May Brenner on Moving to South Africa
  May Brenner     Biography    
Recorded: 14 Jun 2005

My parents were both from what was then Russia. They moved to South Africa my mother going from first to Manchester where the family lived for a while and then to South Africa to the Cape where several of her younger brothers and sisters were born. My grandfather had a very small hotel in Franchocht which the most beautiful or one of the most beautiful parts of the Cape. My father came over as a young man to join his cousin and he lived; not quite sure, I haven’t got the whole story, but the Cape and and he ran a small—we used to call them kadowinkel, a shop for. They would sell blankets to the miners and sugars and groceries, small tools. How he ever made enough money to bring out all his brothers and sisters I have never understood; or where the money came from to bring my grandfather Wolf from Manchester with a whole trail of families going down. From Manchester to Capetown—my sisters and I have asked each other and ourselves, how did they do it? But I suppose if you were in steerage it didn’t cost very much. Not all of you arrived at your destination and if you could survive the voyage and how they ever heard of a place like South Africa. What made them choose it? Two of my uncles went to Brazil, but after, I don’t know five or ten years they were brought back. I also had an aunt in Virginia in the United States. So some of them moved to other places, but basically the whole family moved to South Africa and now very few of the family are there. They have all again spread out; Canada, America Australia, New Zealand and all over Europe.

May Brenner was married to Sydney Brenner from December 1952 until her death in January 2010. She was engaged in doing a Ph.D. in Psychology in London.