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ina harvey and jewish custom

When I was a callow youth roaming the streets of Bondi I had a friend whose parents came from Hungary and one day I witnessed the husband making up to his wife after a row. They were inside the house at the time, she was sitting on a chair in the living room, I was on the other side of a window with their son, in the garden, not really listening.

The husband, a distinguished, white-haired fellow came into the room and offered his wife a small porcelain vase of flowers.

She accepted the vase and his kiss on her cheek. Then he turned and left the room. She put the vase down on a table by her side and raised a handkerchief to her eyes.



From the left, second flute (pic lifted from GC’s site)

I always had trouble with some of Ina Harvey’s account of a very tired, distraught, well spoken, distinguished caucasian male who didn’t murder the King’s English and who spent a few days in the Strathmore Hotel in late November 1948 when she was the receptionist. The fellow who never went into the bar, the chap with only a musician’s small black case. The case with a flute needle inside and no flute. Ina had her man take a peek.

Ina said they had several conversations, so the fellow must have spent some time in the hotel lobby sitting around.

Then there was his gift to her when he departed. A small box of powder with blue markings.

What sort of bloke would do that in Australia in 1948? Nobody born here, I can vouch for that. Flowers if you’re lucky.


A small box of powder with blue markings by Google

Liane Marie lives in Tel Aviv, Israel and has a site called Book Ba Shuk. Liane says that it’s common for Jewish guests to give their hosts a small item, such as a vase.

So maybe that’s the sort of bloke who would do that in Australia.

A Jewish ex-internee who played the flute.

Gordon C, I have to ask – the little guy fourth from left – that’s not Tibor, is it?


12 Comments Post a comment
  1. I’ll check that out and get back later today..

    October 4, 2016
  2. W. Schumaker is number 4:

    A dance orchestra composed of German internees of No. 1 Camp, Tatura Internment Group. Pictured, left to right: R36611 Hans Krumpeter; R36467 Otto Fritsch; N1090 Helmuth Keil; N1013 W. Schumacher; N1380 Theo Junge; R36386 Hans Barth; Adolf Bergenhoff; R36413 Carl von Brandenstein; R36651 Rudolf Metzler; N1072 W. W. A. Otto. Prefix R indicates apprehended by the British Military Forces in Iran. Prefix N indicates apprehended in South Australia.

    October 4, 2016
  3. I think all of them are worth following up for various reasons. Quite a few more to go 🙂

    October 4, 2016
  4. Clive #

    Blue box with (talc?) gift from a stranger. The more you think about Ina’s remarks “looked a beaten man”, “good looking he was not” etc; the more that Tibor Kaldor comes to mind. And both the Victoria and Strathmore Hotels are less than 5 mins walk from each other. Perhaps the “flute” case was, in Tibor’s eyes, his smaller suitcase? Did TK and the SM both know each other? SM was betrayed and TK’s death was made to look like suicide? Quite a melodramatic thesis-as someone once said.

    October 6, 2016
    • What are the chances Jessica knew both of them?

      October 6, 2016
  5. Gordon/Clive – The only thing I could find was what Clive found but I couldn’t open the divorce record. If I remember correctly it was 1962. It showed up on google search but the file was not accessible to me…That’s why I didn’t post. That and the fact that I’ve gotten pulled right down into another never ending trail of research (a different rabbit hole) that will most likely lead to … nothing as usual. : (

    October 7, 2016
  6. Thanks Misca! Hope all is well otherwise. We have another profile for the weekend, a very interesting bloke at that, espionage history etc.

    October 7, 2016
  7. Hello Gordon! Does your weekend profile man have a name?

    October 8, 2016
  8. Yes, next update but seeing as it’s you, Louis Reese. Name altered from Louis Reise, full name later but this is him for now. Though he is not SM, I am sure you’ll find him interesting.

    October 8, 2016
  9. : )

    October 9, 2016

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