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Meta Cohen (née Rosenthal) * 1902
Marktstraße 44 (vor Grünfläche) (Hamburg-Mitte, St. Pauli)
Curt (Kurt) Cohen, born 12 July 1930 in Hamburg, deported 18 Nov. 1941 to Minsk
Edith Mirjam Cohen, born 6 Jan. 1936, deported 18 Nov. 1941 to Minsk
Ellen Cohen, born 28 Sep. 1926 in Ibbenbüren, deported 18 Nov. 1941 to Minsk
Hermann Cohen, born 27 July 1928 in Hamburg, deported 18 Nov. 1941 to Minsk
Max Cohen, born 25 May 1934 in Hamburg, deported 18 Nov. 1941 to Minsk
Meta Cohen, née Rosenthal, born 2 Feb. 1902 (4 Feb. 1902) in Ibbenbüren, deported 18 Nov. 1941 to Minsk
Meta Rosenthal’s mother was Josephine Olga Rosenthal, née Epstein. She was born on 8 October 1878 in Goch on the Rhine. She also lived in Hamburg, with Meta’s sister Else (*March 1911 in Ibbenbüren). Josephine, Else, and Else’s son Reinhard (*January 1933) were deported to the Lodz Ghetto on 25 October 1941.
Meta’s sister Fanny Johanne Julie was born in November 1908 in Ibbenbüren. She also moved to Hamburg and lived in a "Jews’ house” at Breitestraße 56 before she was deported to Minsk on 8 November 1941. Meta also had a brother, Josef (*1910) who lived in Ibbenbüren and died on 21 May 1942 in the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp.
Meta’s sister Helene Ackermann (*1903) survived the Holocaust. Meta therefore had at least four siblings, of whom she was the eldest.
What do we know about Meta’s life? She married Richard Cohen, who was from Hamburg, on 10 February 1901. It was noted on his final certificate from the Talmud Tora School that he intended to become a butcher. Their first daughter Ellen was born in Ibbenbüren. Two years later, when their son Hermann was born, the family was living in Hamburg. Richard, who had been listed in the Jewish Community’s tax files since 1921, was registered as a butcher at Friedrichstraße 5 in St. Pauli in April 1930. At that time the family lived at Eppendorferweg 13. They later moved to Rendsburgerstraße 9.
Their son Curt was born in July 1930. Richard’s butcher shop was not making a profit, and he was forced to give it up in November 1932. The family moved to Ibbenbüren to live with Meta’s parents. But Richard was also not able to earn enough there, and, since Meta’s father was no longer able to support the family, they returned to Hamburg. Richard tried to support his growing family with various short-term jobs, including working as a cook for the Jewish Welfare Agency for free meals. Ellen started school in April 1933, Kurt in 1934. Their third child, Max, was born in 1934, and Edith Mirjam in 1936. Meta sewed the children’s clothing herself from old clothes. The family finally decided to try to leave Germany. Richard left Hamburg for the US on 15 July 1938 on the steamship Washington. The third-class ticket was paid for by the Jewish Relief Organization. He settled in New York.
Meta, Ellen, Hermann, Curt, Max, and Edith intended to follow him. They moved from Marktstraße 94 to a 3½-room apartment on the third floor of the building at Marktstrae 44. In January of the following year, when Meta applied for permission to emigrate, she listed her belongings as nothing but a sewing machine, bedding, and dishes. She was granted a clearance certificate for emigration, but she could not take her children with her. Richard had been unable to present the necessary documents to the US consulate. Meta had to wait.
For a short time, Anna Croner and her son Nathan lived with the Cohen family. None of the children were able to finish their schooling. Edith was too young to attend school. Max started school in April 1941 at the Talmud Tora School. His teacher was Herr Rothschild. Meta and her children were again and again forced to share their apartment with other Jewish families. In the fall of 1941, the Liebenthal family and the Salomon family, each with two children, were living there. The Liebenthals were deported to the Lodz Ghetto in October 1941. The Salomons moved to the building at Marktstraße 95 before they were deported to Minsk on 18 November 1941. The building at Marktstraße 44 was destroyed during the war.
The historian Beate Meyer has described what happened to the people who were deported from Hamburg to Minsk. The first transport, carrying 968 people, left Hamburg for the Minsk Ghetto on 8 November 1941, followed by the second, with 407 people, on 18 November. Once in Minsk they were forced to work for the Wehrmacht, the SS, or the Todt Organization, a Third Reich civil and military engineering group. Many of them died of hunger, cold, and infectious diseases. Nearly all of those who had been deported from Hamburg to Minsk were killed in massacres in the Ghetto on 8 May and 14 September 1943 or were sent to the gas chambers. When the Ghetto was liquidated in September 1943, the few survivors who were still able to work were sent to other forced labor or concentration camps. Alfred Gottwaldt and Diana Schulle determined that only five people from the November 1941 transports survived the Minsk Ghetto.
See also: entries Croner family, Strellnauer/Cohen. Stolpersteine for Josephina, Else, and Reinhard Rosentahl were placed at Eschenstieg 3 in Eimsbüttel.
Translator(s): Amy Lee
Translation kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg
© Christiane Jungblut
Quellen: 1; 2; 4; 5; 8; StaH 314-15 OFP, FVg 8675; StaH 332-8 Meldewesen A51/1, K 2463; K 2514; StaH 351-11 AfW, Abl. 2008/1, 100201 Cohen, Richard; StaH 522-1 Jüd. Gemeinden, 992 e 1 Band 3; StaH 522-1 Jüd. Gemeinden, 390 Wählerliste 1930; StaH 362-6/10 Talmud-Tora-Schule, TT 18–21, TT 22–25; Gottwaldt/Schulle, "Judendeportationen", 2005, S. 90; Meyer (Hrsg.), Verfolgung, 2006, S. 174f.
Zur Nummerierung häufig genutzter Quellen siehe Recherche und Quellen. Hier abweichend:
(2) Bundesarchiv Berlin, R 1509 Reichssippenamt, Ergänzungskarten der Volkszählung vom 17. Mai 1939