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Gertrud Cohn (née Delmonte) * 1890
Eppendorfer Landstraße 30 (Hamburg-Nord, Eppendorf)
Julius Cohn, born 8 June 1882 in Bremen, deported 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz, 15 Sep. 1942 to Chelmno
Gertrud Cohn, née Delmonte, born 20 Mar. 1890 in Hamburg, deported 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz, 15 Sep. 1942 to Chelmno
Eppendorfer Landstraße 30
Julius Cohn was born on 8 June 1882 in Bremen to Samuel David and Marianne (Cassuto) Cohn. We do not know when and why Julius Cohn moved to Hamburg. He was a banker and owner of the Wilhelm Rosenbacher Bank.
He and his wife Gertrud lived at several addresses in Hamburg – Papendamm 4, Hallerstraße 72, and Heuersweg 10. Their last apartment in Hamburg was at Eppendorfer Landstraße 30.
Their daughter Selma was born on 8 February 1923. After 1934 she was no longer listed in their church tax records, and the entry "no children” was noted after their names. It can be assumed that the daughter died as a child.
Julius Cohn apparently first worked in the offices of the Rosenbacher company, founded in 1872, at Bergstraße 2. He later took over the company. The bank’s last address was at Gänsemarkt 35, where its business operations were apparently very limited. When the Chief Tax Authority issued a security order on his assets in 1939 in light of his preparations to emigrate, Julius Cohn listed the bank balance of the Wilhelm Rosenbacher Company as 2268.61 Reichsmarks. He gave the value of his private assets as 8071 Reichsmarks, most of which consisted of an inheritance his wife had received, valued at 5453 Reichsmarks. The couple was allowed access to 450 Reichsmarks per month to cover rent and living expenses, although they had submitted a request for 490 Reichsmarks.
Both Julius and Gertrud Cohn were active in the Nehemia Nobel B’nai B’rith lodge in Hamburg. Julius was on the Brothers’ Relief and Widows and Orphans Committees, and Gertrud was Secretary of the lodge’s ladies auxiliary. The Nehemia Nobel Lodge was founded in 1922. The Independent Order of B’nai B’rith (Sons of the Covenant) was founded in New York in 1843 by German Jewish immigrants, and was dedicated to charitable endeavors. The first B’nai B’rith lodge in Europe was founded in 1882 in Berlin and named for the founder of the organization, Henry Jones, who was born Heinrich Jonas in 1811 in Hamburg. A Henry Jones Lodge was also founded in Hamburg in 1887, followed by the Steinthal Lodge in 1909 and the Nehemia Nobel Lodge in 1922.
All three lodges had their rooms in the Lodge Building at Hartungstraße 9-11 – today the Hamburg Kammerspiele. It was a cultural and social center of Jewish life in Hamburg. The Nazis banned B’nai B’rith in Germany in April 1937 on the grounds of "subversive activities” and confiscated its assets. We do not know whether Julius and Gertrud Cohn remained active in the Nehemia Nobel Lodge until it was dissolved, or if they were forced to give up their charitable activities even earlier due to their own financial situation. Nor do we know the reason that their emigration to Chile, which they began planning in 1939, never took place. It can be assumed that the outbreak of the war prevented them from leaving the country.
The Cohns were deported to Lodz on 25 October 1941 – Julius was 59 years old, Gertrud was 51. On 15 September 1942 they were transferred to the Chelmno Extermination Camp and murdered.
Gertrud Cohn’s younger sister Käte Rachel Goldschmidt (*8 July 1894 in Hamburg) and her three children survived the Holocaust. Whether they were able to flee the country or they survived in Germany is unknown. In 1956 she was living in Tel Aviv and initiated restitution proceedings as Gertrud’s heir. In conjunction, proceedings were also filed to declare the deaths of Julius and Gertrud Cohn. In 1963 Käte Goldschmidt gave her address as Schäferkampsallee 25 in Hamburg. The proceedings were closed without result, as the unknown dates of death made it impossible to determine whether Julius or Gertrud Cohn died first. The succession could thus not be determined.
Translator(s): Amy Lee
Translation kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg
© Birgit Burgänger
Quellen: 1; 4; StaH 390 Wählerliste 1930; StaH 314-15 OFP R 1939/3121; StaH 351-11 AfW, 080682 u. 200390; Verzeichnis Hamburger Börsenfirmen (abgeschl. Februar 1933); Verzeichnis der Mitglieder der drei Hamburger Logen U.O.B.B. Henry Jones-Loge, Steinthal-Loge und Nehemia Nobel-Loge 1933; Reinke, in: Das Jüdische Hamburg, 2006, S.180f.; Hirsch, in: Wamser/Weinke, (Hrsg.), Jüdisches Leben, 2006, S. 40f.
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