Wilhelm Abineri (R36367)
Elder son of Arnold Abineri (1884-1940s) and Ethel Whitmore (1888-1979), Wilhelm was born on 4 October 1909 in Tabriz and was an assistant merchant. He moved to Tehran at the end of 1940 to work in the German firm “Schlüter”. During the Second World War, in August 1941 the Germans were told to assemble at the German Embassy’s garden in Shimran, Tehran. Wilhelm took just one suitcase of possessions, leaving everything else behind. In mid-September they were told by the German Ambassador that there were two lists – one group to go with the Soviet Army and one to the British Army. He and his brother Edgar Abineri (R36366) were to go to the British and left Schimran for Ahwaz in the second group of men on 15th September. After an overnight stay in Ahwaz, sleeping on the railway platform they traveled by truck to Basra, Iraq.
After about four weeks in Basra which was a huge, temporary British Military interrogation tent camp, he was brought to Australia on the Rohna and then the Rangitiki, arriving in Adelaide, Australia on 19 November 1941. Interned at Loveday, South Australia, in Camp No. 10 until being transferred to the Camp No. 14 on 12 January 1944. At their arrival at Loveday, the camp was only half built, but he managed to get a room with a group of strangers.
At Loveday, Wilhelm worked in the camp canteen with Bruno Schmidt (R36748) (known to Lothar Böhmer as ‘Kantinen Schmidt’) and later worked in the gardens of the Australian troops. He and other internees from Persia were transferred to the Tatura Camp No. 1 in January 1945.
Wilhelm was released on 11 October 1946 to Healesville, Victoria and later married Winifred Drew in 1953. He died on 16 September 1996.
"Written by Doris Frank, L. Böhmer's daughter, 06/09/2020"
Tabriz, Iran, 1930s.