I live in Leipzig and work as a freelance urban planner and photographer. At the moment I am working with friends on an exhibition concept about August Otto Fischbeck. This is for the Leipzig City Library for the Bauhaus Year 2019 ("100 years Bauhaus“). Fischbeck built two district libraries in Leipzig in the style of "Neues Bauen" (1929 and 1930).

So far very little about Fischbeck can be found in the literature and also in the Leipzig archives. First we couldn't even find a date of birth. We only found him in the historical address books of the city of Leipzig, from about 1922 to 1935 (with his own architectural office since 1925). There is also a small book about his works in the 1920s (Otto Fischbeck, Neue Werkkunst series, Berlin 1930). Then all traces have been lost so far. About two weeks ago we finally found a new lead. On a file card of a list of the Nazis we found his name and date of birth: He was Protestant and was deprived of German citizenship in 1939. After that find, we were worried about what happened to him. Was he murdered? Fortunately not. We found evidence that he had escaped to South Africa.

Of course, this information helped us a lot. We don't know yet when and how he made it to South Africa, but we have already found out a few other things. Besides the website you named us, we found references to Fishbeck in South Africa's National Archives, on the website "The Heritage Register" and in the magazine "South African Architectural Record" (1938 to 1954). That's why we know he died in 1970. That he was married. And that he became a member of the Transvaal Provincial Institute in 1938. We were also able to identify some of his projects. You will find our overview of these attached.

To learn more about Fischbeck, we are looking for answers to the following questions:

  • What else did Fischbeck build in South Africa?
  • Are there archives with plans and documents from Fischbeck, e.g. at the South African Institute of Architects (SAIA)?
  • Has his architectural estate been archived anywhere?
  • Is there a photo of August Otto Fischbeck himself?

Than you in advance

Roland Beer - beerroland@freenet.de

07/31/2018 - 00:00
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Tue, 06/26/2018 - 06:35

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