Holocaust survivor, who is turning 100, to speak this week in Hamilton

Fitton Center hosts ‘Celebrating Self’ luncheon featuring Dr. Al Miller.

HAMILTON — Holocaust survivor Dr. Al Miller will make an appearance at the Fitton Center this week as part of the “Celebrating Self” luncheon series.

“Dr. Al Miller is remarkable man with an incredible family and an amazing story to tell. As he turns 100, we want to celebrate him and those he served with in service of this great nation,” said Ian MacKenzie-Thurley, executive director at the Fitton Center.

Miller was born in Berlin, Germany, in 1922. He survived under the Nazi regime until he left Germany alone for Switzerland as a young teen in 1937.

After making his way to the United States, Miller served in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1946. Because of his ability to speak German, he was trained in intelligence at Fort Ritchie in Maryland and then sent back to Germany to serve.

Miller continues to share his story of how he survived the Holocaust, eventually settling in Butler County, where he opened his medical practice and raised a family. Miller has continued to educate the public about the Holocaust.

“According to a recent poll, at least one in two Americans living today have no idea of The Holocaust. They’ve never heard of it, so that’s very regrettable. On the other hand, I can understand, when I talk to kids, why that came about,” Miller said.

Through the Coppel Speaker’s Bureau at the Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center, Miller speaks on average to more than 5,000 students, educators, and community members each year.

Sarah Weiss, senior advisor at The Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center said Miller’s story is prominently featured at The Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center’s museum at Union Terminal – the site where many survivors arrived in Cincinnati to rebuild their lives after the war.

“Al’s words are really important to understanding the history and the lessons. Al, just like the museum, really inspires us to think about what do we do with the past? And what do we do with this history?” Weiss said.

Miller practiced optometry in Hamilton on E Street for more than 40 years until his retirement. He was married to his wife, Jane, for nearly 70 years until death in 2020 from complications of the coronavirus. The Millers raised three sons Fred (Robin), Randy (Barbara) and Ron, and have five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Dr. Miller will celebrate his 100th birthday on Nov. 20.

At the front of the Fitton Center, there is a sculpture of two hands holding a child, called “New Life Out of the Ashes” by artist Steffi Friedman. The sculpture is a memorial to the Holocaust, and it was a gift from the Miller family many years ago.

How to go

What: “Celebrating Self” with Holocaust Survivor Dr. Al Miller

When: 11:30 a.m. Wednesday

Where: The Fitton Center for Creative Arts, 101 S. Monument Ave., Hamilton

Cost: Tickets for the event are $19 for members; $25 for non-members. The luncheon speaker series will include a buffet lunch and local live music. Tickets are available in advance at the Fitton Center or online.

More info: www.fittoncenter.org or (513) 863-8873 ext. 110.

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