Robert Miksa was born in 1924 in Chicago to a Catholic family. His father’s generosity influenced him to help people throughout his life. In 1942, he felt an obligation to contribute to his country and enlisted in the army. Robert received his basic training in Texas and fought in a number of battles including D-Day and Battle of the Bulge. He was highly decorated for his service.
Robert had almost no advance knowledge of the concentration camp that he liberated. He arrived at Nordhausen and saw that there were no guards, and the people that crawled out were emaciated, with sunken eyes. The barracks smelled vile and dead bodies were strewn about. There were less than a few hundred survivors left. Robert met a Polish soldier who informed him that the people were told to take a shower, and then they were gassed. Robert was horrified. The citizens of the village (who claimed ignorance of the camp) were forced to dig graves for the dead.
Robert learned that Nordhausen was a labor camp to make V-1 and V-2 missiles for Hitler. The mortality rate there was higher than any other camp. Upon liberation, Werner von Braun, mastermind of the missiles, and a hundred of his colleagues were captured and brought back to the States.
In 1945, after the war ended, Robert left the army and went to Cicero, Illinois. He worked in the meat business and became a baker for thirty-nine years. He married and had a daughter and son.