Your notes in addition to the obit make for a very interesting, though hard and sad story. If the man was "troubled" or strange, it's no wonder.
E. On Nov 18, 2007, at 12:54 AM, Marc James Small wrote:
John Noble, the former owner of the Noblex firm, has died. His obituary appeared in the Washingtn (US) Post on Saturday, 17 NOV 2007, and can be found here, I hope:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/16/ AR2007111602113.htmlI can discuss the Noble family in some detail (and have done so, in print and on other fora). They were an interesting family of quasi- USian Nazis who ended up getting it in the neck from the Nazis, the Communists, the US government and, in the end, from the Free Enterprise system. This noble was a member of the Knights of Malta and always insisted on being addressed as "Sir John". He contacted me a decade or so back by e-Mail and wished me to assist him in getting others to help him gain public acceptance that he still owned his factory, long after the banks had foreclosed on it. It was rather pathetic. Allow me to explain to those who do not know me that "Sir John" contacted me due to my being a bit of a scholar on the German camera industry and not out of any neo-Nazi nexus nor from any membership in the putative Knights of St John of Malta, that trifurcate Order.The short story is this: when the Nazis were dunning the Jews, business owners were forced to sell at a pittance to "suitable" Aryans. Around 1937, the father of "Sir John", a German-born US citizen, forced the Guthe and Thorsche families to sell him the Kamerawerkstatten camera works in Dresden to him. He had owned a small to-order printing plant in Cleveland, and one of them (I forget which at this hour of the night, and me without much sleep!) got the printing plant, and the other got a pittance of cash with which they founded a camera store somewhere in the City of Lost Angels. To my knowledge, both families flourished and a friend has promised to check out the LA camera store to see if there are still any members of the original family about.Around 1943, despite the open Nazi sympathies of the Noble family, the Nazis expropriated KW and imprisoned them. Then came the Communists, who refused to return the plant on the grounds that it had been nationalized before they came to take over the Soviet Zone of Occupation. The Noble family fought hard for years to gain recompense but they were tainted by a pro-Nazi past. Most of the rest is too Post-war to be of interest here. KW went on to become the original concern in what was later to become the Pentacon concern which, by the 1980's, had absorbed the East German side of Zeiss Ikon, Hugo Meyer, the Otto Schott und Genossen glassworks at Jena, and even mighty Carl Zeiss Jena. In the aftermath of the reunion of the Germanies, the real (West German) Zeiss brokered a deal to recover control of their former holdings, and so they got back most of what had been theirs, while "Sir John" got the Noblex works, a single factory where he produced a super wide-angle medium- format camera. Alas, once the parts on hand ran out, he went bankrupt.I grieve the death of any person but he was a strangely troubled man from a strangely troubled family and let it just sit at nil nisi bonum mortuis. Much as I feel a distaste for that ultimate Milquetoast, Cicero, his words work well here.Marc msmall@xxxxxxxxxxxx Cha robh bàs fir gun ghràs fir! --- Rollei List - Post to rollei_list@xxxxxxxxxxxxx - Subscribe at rollei_list-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with 'subscribe' in the subject field OR by logging into www.freelists.org - Unsubscribe at rollei_list-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with'unsubscribe' in the subject field OR by logging into www.freelists.org- Online, searchable archives are available at //www.freelists.org/archives/rollei_list
--- Rollei List - Post to rollei_list@xxxxxxxxxxxxx - Subscribe at rollei_list-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with 'subscribe' in the subject field OR by logging into www.freelists.org - Unsubscribe at rollei_list-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with 'unsubscribe' in the subject field OR by logging into www.freelists.org - Online, searchable archives are available at //www.freelists.org/archives/rollei_list