Friday, September 18, 2015

Profile: Matthew Nathan


  1. "good luck finding another Jew who spent some time in Sudan"

    Well there's Emin Pasha (whom you've reviewed already), half-Jew Slatin Pasha (who had a great mustache) and Sudanese-born Swiss financier Nessim Gaon.

    Also, Maurice Alfassa was governor of /French/ Sudan (modern day Mali) as well as of Martinique and the Congo, and five-time acting governor of French Equatorial Africa (modern day CAR, Chad, Congo and Gabon)!

    Some other Jewish colonial governors to help you fill the map are: Richard Kandt (Rwanda 1907), Abraham Schrameck (Madagascar 1918), Maurizio Rava (Somalia 1931), Léon Geismar (Togo 1935 and acting governor of French West Africa 1938: Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal), Andrew Cohen (Uganda 1952) and Roy Welensky (Rhodesia & Nysaland 1956: Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi; Jewish father).

    With a bit of effort I've managed to find a noteworthy Jew linked (sometimes tenuously) to around 90% of the countries in Africa. My gaps are Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia, Burundi and Sao Taome and Principe. Now there's a challenge!

  2. Now that's dedicated research! Thanks!

  3. PS Hong Kong Jews aren't quite as rare as you imply. Other examples include:

    - the Kadoorie family, including HK billionaire Michael Kadoorie
    - the "grand old man of Hong Kong", Robert Hotung, whose father was probably a Dutch Jew
    - the "father of Lan Kwai Fong", Allan Zeman, a Canadian-raised business magnate
    - philanthropist and opium trader Emanuel Belilios
    - HK-based graphic designer Harry Steiner, who designed the HSBC logo as well as the HK banknotes
    - HK-based magazine editor Eric Halpern, who founded the Far Eastern Economic Review
    - HK-born actress Romola Garai, whose father is Jewish