Arthur Goldreich 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Prof. Arthur Goldreich, an Israeli-South African painter and architect who took
part in the struggle against Apartheid and at one point hid Nelson Mandela, has
died aged 82.
Born in Pietersburg, Goldreich
made aliya at the age of 19 and joined the Palmah.
South Africa: Mandela marks 20 years of freedom
He returned to South
Africa at age 33 where he became a successful abstract painter, winning national
awards while clandestinely taking part in the struggle to end Apartheid. During
those years Goldreich owned Liliesleaf Farm in Rivonia outside Johannesburg that
functioned as a sanctuary for African National Congress operatives including the
movement’s leader, Mandela.
“Goldreich was a flamboyant person, who gave
the farm a buoyant atmosphere,” Mandela wrote in his autobiography.
Goldreich’s activities were discovered, he was thrown into jail and sentenced
to life in prison.
However, he managed to escape disguised as a priest, eventually
making his way back to Israel.
He returned to Bezalel Academy of Arts and
Design in Jerusalem, where he opened the Industrial and Environmental Design
Department, and rarely spoke about his time in South Africa. He lobbied Israel
to sever its ties with Apartheid South Africa and in 1994 returned for a visit,
after the racist regime had fallen.
In his later years he became a fierce
critic of the Israeli government, saying the Jewish state had strayed from the
ideals of Zionism and begun to resemble South African white-minority
“Don’t you find it horrendous that this people and this state,
which only came into existence because of the defeat of fascism and Nazism in
Europe, and in the conflict six million Jews paid with their lives for no other
reason than that they were Jews?” he told The Guardian in 2006. “Is it not
abhorrent that in this place there are people who can say these things and do