Arnold Abineri was born in 1884 in Vienna, Austria. He met and married his wife Ethel Whitmore (1888-1979) in England in 1908. They travelled to Persia where he became an Austrian consular agent in Tabriz.
He was taken prisoner and interned by Russians during the World War I. His wife and two sons (Wilhelm and Edgar) travelled to England after the war and lived with family. The Abineri family was reunited in Vienna where their daughter Gladys (1924-1991) was born in January 1924.
In 1927 they returned again to Persia. Arnold remained in a consular position until the ‘Anschluss’ (annexation of Austria to Germany) in 1938.
After the invasion of Iran in August 1941, he was one of the 60 men taken by the Soviet army to Qazvin (and then to the Siberian camps) according to a list provided by Erwin Ettel, German ambassador in Tehran to the International Red Cross on 17 February 1942.
In a Virginia Newspaper article (1968), Gladys says her father Arnold should have been spared internment as he was over 65 years of age, however the Russians ended up taking every 10th man, regardless.
He was not heard from again, with a suggested date of death as 1945. A later article published in The Red Creek Herald (1950) confirms his passing without details such as a date of death.
Ethel, Gladys and Edgar’s first wife Maria Abineri are on the list of the 412 women and children who returned to Vienna and Germany on 17 September 1941.
"Written by Doris Frank, L. Böhmer's daughter, 06/09/2020"
Arnold Abineri and Ethel Whimore, Tabriz, Iran, 1912.