George Mueller ’53 came to America putting a horrific and painful past behind him, vowing to start fresh in this new country. A European concentration camp survivor, it wasn’t until he proposed to his wife at Lake Winona that he even admitted to her that he was Jewish.
At the age of 8, Mueller had seen his family’s home and business taken away. His father and uncle were detained by the SS (the black-uniformed corps of the German Nazi Party) for several weeks and died shortly thereafter. The last time he and his young sister saw his mother, Lucie, was on a cold, grey, February morning in 1939 in a railway station. She died in a concentration camp one month prior to its liberation by the Americans.
All told, Mueller and his younger sister, Ursula, spent time in three different concentration camps, the last of which was Bergen-Belsen.
Once George and Ursula’s uncle and aunt learned they were alive, they sent for the two children to come and live with them in America, and in 1950 Mueller came to Saint Mary’s where he kept his past a secret.
In 2003, he wrote and published “Lucie’s Hope,” a memoir of his experience during the Holocaust. Reflecting on his experience Mueller said, “I must say I’m glad I went to Saint Mary’s, because for the first time since I was 8 years old, I felt like a normal person.”