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Lina Cossen (née Stern) * 1871
Isestraße 93 (Eimsbüttel, Harvestehude)
Lina Cossen, née Stern, born 26 June 1871 in Bremen, deported 1942 from Holland to Auschwitz
Lina Stern moved from her hometown of Bremen to Hamburg in 1892. She married Salomon Cossen, and one year later their son Fritz was born. Their daughter Else was born seven years later. The family lived on Schröderstiftstraße, and later on Eppendorfer Landstraße.
Salomon Cossen built up a flourishing wholesale business, S. Cossen Gold and Jewelry. After finishing his schooling at the Vor dem Holstentor secondary school in 1909, his son Fritz trained as a specialist for precious metals in Pforzheim in preparation for joining the family business. We were unable to determine whether he served in the First World War, but immediately after the war he became a partner in his father’s company.
Salomon Cossen died in 1927. Lina Cossen moved to Isestraße 93, probably in 1932, and lived there for about three years. She moved three times between then and 1939. Her last address in Hamburg was Klosterallee 47.
After his father’s death, Fritz Cossen was the sole owner of the company. Until 1933 the company employed up to ten people, at times four travelling salesmen and six office workers. After 1933 the company began to feel the repercussions of the repressive measures instituted by the Nazi regime, and revenues decreased dramatically.
Fritz Cossen was no longer living with his mother. Both he and his sister had started families of their own. Fritz married Gerda Mowschowitz. Their daughter Ellen was born on 20 September 1923. His wife had her own tax records with the Jewish Community beginning in 1936, so that it can be assumed that the couple divorced. When Gerda Cossen emigrated to the US in March 1939, Ellen remained behind with her father.
Else Cossen had married Louis Weinstein from Jever. They had two children – Inge in 1921, and Ralph-Hans one year later. On 2 May 1934 the family emigrated to Holland, where Louis Weinstein apparently had business connections. Louis Weinstein’s widowed mother, Helene Weinstein, joined them on New Year’s Day 1938.
In Hamburg, Fritz Cossen was among those arrested after the November Pogrom on 9 November 1938. He was imprisoned for a short time. On 30 November 1938 the Nazi authorities revoked his trading license, and a government trustee was put in place to "prepare for the handover to an Aryan.” The company was still making a profit – the trustee noted a balance of 27,433.74 Reichsmarks on 31 December 1938. In early February 1939 the company was sold for 15,460 Reichsmarks, and on 16 February 1939 S. Cossen Gold and Jewelry was finally in Aryan hands.
A short time thereafter, Fritz Cossen’s assets were placed under a security order. He was allowed access to only 1000 RM per month for living expenses for himself, his daughter, and his mother. He now turned all of his energy to emigrating. In March 1939, the month that his wife emigrated, he requested 557 RM for his mother and daughter. On 5 May he informed the Foreign Exchange Office that his mother had received an entry permit for the Netherlands unexpectedly quickly. 500 additional Reichsmarks were approved. Preparations were now running at full speed – a list of his personal effects, items of value, jewelry and silver had to be submitted to the authorities. The list was scrupulously checked, as was usual, and the objection raised that he had failed to list 12 forks whose handles were of silver. Lina Cossen had overlooked them. No security order was issued for them, since they had no appreciable fortune.
On 22 May 1939 they received their certificate of clearance, which allowed them to leave the country. Their belongings were loaded onto a ship for Amsterdam on 24 June 1939. Lina Cossen travelled to Amsterdam by plane, where she was met by her daughter.
Her son Fritz was able to flee to England before the outbreak of the war. His daughter had already emigrated to England. In his last request to the Foreign Exchange Office, he listed items for which he needed about 800 RM before his departure. He had borrowed the money from the new owner of his company. It can thus be assumed that he personally knew the "Aryan” who had taken over his company. He had to pay the next month’s rent for his and his mother’s apartment, because he had not been able to terminate the lease on time. He needed money to visit his dogs, which he had put into a kennel. In addition he had attended to his father’s grave, and he requested a sum of money for home movies that he had made as a remembrance.
Lina Cossen lived at Soestdijkscheweg 180 in Amsterdam, probably with her family, for three-and-a-half years. She was deported to Auschwitz and murdered on 11 December 1942. Nothing is known about the fate of her children in Amsterdam.
Translator(s): Amy Lee
Translation kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg
© Christa Fladhammer
Quellen: 1; 2; AfW 100693; www.joodsmonument.nl/person-473084-en.html.
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