influential benefactor. He practised in Cape Town from about 1890 to 1906; one of whose chief assistants (c1893-1900) was H ROWE. A single building so far recorded as by him, Kamp's Cafe, was designed in the revival style of the seventeenth century, according to its recorder, Picton-Seymour (1978:58). After Rosenberg became engaged to Atkins' oldest daughter, Zeffra Hilda the couple traveled to England and married in the Central London Synagogue on November 12, 1902. After that, they returned to South Africa where their firstborn, Ralph, was born in 1905, the first of three. The Second Anglo-Boer War brought a temporary end to Rosenberg's wealth after property prices fell sharply and he left the country destitute. This was the first of three such bankruptcies. He returned to Europe to work in his brother's timber exporting industry as a transporter, creating a shipping concern which eventually floundered. He thereafter once more became insolvent for the third time and died a year after this final setback in Vienna, Austria.

His daughter, Vera Atkins (1908-2000), was a Romanian born British intelligence officer during World War II. The character Miss Moneypenny in Ian Flemming's James Bond novels is possibly based on her.

(Juta's dir CT 1902; SAA&B Dec 1904 bus dir; SAA&B Jan 1906 bus dir)

See also Wikipedia.

All truncated references not fully cited in 'References' are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.

List of projects

With photographs
With notes

Kamp's Café: pre-1903. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect

Books citing ROSENBERG

Fransen, Hans. 2004. The old buildings of the Cape. A survey of extant architecture from before c1910 in the area of Cape Town - Calvinia - Colesberg - Uitenhage. Johannesburg & Cape Town: Jonathan Ball Publishers. pp 43

Martin, Desmond. 2007. Walking Long Street. Cape Town: Struik. pp 80

Picton-Seymour, Désirée. 1977. Victorian Buildings in South Africa. Cape Town: AA Balkema. pp 58, 81