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The Mueller family hikes in the Alps.

Photograph | Digitized | Photograph Number: 80602

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    The Mueller family hikes in the Alps.
    The Mueller family hikes in the Alps.

Left to right are Norbert, unidentified, Suse, Laura and Sebald Mueller.

    Overview

    Caption
    The Mueller family hikes in the Alps.

    Left to right are Norbert, unidentified, Suse, Laura and Sebald Mueller.
    Date
    1931 - 1933
    Locale
    [Alps Mountains]
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Norman Miller

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: Norman Miller

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Biography
    Norman Albert Miller (born Norbert Mueller) is the son of Sebald Mueller (b. April 17, 1892) and Laura Juengster Mueller (b. Oct 17. 1898). Norbert was born on June 2, 1924 in Tann in der Rhon, a small town in Hessen where his mother's family had lived there for centuries. Norbert had one younger sister Susanne born on October 11, 1925. The family was Orthodox. Sebald was a teacher in the Jewish school in Tann as well as a serious amateur musician. Around 1930 the family moved to Nuremberg where Sebald taught Jewish studies in the school of the city's main Jewish congregation and taught religion to Jewish pupils in the public schools in Nuremberg. After first attending school in Nuremberg, Norbert attended the Jewish high school in Furth. On the night of Kristallnacht, on November 9, 1938, Nazis entered and ransacked the Mueller's home and destroyed the furniture and musical instruments. Soon afterwards, the family had to move to a designated Jewish building. The family also began to actively seek ways to emigrate, applied for American quota numbers and registered Norbert and Susanne for the Kindertransport. Norbert also took a class in welding so that he would have a useful skill once he emigrated. Another Jewish boy attended the same class. His father had been arrested during Kristallnacht and could only be released from concentration camp if the family promised to leave Germany. That family decided to go to England while awaiting their American visas and offered to take Norbert with them. In August 1939, Norbert and his father accompanied this family and took a train to Wuerzburg to catch an express train to Holland. Norbert did not have the right papers to go so he could have been stopped at the border. However the train was delayed causing him to miss the connection. Norbert and his father stopped in Cologne and discovered that a Kindertransport group was assembling there en route to England. Norbert's father managed to obtain permission from the British consulate in Cologne and arranged for Norbert to join the transport which left Germany on August 29, 1939. After arriving in London just two days before the start of World War II, Norbert was directed to Rabbi Munk who sent him to a home for refugee boys in Croydon. He later moved to East London and stayed at the home of another rabbi. Norbert used his new welding skills to find work in various machine shops. For the next year and a half Norbert corresponded regularly with his parents, sister and grandmother. Once the war broke out there was no regular mail service between England and Germany, so the Muellers corresponded first via an uncle in Belgium, and after Belgium was invaded by Germany in May 1940, via relatives in the United States. His family desperately wanted to leave Germany but was unwilling to leave his elderly grandmother behind. The last letter Norbert received was dated, May 1941. After the war, Norbert learned that in November 1941, his parents, sister and grandmother were deported to the Jungfrauhof Camp in Riga, Latvia. They were killed there on March 26, 1942 as part of a mass execution.

    Though still officially classified as a friendly alien of enemy origin, Norbert wanted to enlist in the British armed forces. As soon as he joined the army, Norbert officially changed his name to Norman Albert Miller. In early 1945 he was sent to Belgium with a unit of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. He first served as an infantryman, but once his unit realized he was a native German speaker, they moved him to headquarters to do intelligence. His battalion worked its way to northern Germany and was in Hamburg at the time of surrender. Among its tasks was to control traffic on the bridges. One day, a limousine tried to pass. The German police stated that everyone's papers were all in order, but Norman also examined the papers and immediately realized that one of the passengers was none other than Artur Seysss-Inquart, Reich Commissar of the Netherlands. Norman secured his arrest, and Seyss-Inquart was later tried and found guilty at the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg and executed. Norman remained in Germany for two years and finally became a British citizen in 1947. He returned to England but soon left for Canada with a friend. After a year and a half he moved to New York to stay with an aunt and uncle. There he met and married another German Jewish emigrant, Ingeborg Sommer.
    Record last modified:
    2014-06-06 00:00:00
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