Tibor Horovitz (Tibi) was born in Hajduszovat, Hungary. Tibi was one of four children, three brothers and one sister. They were forced to wear a yellow star to show they were Jewish. Tibi with his siblings and mother were taken to a ghetto in Hungary. After the ghetto they were taken to a concentration camp by cattle car to Strasshof in Austria. In Strasshof, Tibi's hair was cut off, clothes and shoes were taken, and he was forced to walk to another camp, the 21st Lager. Coincidentally, his wife to be Livia, was in the 12th Lager. Every day all the children were given a different job to do. One of Tibi's jobs at age 11 was to pick up the rubble after the bombs went off. At some point, Tibi was taken to a more horrifying concentration camp, Mauthausen, where he saw many people die. Death was all around him. To keep warm, he had to sleep on top of about 55 dead bodies because the floor was so cold.
When the Germans realized that the Russians and Americans were coming to free the prisoners, they attempted to kill the remaining people but were not successful. Thankfully, Tibi, his parents and his siblings survived. The American soldiers liberated Tibi's family and they were told to return home. It took several weeks for them to walk all the way back home. Upon their arrival they were saddened to see that their house was destroyed, so they went to relatives and neighbors houses and received some food. But it was very difficult for Tibi's parents to support the whole family so his parents made the difficult decision to send some of their children to a Zionist boarding home created by a Jewish organization. The Zionist home was far from the parent's residence.
Tibi finished trade school to learn tool and die making. Then he went to Budapest where he landed a job. Tibi lived there for a few years with his relatives. When the Hungarian Revolution broke out, he escaped to Austria together with his cousin, George, who lived in Australia and just recently passed away. In addition, Tibi escaped with Livia, who later became his wife, and her friend who moved to Canada.
Tibor Horovitz (Tibi) married his wife Livia in 1957 in Austria while escaping together from Hungary to the United States, specifically New York, after knowing each other for just five weeks. He came to New York with only the clothes on his back and built a wonderful life for his wife and two daughters, Judy and Debbie. The couple initially lived in the Bronx in the same building as Livia's parents. They all saved up their money and put a down payment on a house in Rego Park, Queens, and lived together happily with their two daughters for many years.
Tibi owned a tool and die business. Upon its close he purchased a taxi medallion and cab and worked 12 to 14 hours a day to support his family. Many famous people were in Tibi's cab such as Eddie Fisher, Mohammed Ali, and Jackie Kennedy Onassis, just to name a few. He drove over two million miles throughout his taxi career. Tibi worked six days a week for 20 years so he could send money to his parents and family members in Hungary and Israel.
Tibi was known for his amazing sense of humor. He was constantly joking and very rarely sad. Unfortunately, sadness came upon him two years ago, when he lost his eldest daughter to ovarian cancer. This devastating loss was very difficult for Tibi and the whole family. But Tibi was a very strong and loving person and persevered for the surviving family which included his four grandchildren, Alex, Evan, Austin and Jared (who calls himself Mr. Horovitz, Jr.).
Tibi was a special and unique man. He was a wonderful husband who never told his wife no. Tibi was a devoted father and a caring grandfather. He was a very loyal friend and was liked by everyone who met him. He passed away on April 9th, 2020 at the age of 86. He will be greatly missed.