Local man, a Holocaust survivor, celebrates 100th birthday with event at Cincinnati Museum Center

Holocaust survivor Dr. Al Miller will celebrate his 100th birthday on Sunday with a community gathering at the Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center. Miller will share stories and reflections on his life, followed by a reception with cake.

Miller, a retired Hamilton optometrist, recently shared stories at an event at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts in Hamilton.

“Al Miller’s story is unique and inspiring, because you can get the experience and understand the history from multiple perspectives,” said Sarah Weiss, senior advisor at The Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center.

Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center will host a community birthday celebration at 4:30 p.m. Sunday in Reakirt Auditorium at Cincinnati Museum Center. In conversation with Weiss, Miller will share his story and reflections on living a meaningful life. Cake and refreshments will follow in the Union Terminal Rotunda.

The in-person event at Reakirt Auditorium is sold out, but a secondary viewing area at Union Terminal has been made available. Guests can also participate online via Zoom. To register for the event, go to https://www.holocaustandhumanity.org/event/turning-100-years-old-celebrating-and-reflecting-with-holocaust-survivor-al-miller/.

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.

“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,” said Dr. Al Miller.

Settling in Butler County, where he opened his medical practice and raised a family, Miller has continued to educate the public about the Holocaust. He has impacted countless lives all over the world with his poignant story.

Dr. Miller remembers being in Nazi Germany as the Nazi’s came to power, for example. His also shares his family’s story of escape. He and his family arrived in America during the Holocaust. Towards the end of World War II, Miller joined the American Army, and he was sent back to Germany as an interrogator.

“He came from German culture, understanding the rise of Nazism from a child’s perspective, experiencing the 1936 Olympics, experiencing his teachers aligning with Nazi ideology, escaping, and then, ultimately going back as an interrogator. It’s a remarkable journey. The way he remembers and tells his story is incredibly compelling,” 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 her untimely passing 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.

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, he 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’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.

For more information about Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center go online to www.holocaustandhumanity.org.

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