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Rudy Michaels

»I have always had more guts than brains. I was never really afraid. And one of the ironic things is that our dog tags, our official dog tags that these geniuses in the Pentagon gave us, had a ‘J’ on for religious preference.
Now you can only shake your head, when you think back on that.«


Born in 1916 in East Prussia, Rudolf Michaels grows up in Leipzig, Germany. Being Jewish, he is not allowed to enter university; therefore, he starts an apprenticeship in a bank after finishing school. In 1938 he leaves Germany and emigrates to the USA alone. After the Kristallnacht his family is able to escape to England.

In 1941 Rudolf Michaelis, who changed his last name to Michaels, is drafted into the U.S. Army. In the beginning of 1944 he arrives in Camp Ritchie and after his training there he lands in France with the 5th US Armored Division in summer the same year where he is soon recognized for his successful interrogations.

In fall 1945, Rudolf returns to the USA and studies law. He graduates as Doctor Juris, works as a lawyer and professor at law school and finally becomes a judge. He now lives in Sacramento.