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Martha Cohn (née Jacob) * 1888
Rappstraße 24 (Eimsbüttel, Rotherbaum)
GEDEMÜTIGT / ENTRECHTET
FLUCHT IN DEN TOD
Martha Cohn, née Jacob, widowed name Buchhalter, born on 3 May 1888, humiliated/deprived of her rights, flight to death on 15 Dec. 1941
Adolf Cohn, born on 27 June 1882, deported to Theresienstadt on 5 May 1943, murdered in Auschwitz, probably on 9 Oct. 1944
Georg Cohn, born on 24 Apr. 1919, performed forced labor in the "Jewish forest labor camp” ("Jüdisches Forsteinsatzlager”) in Schönfelde, deported on 19 Apr. 1943 from Schönfelde to Auschwitz
Rappstrasse 24 (Eimsbüttel)
Adolf Cohn, in desperate straits, pleaded with the Hamburg Welfare Office on 21 Dec. 1935, "I, too, am endeavoring to find earnings again and I have already initiated written negotiations, so that I hope not to have to draw on public funds for too long. Yours sincerely, Adolf Cohn”
The applicant Adolf Cohn was born on 27 June 1882 as son of the married couple Joseph Lazarus and Jenny Cohn in Braunschweig. We cannot report anything about Adolf Cohn’s childhood.
He was married in his first marriage to Henriette, née Nathan. She had been born on 2 Mar. 1884 in Emmerich/ Kleve. The couple had then moved from Frankfurt/Main to Krefeld. Their daughter Martha, called Martel, was born there on 1 Aug. 1911 at Friedrichsplatz 3a.
In the following years, the family had then moved to Solingen and had initially resided at Kaiserstrasse 210 and later at Kaiserstrasse 93, until they moved into a city-owned house at Wupperstrasse 2 in Solingen on 10 Apr. 1918. On 24 Apr. 1919, their son Georg Bernhard Josef was born in Solingen.
Adolf Cohn suffered from a war injury sustained during his military service in the First World War. He worked in Sollingen as a salesclerk, later as a sales agent. Also active in the local Jewish Community, in 1925, he was elected deputy representative of the Community.
Henriette Cohn died on 15 Aug. 1931, and she was buried in the Jewish Cemetery in Solingen.
After her death, Adolf Cohn moved to Hamburg with his children Martel and Georg on 1 Mar. 1933. The family first resided in Hamburg-Neustadt at Gerhofstrasse 35, then in Hamburg-Altstadt at Brandsende 13. Adolf Cohn joined the Hamburg Jewish Community on 15 June 1934.
In the same year, together with his late wife’s brother, Louis Nathan, he took over an agency for the distribution of school supplies in Hamburg. Louis Nathan also came from Solingen. He had divorced his wife Selma Nathan on 15 June 1932 and moved to Hamburg to join Adolf Cohn and family (Louis Nathan, born on 25 June 1878, was deported from Hamburg to Theresienstadt on 19 July 1942 and liberated there on 10 May 1945).
Adolf Cohn and Louis Nathan worked on a commission basis. When their contract expired on 31 Mar. 1935, the clients did not renew it. A period of financial hardship followed for the Cohn family. Adolf Cohn applied for assistance from the welfare office, but also successfully tried to find a new job.
Still in that same year, he found such employment as a commercial clerk with the Walter Wulfsohn Company at Hohe Bleichen 40/42, which was active as a wholesaler in the rubber footwear trade.
In Jan. 1936, Adolf Cohn and his children moved in with the widow Martha Buchhalter, née Jacob at Rappstrasse 24 in the Rotherbaum quarter. On 25 Oct. 1936, Adolf Cohn and Martha Buchhalter were married, at Registry Office 1 in Hamburg.
Martha Cohn was the fifth of eight children born to the Jewish couple Aron Jacob and his wife Hannchen, née Salomon, in Hamburg on 3 May 1888. Her father, Aron Jacob (born on 16 Feb. 1857), was the son of a cap maker from Lissa in the Province of Posen, today Leszno in Poland. He had moved to Hamburg and had lived at Grossneumarkt 32 in Hamburg-Neustadt. On 16 Feb. 1883, by then doing business as newspaper publisher, Aron Jacob had married Hannchen Salomon (born on 26 Dec. 1855) in Hamburg. Hannchen Salomon had been born in Schleswig and she had moved with her widowed mother Rosa Salomon, née Abraham, to Peterstrasse 63 in Hamburg-Neustadt (Aron Jacob died on 10 July 1919, Hannchen Jacob on 3 Aug. 1940. Both were buried in the Ohlsdorf Jewish Cemetery on Ilandkoppel).
For Adolf, as for Martha Cohn, it was the second marriage. Adolf brought two children into the new family, Martha her stepdaughter from her first marriage, for whom she had assumed guardianship. This daughter, Frieda Buchhalter, was born on 29 Sept. 1922 in Beuthen/Kattowitz (today Bytom in Poland). Her mother had died shortly after her birth, and her father Isaak Buchhalter passed away on 20 Jan. 1935. Martha Cohn then moved to Hamburg with the thirteen-year-old.
Adolf Cohn’s health was not good. In addition to the consequences of the war injury, he suffered from stomach ulcers and had to undergo medical treatment. His children had grown up in the meantime and were able to contribute to the family income:
Daughter Martel Cohn, by then 25 years old, worked as an office clerk in "Dr. Robert Wohler’s chemical factory” at Kaiser-Wilhelmstrasse 47 and then at "Schlesische Furnier Werke,” a veneer manufacturer located at Billstrasse 23-25 in Rothenburgsort.
Son Georg Cohn trained as a commercial clerk at the Theaterkasse an den Alsterarkaden, a theater box office run by the Käse family.
Both children had to support Adolf and Martha Cohn with their salaries. Nevertheless, Adolf Cohn repeatedly had to ask the welfare office for support, as quoted at the beginning, but assistance was often denied.
During the November Pogrom on 9/10 Nov. 1938, commandos of the SA moved out to demolish the stores of Jews. Destruction and looting were the result in many neighborhoods in Hamburg. Between 10 and 15 November, 873 Jews overall were taken to the Hamburg police prison in Fuhlsbüttel, and most of them were transferred to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. This was also the case for Georg Cohn: He was arrested on 11 Nov. 1938, taken to the Fuhlsbüttel police prison and then to Oranienburg/Sachsenhausen for "protective custody” ("Schutzhaft”).
Until Dec. 1941, the Jewish Community still recorded income on Adolf Cohn’s Jewish religious tax (Kultussteuer) file card, but it was not enough to cover his living expenses.
In Dec. 1941, Adolf Cohn was detained in the Fuhlsbüttel police prison for reasons unknown to us, and his wife committed suicide. In Martha Cohn’s farewell letter to her stepdaughter Martel, she gave as the reason for the suicide that it was unbearable for her not to be able to help her husband. She pinned the letter to the door of her apartment at Rappstrasse 24, the couple’s last shared home. She had addressed the envelope to her daughter Martel at Heinrich-Barth-Strasse 8, basement.
Martha Cohn was found by her son-in-law (Martel had married Moritz Meyers on 21 Apr. 1939, and she had borne his name ever since). Moritz Meyers entered the apartment and then encountered the following scene: "The kitchen gas stove was turned on. There was a strong smell of city gas. The main valve was open.”
Although Moritz Meyers immediately arranged for his mother-in-law to be admitted to the Israelite Hospital on Johnsallee, she died shortly thereafter on 15 Dec. 1941 due to the suicide.
Martha Cohn was buried at the Ilandkoppel Jewish Cemetery in Grave K 1-34.
Adolf Cohn was imprisoned once more in the Fuhlsbüttel police prison from 8 June 1942 to 20 Aug. 1942 for unknown reasons and then released.
On 1 Oct. 1942, he had to move into the "Jews’ house” ("Judenhaus”) at Beneckestrasse 2.
Adolf Cohn was deported from the "Jews’ house” on Beneckestrasse to the Theresienstadt Ghetto on 5 May 1943, along with 50 other people, where he was placed in quarters at Seestrasse 47/6.
On 9 Oct. 1944, he was further deported to Auschwitz and presumably murdered on the very day of his arrival.
Adolf Cohn’s son Georg was interned in the "Jewish forest labor camp” in Schönfelde near Berlin on 26 July 1941. This was one of the so-called (hachshara) camps, in which Jewish adolescents and young adults prepared for emigration to Palestine, which subsequently had then been transformed by the Nazis into forced labor camps. Under these changed circumstances, the residents were allowed to remain there as prisoners until they were deported en masse. Georg Cohn was deported from Schönfelde via Potsdam and Berlin to Auschwitz on 19 Apr. 1943, and was probably murdered on the day of his arrival in Auschwitz.
For Adolf Cohn as well as Georg Cohn, Stolpersteine are also located in Solingen, at Breidbacher Tor 2/ Solingen Mitte (see www.stolpersteine-solingen.de).
Martha "Martel” Meyers, née Cohn, was deported to Auschwitz with her husband Moritz Meyers on 11 July 1942 (Stolpersteine are being planned for the couple).
Martel and Moritz Meyers had three children, from Moritz Meyers’ first marriage: Margot, born on 14 Sept. 1921; Gisela, born on 15 Jan. 1924; and Kurt, born on 17 Feb. 1926; they were able to take them to safety on a "children transport” (Kindertransport) to Britain in July 1939.
Frieda Buchhalter fled to Sweden on 22 Feb. 1939. She married Kurt Rothschild (born on 1 Dec. 1916) there on 29 July 1944 and had two children with him.
Details regarding the fate of Martha Cohn’s siblings:
John Jacob (born on 3 Aug. 1885) died in Hamburg on 6 Apr. 1886.
Seraphine Jacob (born on 18 Apr. 1887) died on 18 July 1887 in Hamburg.
Leopold Friedrich Jacob (born on 18 Dec. 1893) died in Russia during World War I on 9 Nov. 1916. He has been commemorated by an inscription on the memorial to the victims of the world wars buried in the Memorial Grove (Ehrenhain).
Delfred Jacob (born on 29 Apr. 1883) and his wife Jenny (born on 3 Sept. 1886) were deported to Litzmannstadt (Lodz) on 25 Oct. 1941 and murdered there. The Stolpersteine are located at Pilatuspool 15 (see www.stolpersteine-hamburg.de).
Frieda Warneck, née Jacob (born on 4 Aug. 1884), and her daughter Ruth Warneck were deported to Riga on 6 Dec. 1941. Stolpersteine for them are located at Rutschbahn 15 (see www.stolpersteine-hamburg.de).
Zerline Peritz, née Jacob (born on 16 Aug. 1889), and her husband Hermann Peritz (born on 16 Sept. 1882) were deported to Minsk on 8 Nov. 1941. The Stolpersteine for them are located at Wandsbeker Chaussee 104 (see www.stolpersteine-hamburg.de).
On 11 Sept. 1913, Anna Sekkel, née Jacob (born on 10 Feb. 1891), had married Alfred Sekkel (born on 13 Sept. 1886), who had died in the First World War. Anna Sekkel was deported to Riga on 6 Dec. 1941 and murdered there. The Stolperstein is located at Rappstrasse 2 (see www.stolpersteine-hamburg.de).
Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: May 2021
© Bärbel Klein
Quellen: StaH; 1; 2; 4; 5; 8; 213-13_13965; 213-13_14661; 213-13_25396; 214-1_203; 351-11_14363; 351-11_34951; 351-11_39751; 351-11_44595; 351-11_45670; 351-11_7643; 351-11_47894; 351-14_1041; 351-14_1321; 351-14_1807;351-14_1959; 351-14_1974; 332-5_1012/1881; 332-5_114/1883; 332-5_2077/1883; 332-5_3664/1884; 332-5_4281/1885; 332-5_4438/1886; 332-5_2009/1887; 332-5_2255/1887; 332-5_2231/1888; 332-5_3886/1888; 332-5_754/1891; 332-5_4719/1893; 332-5_3487/1889; 332-5_3296/1890; 332-5_51/1903; 332-5_245/1913; 332-5_677/1913; 332-5_255/1916; 332-5_288/1916; 332-5_778/1916; 332-5_2136; 332-5_759/1918; 332-5_240/1919; 332-5_475/1919; 332-5_1029/1921; 332-5_576/1929; 332-5_607/1936; 332-5_213/1937; 332-5_406/1940; 332-5_445/1941; 331-5_3 Akte 1945/1941; 332-5_64169/1941; 522-1_1066; Stadtarchiv Gudensberg Nr. 52/1886; Stadtarchiv Solingen, Sterbeurkunde Henriette Cohn Nr. 224/1931; Krefeld Geburtsurkunde Martha Cohn 1334/1911; ITS Archives Bad Arolsen Digital Archive Korrespondenzakte 22.214.171.124 / 7105 Archivnummer  Einsicht am 9.3.2017; ITS Archives Bad Arolsen Digital Archive Korrespondenzakte 126.96.36.199 / 7105 Archivnummer  Einsicht am 9.3.2017; Buch und Biografie Stolpersteine Solingen Man soll mich nicht vergessen von Armin Schulte, 16. Januar 2020, Stadtarchiv Solingen; www.ancestry.de (Einsicht am 25.10.2020); www.wikipedea.de (Einsicht am 4.11.2020); Wolf Gruner, Die Arbeitslager …, S. 10 siehe online https:// www.gedenkstaettenforum.de/uploads/media/GedenkstaettenRundbrief-79-03-17.pdf (Zugriff 12.11.2020).
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