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Victor Cohn * 1888
Brahmsallee 8 (Eimsbüttel, Harvestehude)
Victor Cohn, born 4/1/1988 in Görlitz, emigrated to Italy, Albania and France, deported from Drancy, France, to Auschwitz on 9/9/1942
Thekla Cohn, née Simson, born 1/14/1896 in Danzig, emigrated to Italy, Albania and France, deported from Drancy, France, to Auschwitz on 9/9/194
Victor Cohn, born April 1888 in Görlitz, was the son of the merchant Bernhard Cohn (born 1862 in Wollstein/Posen) and his wife Helene (Lene), née Reich (born 1865 in Ostrowo/Posen). When he was six months old, the family moved to Dresden, where his brothers David Max (born 7/28/1889), Erich Samuel (born 1/8/1892) and his sister Therese Ella (born 10/10/1890) were born. At the beginning of 1889, Bernhard Cohn had started his warehouse and mail-order business "Zur Goldenen Vier”, wholesale and retail of household goods. Helene Cohn ran a private lunch table. Bernhard Cohn’s business is last mentioned in the 1890 Dresden address book, his wife’s lunch table in 1908, Further information about the family’s life in Dresden is not available, as the city’s population records were destroyed in the air raids of February 1945. Thus, we also know nothing about Victor Cohn’s school and professional career.
With his wife Thekla, née Simson, born 1/14/1896 in Danzig, whose previous history is also unknown to us, he lived in Hamburg for about eleven years.
Here, Victor Cohn was first mentioned on the 1921 address book with his business address "Victor Cohn, Bernsteinwaren, Graskeller 8 (Nähe Rödingsmarkt)”, and also with his private address Brahmsallee 8, 4th floor.” The company Max Simson & Co, Handel mit Bernsteinwaren, also belonged to him. His partner and presumably also father-in-law was Max Simson, merchant and manufacturer in Danzig. According to the commercial register, the Hamburg branch was founded on September 29, 1922, but already dissolved on March 31, 1923 and deleted on May 17, 1926. Until 1929, the Hamburg address book had an entry for Victor Cohn as "general representative” with his office at Graskeller 8.
Two children were born when the family lived at Brahmsallee 8: Marion Eliza Helene on 12/7/1922 and Edgar Herbert on 4/7/1925. Latest in the second half of 1928, the Cohns moved to Oberaltenallee 72, and, after only a short sojourn there, to Krohnskamp 78 in Winterhude. On October 24, 1931, the family moved to Berlin, as the Hamburg Jewish Community, to which they had belonged, noted in 1936. In 1933, the Cohns lived at Genovevastrasse 6 in the Köpenick district.
Victor and Thekla Cohn’s daughter Marion Eliza Helene, who survived, gave an account of the family’s further fate in 1950. By then Mrs. Barclay, living in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, she wrote to the International Tracing Service in Bad Arolsen, that the family had emigrated from Berlin to Como, Italy in June or July 1933. In spite of Mussolini’s fascist regime, Italy was an attractive destination for many German Jews, as it could be reached without a visa and offered job opportunities. Jewish immigrants were not subject to discrimination until 1938. Nonetheless, the family later moved on to Albania, as the daughter reported. Albania was an independent kingdom, but stood under Italian political influence by secret military treaties.
The family split in 1938. The parents sent Edgar Herbert to Switzerland, Marion Eliza Helene to England.
Viktor and Thekla Cohn’s odyssey led them to Paris at the beginning of 1939, where they were interned in May 1940 following the partial occupation of France by the German Wehrmacht on June 14, 1940. After their release and before the occupation of Paris by the German Wehrmacht on June 14, 1940, they went to unoccupied southern France, that was ruled by the Vichy Regime from July 1940. They lived in Agen, a small town in the region of Aquitaine, département Lot et Garonne, and in the small community Bon-Encontre, also in the département Lot et Garonne.
There, Thekla and Victor Cohn were arrested and taken to the Camp de Casseneuil. The transit camp of Drancy near Paris was a further station before their deportation. Their last sign of life, a letter from Drancy dated August 1942, did reach their daughter. They wrote they were probably going to be deported "to Poland” in the next few days. On September 9, 1942, they boarded the deportation train to Auschwitz,, where they were probably murdered directly after their arrival on September 11.
Marion Eliza Helene Cohn deposited a memorial page, the "Page of Testimony” for her parents at the Yad Vashem memorial site in Jerusalem already in 1948. Perhaps she hoped this would help her get leads to the fate of Thekla and Victor.
Presently in Hamburg, a Stumbling Stone before the house in Brahmsallee 8 only recalls Victor Cohn.
Translated by Peter Hubschmid
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: September 2019
© Christina Igla
Quellen: 1; 5; 8; StaH: 231-7 Amtsgericht Hamburg, Handels-u. Genossenschaftsregister_A6 Band7; 376-2_Zentralgewerbekartei Spz VIII Cc1 (verfilmt 741-4_K3833); 552-1_ 992b Kultussteuerkartei derDeutsch-Israelitischen Gemeinde Hamburg Nr. 11412, 14056, 14777; 552-1_Mitgliedskarten Stand 10.10.1928_388c1 (Cohn, Victor); Standesamt Dresden: Geburtsurkunden Nr. 2127 v.1.8.1889 David Max, 241 Erich Samuel, v. 28.1.1892, 1765, Therese Ella v. 11.10.1890 unter: www.ancestry.de (Zugriff 27.3.2016), Auskunft von Peter Landé, USHMM Washington vom 7.7.2015; email v. 15.6.2015 Stadtarchiv Dresden; Schreiben Stadtarchiv Dresden v. 20.4.2016; email v. 17.6.2015 Ratsarchiv Görlitz; Schreiben Ratsarchiv Görlitz v. 5.4.2016; www. adressbuecher.sachsendigital.de (Dresdner Adressbuch-online- Zugriff 7.5.2016) www. agora.sub.uni-hamburg.de (Hamburger Adressbuch – online – von 1921–1930 Zugriff 20.4.2016), www.ajpn.org/arrestation-1-47001.html (Zugriff 8.5.2016), www. bdi.memorialdelashoah.org, Transportliste Camp de Casseneuil (Zugriff 26.2.2016), www.dhm.de/lemo/kapitel/der-zweite-weltkrieg/kriegsverlauf/besatzungsregime-in-frankreich.html (Zugriff 9.5.2016); www.digital.zlb.de/Berliner Adressbuch – online – der Jahre 1931–1935 (Zugriff 27.2.2016); www.its-arolsen.org (Zugriff 8.5.2016); www.yadvashem.org Page of Testimony Thekla u. Victor Cohn (Zugriff 15.6.2015); Heimat Exil, Frankfurt a.M., S. 41, 48, 55.
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