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Emma Cohn * 1871
Isestraße 98 (Eimsbüttel, Harvestehude)
GEDEMÜTIGT / ENTRECHTET
FLUCHT IN DEN TOD
Emma Cohn, born on 1 July 1871, flight to death on 16 July 1942
Isestrasse 98 Eimsbüttel
Emma Cohn was born on 1 July 1871 as the first of six children of the Jewish couple Michael and Charlotte Cohn, née Brager, at Mathildenstrasse 9/ St. Pauli. Her parents married in Hamburg on 21 Dec. 1875, when three of six children had already been born. The father worked as a merchant and shipping agent, the mother as an employment agent. All we know about Emma Cohn’s childhood is that she was not brought up along Jewish lines.
(Charlotte Cohn died on 9 Nov. 1902, and Michael Cohn on 25 Mar. 1917, in Hamburg. Both were buried in the Jewish Cemetery on Ilandkoppel).
Emma Cohn was hired to join the eight-grade elementary school (Volksschule) service as a fledgling teacher on 1 Apr. 1892. We do not know where and when she had completed teacher-training college. She began her professional career at the girls’ school at Paulinenplatz 6 in Altona-Altstadt.
As a teacher, Emma Cohn was bound to celibacy: Since 1880, a decree prohibited female teachers from marrying and stipulated that if they did, they would lose their employment and pension rights.
Four years after starting her profession, Emma Cohn moved into her first apartment on the third floor at Reeperbahn 5 / St. Pauli. A short time later, she moved to Neue Rosenstrasse 3/ St. Pauli, residing as a subtenant with Herrmann.
Emma Cohn joined the professional association called the "Society of Friends of the Patriotic School and Education System” ("Gesellschaft der Freunde des Vaterländischen Schul- und Erziehungswesens,” mockingly dubbed "Genitivverein,” i.e., "genitive association”). This improved her material pension provisions even after leaving the school service, and in addition, she was able to take part in advanced training courses. On 1 Apr. 1896, she was permanently employed as a teacher at the Paulinenplatz 6 eight-grade elementary school (Volksschule).
Emma Cohn frequently changed her residential addresses, partly due to the job, partly probably for other reasons. From 1897 to 1901, she lived at Virchowstrasse 8 in Altona. She then moved to Kaiser-Wilhelm-Strasse 116 in Hamburg-Neustadt, followed by an apartment at Annenstrasse 10, again in the St. Pauli quarter.
In 1906, Emma Cohn moved to the Schanzenstrasse 105 elementary school in the Sternschanze quarter, founded in 1884, and rented an apartment at nearby Schanzenstrasse 110. With the change of school, she gave up her affiliation with the professional association.
She lived at Hasselbrookstrasse 22 in the Eilbek quarter from 1907 to 1912. On 1 Nov. 1911, Emma Cohn was retired at just 40 years of age. We do not know whether this occurred voluntarily or whether it was forced, nor do we know the reasons.
She resided at Hasselbrookstrasse 17 in Eilbek from 1913 to 1915. In the directories from 1915 to 1924, there are no entries for a residential address of Emma Cohn. Perhaps she resided there as a subtenant without an entry, but perhaps she traveled a lot during this time, because she had a passport for the period from 1914 to 1928.
Presumably, she also supported her sister Bertha Fischborn during this time in caring for her father, who died on 25 Mar. 1917 after a long illness in the apartment at Beim Schlump 2 a in Eimsbüttel.
The files show that the Cohn family must have been very close-knit. The siblings supported each other financially and emotionally in every way.
In 1925, the Hamburg directories listed Emma Cohn again, this time at Parkallee 26 in Harvestehude on the third floor.
Despite her retirement, the school at Schanzenstrasse 105 in the Sternschanze quarter still listed Emma Cohn as a substitute teacher from 1925 to 1930. This means that she occasionally filled in at short notice when colleagues were absent. She did not have to make a living from this: Her professional activity had secured her a pension entitlement, which she used to cover her living expenses.
From 1928 to 1931, she lived at Grindelallee 176/ Eimsbüttel on the third floor and then moved to Schlüterstrasse 24 in the Rotherbaum quarter.
In 1931, she paid Jewish religious taxes (Kultussteuer) to the Jewish Community for the last time, then resigning from the Community and henceforth being considered "without religious creed.”
She moved to Jakob Moresweg 2/Barmbek, residing there from 1932 to 1933, lived at Isestrasse 98 (where the Stolperstein for her was laid) from 1934 to 1935, at Lenhartzstrasse 3 from 1936 to 1939, and at Frickestrasse 24 in 1940.
In 1939, like all "full Jews” ("Volljuden”), Emma Cohn had to become a member of the Reich Association of Jews in Germany (Reichsvereinigung der Juden in Deutschland) and to this end, she had to join the Jewish Community of Hamburg, which by then had to call itself Jewish Religious Organization reg. soc. (Jüdischer Religionsverband e.V.) and had become part of this Reich Association; and she had to pay regular taxes again. (On her Jewish religious tax (Kultussteuer) file card, there is an entry with the address listed at Sierichstrasse 68 in Winterhude, with the addition of "mailbox.” She never resided at this address. What she used this address for we do not know).
On 9 July 1940, Emma Cohn had to pay 2,672.65 RM from her deposit account with Oldenburgische Landesbank in Jever to the Reich Association of Jews by order of the Chief Finance Administration (Oberfinanzdirektion). This money came from her time as a teacher and it had been intended for her old-age provision.
On 26 Apr. 1941, she moved into the house at Beneckestrasse 6, which belonged to the Jewish Religious Organization and was used as a "Jews’ house ("Judenhaus”) or retirement home. (The street no longer exists today; it crossed the current university campus.) At this time, Emma Cohn lived together with other residents of the house in very confined conditions. Any trace of privacy no longer existed. According to a note in the files of the Restitution Office (Amt für Wiedergutmachung), the house residents were under special pressure, because apparently, located downstairs in the house was a Gestapo office.
Since Emma Cohn was over 70 years old by then, she, like others over 65, had initially been deferred from the deportations. On 15 and 17 July 1942, they were eventually ordered to report to the first large-scale "transports of the elderly” to Theresienstadt. Emma Cohn and her brother John Kronach (formerly Cohn) received the deportation order for 15 July 1942.
To evade the scheduled deportation, Emma Cohn attempted suicide on 14 July 1942 in her room, using barbiturates. She was found, admitted to the Jewish Hospital on Johnsallee, and died there two days later, at 10:15 p.m. on 16 July 1942.
Her brother John Kronach committed suicide on the same day in his apartment at 219 Hammer Landstrasse in Hamm, also by means of barbiturates. He died on the same day. (See www.stolpersteine-hamburg.de).
On 15 July 1942, the Gestapo crossed out Emma Cohn’s name on the deportation list, as did the SS upon arrival of the transport in Theresienstadt, noting on her in addition, "not arrived.”
The mortal remains of the siblings were buried a few days later in the Ohlsdorf Jewish Cemetery on Ilandkoppel.
On 4 Nov. 1942, the Chief Finance Administration confiscated Emma Cohn’s remaining assets to the benefit of the German Reich.
Details on the fate of Emma Cohn’s siblings:
Julius Cohn (born on 2 July 1872) had died in Hamburg on 8 Nov. 1872; he was buried in the Grindelfriedhof cemetery (which no longer exists).
Cäcilie Cohn (born on 30 Apr. 1877) was found dead in her apartment on 7 Mar. 1930.
John Kronach (originally Cohn) (born on 5 Aug. 1874) had married Ella Baumann. Passing away on 9 Jan. 1928, she was buried in the Ilandkoppel Jewish Cemetery. John – see above – committed suicide on 14 July 1942. He is commemorated by a Stolperstein at Hegestrasse 41 in Eppendorf. His only son Fritz Kronach (born on 20 Dec. 1909) was able to flee to Australia in 1939.
Selma Schümann, née Cohn (born on 9 May 1876), committed suicide using morphine injections only three days after her siblings Emma and John on 17 July 1942. She had run the Austernkeller ("oyster cellar”) on Jungfernstieg before the Nazi era. The Stolperstein for Selma is located at Jungfernstieg 34 in Hamburg-Neustadt. See www.stolpersteine-hamburg.de
Bertha Cohn (born on 4 Aug. 1881), married to Max Fischborn, took her own life together with her husband on 3 Sept. 1943. The couple is commemorated by Stolpersteine at Rothenbaumchaussee 34 (see www.stolpersteine-hamburg.de.) The only daughter, Lotti Fischborn, had to abandon her medical studies in 1934. She fled to South Africa on 10 Dec. 1934, arriving in Cape Town on 16 Jan. 1935. There she later married Gustav Alwin Fischer (born on 11 Dec. 1908), continued her studies in Johannesburg, and passed her final exam on 4 Aug. 1939. She subsequently worked as a general practitioner in Johannesburg.
Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: August 2021
© Bärbel Klein
Quellen: StaH; 1; 4; 5; 8; 351-11_9309; 331-5_3 Akte1167/1942; 213-13_6054 Fischer; 213-13_6055 Fischborn; 213-13_10033 Kronach; 213-13_15945 Cohn; 213-13_29186 Fischborn; 214-1_246 Fischborn; 231-5_4343; 351-11_9309 Schümann; 351-11_35162 Kronach; 351-11_37055 Fischer; 351-11_32899 Fischer; 411-2_II N 5629 Brager; 331-5_1942/1195; 331-5_1942/1159; 332-3_966/1871; 332-3_1123/1872; 332-3_1372/1874; 332-5_2290/1876; 332-5_2140/1877; 332-5_2183/1881; 332-5_1601/1902; 332-5_282/1908; 332-5_333/1908; 332-5_288/1913; 332-5_224/1917; 332-5_137/1930; 332-5_351/1942; 332-5_377/1942; 332-5_514/1942; 332-5_279/1943; 332-5_280/1943; 411-2 II N 5629; 213-13_15945; Gräber jüdischer Friedhof Ilandkoppel; Bibliothek Hamburgisches Lehrerverzeichnis A 576/0001; Irmgard Stein, Jüdische Baudenkmäler in Hamburg, Hans Christians Verlag, 1984 erschienen; www.wikipedia.de; www.ancestry.de (Einsicht 4.11.2020); https://www.statistik-des-holocaust.de/list_ger_nwd_420715.html (Einsicht 5.4.2021).
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