The three Tibor Kaldors
Tibor Kaldor one and Tibor Kaldor two.
These two men died in hospital in Wels Austria in 1945 and within days of each other, both after being liberated from the concentration camps.
It is not known if they were imprisoned together or father and son. The Kaldors’ paperwork is in German. Dates of their birth not known.
They died of Typhus, malnutrition and respiratory failure bought on by pneumonia. The hospitals would have been overwhelmed with concentration camp survivors.
The third Tibor Kaldor saw the war out otherwise. His papers give his birthdate as June 7th 1904, which puts him at thirty-four when the looming war pressed him to leave Vienna for London. These papers give his birthplace as Hungary, where he was born as Tibor Schoen. Kaldor later adopted from his father-in-law.
London soon locked him up. A thirty-four year old Hungarian arriving from Italy with no family and no wish to serve in the armed forces.
Perhaps Tibor was invited for a casual chat and cup of tea with someone other than a policeman during his lock-up. A man coming to see a thirty-four year old Hungarian who claimed a languages degree from the University of Vienna in 1933, preferred England rather than his home country and was headed to the Australian internment camps where he could be moved from one to another, depending on the circumstances.
Languages ! So easy to test. “How many do you have?”
Tibor was shipped out of the UK in 1940 on HT Dunera with hundreds of other refugees. A continental fruit salad of nations and ideologies all heading for Freemantle then east to the Hay and Tatura camps in Victoria. It is not known when Tibor was interned in Tatura.
In 1941 a couple of hundred refugees arrived in Tatura after embarking from Iran. The English Army was intent on removing any and every German they could lay their hands on in that country and the only industry in Iran that might have attracted a large contingent of Germans was the oil industry. Highly qualified engineers amongst them, men with the knowledge of oil production in Iran. Oil pipeline problem solvers. Oil production monitors.
Men who knew who was getting Iran’s oil in 1941. Men who knew where the pipelines were laid and were aware of Russia’s interest, their names. Russia and Germany were cosy in 1941, England only able to listen through the walls.
Who wouldn’t put a man in amongst them?
The multi-lingual Tibor, in and about the huts, dining room, concert hall, looking and listening.
Kaldor was released from Tatura in 1942 or 1944 – there is some confusion – then lived and worked in Melbourne before coming to Adelaide.
His end came quickly.
January. Applied for naturalisation.
September . Renounced his Austrian nationality.
October. Application passed.
December 6. Places a deposit for a stay at the Victoria Hotel, Adelaide.
December 11. Arrives hotel, books a stay until the 15th.
December 12th. Sunday.
December 13th. Writes and dates suicide letter.
December 14th. ‘I thought he was sleeping.’ Housekeeping.
“There was no other way out.”
The University of Vienna archives survived the war and when examined showed no Tibor Kaldor / Schoen had been enrolled.
Clive, thanks again. This is your yarn I’m spinning.
Updated 20 Feb.
The following image is of a Tatura class of youngsters with their two teachers: Wilhelm Frierl, top left, and Hans Wagner top right. The photograph was taken in 1945, well after Tibor was set adrift.
But there are some who don’t place such a forgiving eye on post-war paperwork. They think, possibly, almost unforgivably, that they are looking at Tibor on the left and our man Mr Keane on the right.
Image sourced here: