Eric Muller

eric-muller

I teach law at the University of North Carolina School of Law and am the Director of the Center for Faculty Excellence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

I write about the imprisonment of Japanese and Japanese Americans in the United States during World War II.  In addition to a number of articles on the subject, I’ve published three books:  Free to Die for their Country: The Story of the Japanese American Draft Resisters in World War II (University of Chicago Press 2001); American Inquisition: The Hunt for Japanese American Disloyalty in World War II (University of North Carolina Press 2007); and Colors of Confinement: Rare Kodachrome Photographs of Japanese American Incarceration in World War II (University of Chicago Press 2012).

I’m a proud member of the Board of Directors of the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation, a Wyoming non-profit that’s dedicated to preserving and interpreting the site of the Heart Mountain Relocation Center in northwest Wyoming, where over 14,000 people of Japanese ancestry were imprisoned between 1942 and 1945.  Overseeing the creation of an award-winning permanent exhibition at the Interpretive Center at the site is one of my proudest accomplishments.

Today I am an occasional blogger at The Faculty Lounge.  From 2003 to 2009, I maintained a solo blog called “IsThatLegal?”  Content from that blog is no longer housed at isthatlegal.org.  If you’re looking for that content, you can find it archived here.

There are two series of blog posts I’ve written that received some attention when I published them and continue to draw some interest.  The first I did with Professor Greg Robinson in the late summer of 2004; it was a series of posts critiquing a just-published book by Fox News personality and blogger Michelle Malkin defending the imprisonment of Japanese Americans.  That series is now archived here:  Muller and Robinson on Malkin.

The other is a series of posts that I have written about my great-uncle Leopold Müller.  Leopold was a German Jew who was deported from his home in Bad Kissingen, Germany, and murdered by the Nazis in Poland, in the spring of 1942. My parents gave me the middle name of Leigh in his memory.  I have spent time over the years trying to learn as much as possible about his life and death.  The posts on that subject are gathered here.

11 thoughts on “Eric Muller

  1. Samuel A. Abady

    Prof. Muller,

    I was moved by your article in Tablet, http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-life-and-religion/150785/kristallnacht-german-scam?all=1, about the search for your great uncle Leo and the heartlessness of a German scam artist willing to exploit you.

    I am Sephardic on my father’s side and German on my mother’s side. Her family name was Friedman, and her mother was a Shuster. Years ago, a Shuster cousin she did not know reached out and sent her an extensive typewritten list of Shuster family members who perished in the Holocaust. I could not locate that document among her papers after her death. It has always eaten away at me that these ancestors have been consigned to “oblivion” as you so put it so eloquently.

    Did you ever pursue the matter with the German authorities? I’m no expert on German law, but would not be surprised if criminal prohibitions on trading in Nazi memorabilia or promoting Nazism applied. You should file a complaint with the federal police.

    Samuel A. Abady, J.D.
    95 Desmond Avenue
    Bronxville, New York 10708
    (914) 337-7377
    E-mail: samabady@optonline.net

    Reply
  2. Walter Davis

    Report Susanne to German and American authorities! You have nothing to lose and a possibilty to recover a fraud that was perpetrated not merelyon you but on all holocaust victims.

    Reply
  3. Debbie Stueber

    Eric,

    I just read your article on tablet magazine’s website…….i’m so sorry for the trouble you went through and nothing to come out of it. I would give anything to have more information on my grandparents that perished at Auschwitz.

    Reply
  4. Andrzej Solecki

    I have just read in tabletmag your bitter story of a scam perpetrated by a Susanne who took advantage of your attempts to find some material on your great-uncle.

    It is so understandable, for we are very vulnerable when under emotional stress – and on the other hand, so strange that you have not realized early enough that there had been fishy elements in the story. Accept my words of sympathy. Also, I’d say that scams can be successful when they do not seem to be scams. But they can appear coming from any country, be it Nigeria, Germany or Fiji.

    There is one element in your story that troubles me, a a Pole. You say there (and repeat it here) that your great-uncle met his end in Poland in 1942. Listen, my observation is in no way directed to suggest that Poles had been just innocent victims in WWII. I know only too well how many murders on Jews were committed by ordinary Poles during the war and I am a careful reader of studies of Polish authors (Jan Gross, Anna Bikont, Joanna Tokarska-Bakir, Jan Grabowski, to start with) that show the extent and the background of the crimes of my compatriots. Still, there was no country called Poland in 1942. It is a rather delicate point. Part of the Polish State was incorporated into IIIrd Reich, another became Generalgouvernement, a German colony. There were no traces of Polish administration there, so using in this context the term “Poland” you might lead astray many readers who are not well read in the history of XX c.

    Reply
  5. keith richardson

    I’m very sorry that you have been robbed, I think that it is disgusting that people are still being robbed many years after the Shoah. I would suggest that you post a newsletter in “Suzanne’s” local paper informing people of what this person has done and if you have any other information about this person i.e address etc disclose it and let people know what a disgusting creature this person is. I know that vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord but this person should be brought to account. I’m very very angry that people like this are on earth!

    Reply
  6. Manny Vider

    I felt the joy and pain in your search for Uncle Leopold, I sense the frustration and disappointment of having to deal with such a person. I am a son of holocaust survivors and I have never stopped searching for a glimpse of my families past. I am enriched by having read your story and your quest for an answer in hopes of finding the possible truth to uncle Leopolds murder. We both know that those souls that the Nazi’s attempted to erase from history will always live on God’s heaven. Thank you for courage in sharing you’re story. Manny Vider – American Jewish War Veterans – Photo Journalist. (631)896-1999 Dix Hills , New York

    Reply
  7. Nardo Bonomi Braverman

    Dear Eric,
    I was informed by the Jewish Gen Discussion Group about the scam in wich you felt.
    I am very sorry forr that.

    >the truth is that I put too much of myself into searching for something,
    I have probably your same anxiety.
    My father born in 1930 and died few days ago never knew about some facts that I discovered interviewing wittneses and digging into archives in Italy, Croazia, Ukraine, Romania etc.
    In my years of researches (we have probably the same ages) I unveiled orrible deeds and very noble actions.
    But I discovered two branches of my family that were lost during the Shoah.

    Good luck
    Nardo (author of )

    Reply
  8. Joan Elkon

    Eric,
    Most interesting that my late father, and his father lived in Frankfurt-am-Main, and were taken to Buchenwald the day after Kristalnacht….
    Would like to hear from from you as to where your family lived in Franfurt….
    Joan Elkon

    Reply

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