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Müller, Moritz (1887-1944) | Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust

Name: Müller, Moritz (1887-1944)
Variant Name: Mueller, Moritz


Historical Note:

Moritz Müller was born on January 11, 1887, the youngest of four children. Shortly after his birth, the family moved to Prague, where Müller grew up. He started taking private classes in drawing during his childhood and, having shown great talent, Müller later went on to the Prague Academy of Fine Arts. While he did not paint for a living, he was constantly in contact with the art world. In Prague, Müller opened a private school for drawing and enrolled in the Mánes Artists Association. After World War I, he established an auction hall for arts in one of Prague’s liveliest cultural and social centers.

Müller is recorded as being popular and well-liked among both Czech and German art collectors, as well as among the artists themselves. After Nazi occupation, his auction hall was robbed and closed, and Müller began to work for the Prague Jewish Community, appraising the art objects from the confiscated Jewish properties.

On July 8, 1943, Müller was deported as "passenger" 424 on Transport Dh to Theresienstadt, where he spent the last fourteen months of his life. Despite his background as a professional artist, he was not assigned in the ghetto art workshops or in the technical department, as with many of the other artists. Rather, he worked as an orderly in the urological ward of Dr. Kurt Weiner in the engineer barracks.

While at Theresienstadt, Müller produced, at minimum, five hundred works of art, many of which were portraits of the ill, crippled, and dying--some beauteous, some witty, some shocking. During his first few months at Theresienstadt, Müller drew at least one picture a day, often more. As his internment continued, however, he drew less, each picture taking more time. Every picture has been dated by Müller, the last of which was was dated August 16, 1944.

On October 1, 1944, as "passenger" 535 on Transport Em, Müller was deported to Auschwitz, where he was believed to be gassed to death on October 3, 1944, which is the day the transport arrived.

Sources:

Czech, Danuta. Auschwitz Chronicle, 1939-1945. 1990.

International Tracing Service (ITS), Master Index, M-230.

Moritz Müller (1887-1944): Terezínský Portrét. Terezin: Terezin Ghetto Museum, 1992.

Terezínská pamĕtní kniha: Zidovske obeti nacisticy deportaci z Cech a Moravy, 1941-1945. Prague: Terezínskí Iniciativa, 1995.

Testimony Art of the Holocaust. Yad Vashem, Jerusalem: The Art Museum, 1986.



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