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Max Milner

Arrived in Britain:
Place of Birth:
Born:
30 June 1936
Mode of Arrival:
Sent by his parents

Interview Summary:

Max Milner was born in Berlin in 1918. He was the second of three children. His father was from Lemberg (Lviv) and mother from Berlin. Max had an orthodox upbringing and attended Jewish schools. In June 1936 he was sent to Aryeh House, a Jewish Boarding school in Brighton, where he matriculated in January 1937. He returned briefly to Berlin and in September 1937 he joined Edinburgh University to study engineering. 

The rest of his family emigrated to Palestine. He was interned in May 1940 at Huyton and joined the Pioneer Corps in Oct 1940. In ca1942 he joined the RAOC and then REME as an engineer. He was responsible for maintaining and repairing the new anti-aircraft guns with predictors at Woolwich. He was sent to Belgium in 1944 and was in Germany at the end of the war. He was demobbed in 1946. 

Max married Ruby Ockrent from Edinburgh in 1942. He found a job with GEC and they settled in Birmingham.

Pestalozzi Street [Synagogue]. And I’ve actually been back there and it got destroyed by the Germans during Kristallnacht. They burnt the synagogues and it has been reconstructed practically from drawings always the same; it was a very eerie feeling, I know I’m jumping, but the history of it was a very eerie feeling, because it looked the same but it wasn’t the same, because it was different; and actually it was on a Shabbat morning service, and I could sit on my father’s seat where he used to sit but of course nobody in the synagogue had any connection. They were all strangers, completely different, and it struck me, I’m probably the only one here who has been to this synagogue, been going to this synagogue as a boy, with my father, all these years.

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@ AJR Refugee Voices 2020

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