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Exterior view of the Muller home in Diemeringen, Alsace.

Photograph | Digitized | Photograph Number: 55067

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    Exterior view of the Muller home in Diemeringen, Alsace.
    Exterior view of the Muller home in Diemeringen, Alsace.

    Overview

    Caption
    Exterior view of the Muller home in Diemeringen, Alsace.
    Date
    Circa 1930 - 1939
    Locale
    Diemeringen, [Alsace] France
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Miriam Gross

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: Miriam Gross

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Biography
    Miriam Gross (born Miriam Muller) is the daughter of Matthieu Muller (b. August 13, 1895 in Diemeringen, Alsace) and Alice Bauer (b. November 25, 1903 in Avignon). He had one brother Camille. Miriam was born on October 20, 1928 in Paris where her father Matthieu was a lawyer. He also served as president of the French branch of the Orthodox Jewish organization, the Agudat Yisrael. She had four sisters: Florine (later Klein, b. January 1927), Judith (later Schwartzman, b. March 23, 1933), Edith (later Bloch, b. January 24, 1937) and Noemie (later Schoenthal, b. February 19, 1938). The family was orthodox, but the children attended public schools. Matthieu Muller became very well known as he was involved in one of the libel trials against the Nazi publicist, Julius Streicher. All of the other lawyers involved were killed, and Miriam's mother was very worried about their safety. In either 1939 or 1940, the family left Paris for their summer home in Blancheface. They had purchased it in 1937 as they wanted a place that was far away from any railroad so as to feel safe from danger. They remained there until the Germans entered Belgium in May 1940. They lived there with both sets of grandparents, aunts and uncles on both sides and cousins. Altogether there were ten children there. Mathieu was not mobilized into the French army although his two brothers were. From there they left and stayed in a castle in the Pyrenees only ten kilometers from the Spanish border just in case they needed to escape. Miriam remembers churning butter with her siblings and other children living there. Since the family lived in the countryside they always managed to obtain enough food. In November 1942 they crossed into Switzerland with the help of a guide who was a convent gardener of a convent. This person later was deported to Auschwitz.

    They were sent to a camp in Geneva where they remained until February 1943 and then left for a village (Mosbad) in the Alps. Matthieu had a colleague in Switzerland before the war who helped them get out of the refugee camp. Afterwards, Matthieu moved to Geneva where he became acquainted with George Mandel-Mantello, a Hungarian Jew who had fled to Switzerland and was working as first secretary to the Salvadoran consul. Muller maintained his connection to the Agudah, and he approached Mantello on their behalf seeking Salvadoran passports for friends and relatives under Nazi occupation. Though Mantello could not create passports he agreed to provide Salvadoran citizenship papers to anyone who wanted them. Muller worked in Mantello's office and helped produce the thousands of certificates over the next two years. Miriam, though still quite helped her father type up the certificates. After the war, the Muller family returned to France, and Miriam eventually moved to Israel.
    Record last modified:
    2011-11-10 00:00:00
    This page:
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