Chaim Miler came from a large family. He was deported on transport IX which stopped in Kosel. He got off and was selected for forced labor. Chaim died in Buchenwald a few months before the end of World War II.
Chaim Miler was born on May 15, 1915 in Baltz, Romania. He came from a large family, consisting of his father Ghersch Miler (born 1882 in Baltz), mother Malka Schneider (born 1889 in Valesti) and five brothers: Joseph, Isaac, Mordka, Abraham and David. Like Chaim, David and Mordka were also born in Romania in contrary to Joseph, Isaac and Abraham who were born in Antwerp. Chaim was the second child. In 1921, Chaim arrived in Belgium with his parents and brothers. They then lived at Lentestraat 20 in Antwerp. After 15 years Chaim moved to Rue des Champs 87 in Liège where he stayed barely a year. In November 1937 he went to live in Antwerp again, this time at Leeuwerikstraat 1. He continued to live in Antwerp but moved to Lange Kievitstraat 139.
Chaim earned his living as a barber. He was also a member of the Jewish sports organization Hapoel, the Jewish Socialist Party and later the Jewish Workers’ Sports Club (J.A.S.K.). In May 1940, Nazi Germany invaded Belgium. Chaim obeyed the anti-Jewish laws of the occupation authorities. On December 30, 1940, he registered in the municipal Register of Jews, and on March 24, 1942, he became a member of the Jewish Association. Chaim registered himself, along with Lea Simon, who lived at the same address. Lea, born on January 13, 1915 in Antwerp and a seamstress by profession, was presumably his partner. They were possibly religiously married.
Together they had a daughter, Dora Simon, who was born on January 15, 1941 in Antwerp. Lea and Dora were placed on transport XII that departed from the Dossin Barracks to Auschwitz-Birkenau on October 10, 1942. They were both murdered.
Chaim was arrested during the third raid in Antwerp which, unlike the previous raids, took place in broad daylight. The third raid in Antwerp also took place on an significant day for the Jews: the Jewish New Year. After his arrest, he was put on transport IX under the number 366, which departed from the Dossin Barracks towards Auschwitz-Birkenau on September 12, 1942. His brother Mordka, a prisoner from Breendonk, was also placed on transport IX. Afterwards, Chaim’s other brothers Joseph, Isaac and Abraham and his mother Malka Schneider were put on another transport from the Dossin Barracks to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Chaim’s youngest brother David died in August 1935 in the Sint-Elisabethgasthuis in Antwerp. His father, Ghersch Miler, died in 1938. The circumstances of both deaths are unknown to us. Transport IX stopped at Kosel, a station a few dozen kilometers before Auschwitz, where imprisoners fit for work were driven from the train. They were taken to labour camps in the area. Chaim was also selected for forced labour. After years of imprisonment, he ended up in Buchenwald where he died in February, a few months before the end of World War II.
ADRIAENS Ward, STEINBERG Maxime (et al.), Mecheln-Auschwitz, 1942-1944. The destruction of Jews and gypsies from Belgium, 4 volumes (volume 1), Brussels, 2009.