terly offended when it came to his attention that people were whispering against him.
was 1915. "General Botha had already taken South-West Africa from the
Germans, and General Smuts was driving the enemy out of East Africa.
And then they suddenly remembered I had a German name," he said.
course he wasn't the only one who suffered from this sort of thing. In
England even Earl Battenberg had hearkened to the voice of hysteria and
changed his name to Mountbat-ten. The Dunkelsbuhlers, who also suffered
unpopularity, truncated their name and became the Dunkels family.
Oppen-heimer, however, didn't take that way out because it was
different in South Africa, and such action wouldn't have done him any
good. Britain was a much bigger place socially; nobody can answer for
millions of people, and you can blame the unknowns for whatever idiocy
might crop up among the public, but Kimberley wasn't in England and
Ernest knew practically everybody there, and they knew him. He felt
they should have known him better by that time. He was hurt. It became
more than a mere matter of whispering: one evening a mob gathered
outside his house and threw stones at it. The authorities decided he
had better have a guard, and a man from the local police force was put
on duty. Late that night Oppen-heimer invited him in for a sit-down and
a glass of something. They had an amiable visit, and after a little
while Oppenheimer asked the man his name.
"Schumann," said the bodyguard.
Somehow this incident helped the mayor to make up his mind. Hitherto he had hesitated to follow his inclinations, to