Skip to main content

Justin J. Mueller Collection

 Collection
Identifier: AR 10254

Scope and Content Note

This collection primarily documents the efforts of Justin Mueller, his mother Laura (née Zivi) Mueller, and the extended Zivi family to leave Muellheim (Baden), Germany in the late 1930s and early 1940s. It contains personal correspondence between the family members from this time period, as well as official correspondence and documentation such as visa applications and supporting affidavits. The collection also includes genealogical research on the Zivi family, as well as restitution correspondence, Laura Mueller's vital documents, and printed material, research, and correspondence about the Jewish community of Muellheim (Baden).

The collection also contains research and original materials about the family of Justin Mueller's wife, Hella née Rees (1924-1994). Documents relating to Alfred Rees (1882-1969), her father, include correspondence and documentation about his emigration from Italy to New York. The Reis family documents include, among other things, a Yahrzeit book for Amelie Reis (1850-1923). The alternate spellings of the last name are because at some point after arriving in the United States, Alfred changed the spelling of his name from Reis to Rees.

This collection also contains other items of German-Jewish interest donated by Justin Mueller, such as clippings, printed material, and copies of newspaper and scholarly articles, primarily about Jews in southern Germany and Switzerland, and a five crown bill from the Theresienstadt concentration camp.

Dates

  • 1890-2005
  • Majority of material found within 1936-1942

Creator

Language of Materials

This collection is in German and English, with some French, Hebrew, Italian, and Spanish.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open to researchers.

Access Information

Collection is digitized. Follow the links in the Container List to access the digitized materials.

Biographical Note

Justin J. Mueller (1923- ) was born to Laura Mueller (née Zivi) (1899-1983) and Willy Mueller (1893-2000) in Lechenich, Prussia (near Cologne). The marriage dissolved in 1926, and Justin, with his mother, moved in with his grandparents Gustave Zivi (1867-1942) and Caroline Zivi (née Bloch, 1867-1948), in Muellheim (Baden). His uncle Hugo Zivi's (1897-1974) family also lived there. In late 1935, the Gestapo came to question Laura Mueller about her friends and associates, and she resolved to emigrate immediately. By June 1936 she and Justin were in New York, living with her aunt Babette Bloch.

After Kristallnacht in November 1938, Gustave, Caroline, and Hugo Zivi's family attempted to leave Germany. The Zivi children were sent to France, and the rest of the family soon followed. Once in France, they spent time in the camps at Gurs and Les Milles before finally leaving from Marseille and arriving in New York in April 1942. Fortunately for the Zivis, many of Gustave and Caroline's siblings had emigrated to the United States long ago, settling in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, which made obtaining affidavits from US citizens in support of their emigration from Germany somewhat easier.

Justin Mueller later married Hella née Rees (1924-1994), and settled in Vermont.

For more information about the Zivi family, see also the article The Zivis of Muellheim, by Justin J. Mueller, in Stammbaum, Issue 29 (2006).

Extent

1 Linear Feet

Abstract

This collection primarily documents the efforts of Justin Mueller, his mother Laura (née Zivi) Mueller, and the extended Zivi family to leave Muellheim (Baden), Germany in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Also included are genealogical research on the Zivi family, materials about the family of Justin Mueller's wife, Hella Rees Mueller, and items of general German-Jewish interest donated by Mueller.

Related Material

LBI holds the following related collections and memoirs:
  1. The Muellheim Jewish Community Collection, AR 10138
  2. "... damit das Land von solch schaedlichen Insassen wenigst in kuenftigen Zeiten gesaeubert werden koenne". Von den bitteren Erfahrungen der Muellheimer Juden in den Jahren 1750-1850, MS 524
  3. The Jews in the villages of present-day Erftstadt, MS 556
  4. Father-in-law Alfred Rees's Memoirs & Notes, 1814-1969 ME 993
For more information about the Zivi family, see also the article The Zivis of Muellheim, by Justin J. Mueller, in Stammbaum, Issue 29 (2006).

Separated Material

Two cookbooks (Ausfuehrliches Kochbuch fuer die einfache und feine juedische Kueche unter Beruecksichtigung aller rituellen Vorschriften and Kochbuch der Haushaltungs- und Kochschule des Badischen Frauenvereins) were removed to the LBI Library; photocopies of dedication and title pages are found in Box 2, Folder 7. Other printed material was also removed to library.

Most photographs were removed to the LBI Photograph collection; one video was removed to the LBI AV collection. A handwritten German memoir by Mueller's father-in-law Alfred Rees, the digitized German typescript and English translation of which is found at ME 993, was removed to the memoir collection.

Processing Information

Multiple addenda were rearranged into series, with the aid of a thorough box inventory prepared by Eva Englaender. Envelopes and duplicates were removed. Some poor condition clippings were copied and discarded.
Title
Guide to the Justin Mueller (1923- ) Collection Undated, 1890-2005 , bulk 1936-1942 AR 10254
Status
In Progress
Author
Processed by Kevin Schlottmann
Date
© 2011
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Sponsor
as part of the Leon Levy Archival Processing Initiative, made possible by the Leon Levy Foundation

Revision Statements

  • November 21, 2013 : Links to digital objects added in Container List.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

Contact:
15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States