"Dancing through the minefields"
Miroslav (Fred) Schiller was born on Jan. 3, 1910 in Zagreb, Yugoslavia (now Croatia). He became a jazz musician and traveled throughout Europe and the Mediterranean. He returned to Zagreb to witness the beginnings of the Nazi rise to power. Shortly after, he fled to Split, Yugoslavia (now Croatia) which was in the Italian zone of occupation. Because they were in danger of deportation, his parents soon joined him. Because of a flood of refugees, the Italian authorities dispersed the refugees to islands in the Adriatic Sea. Schiller and his parents were sent to the island of Korcula. Towards the end of World War II, they traveled to Bari and reached the mainland in Oct. 1943. Once there, Schiller worked as a liason officer for the British. When the British moved north, he became an interpreter for the American Air Force and then later the British Army. He later moved to Rome, Italy, where he worked for the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) and then the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. He obtained a visa for the Dominican Republic, which necessitated a stopover in New York. He thought that any stay in the United States would increase his chances of obtaining an American immigration quota number. Eventually he did receive a quota number, and once he became an American citizen, he brought his parents to the United States as well.
Schiller, Mr. Fred
The memoir was completed by Fred Schiller and Janic Blumberg in 1991. A copy was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Archives on 17 Dec. 1991.
Consists of a copy of "Dancing through the minefields," a typescript memoir by Fred Schiller and Janice Blumberg. The memoir describes Schiller's early life in Yugoslavia, his career as a jazz musician, his flight from Yugoslavia after the establishment of the Nazi-Ustashi (Ustaša) government, his experiences as a refugee on various Yugoslav islands in the Adriatic Sea, his service with the United States Army, and his immigration to the United States in 1948.