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Clara Cohn (née Laser) * 1888

Grindelallee 132 (Eimsbüttel, Rotherbaum)

1941 Minsk

further stumbling stones in Grindelallee 132:
Ilse Cohen, Wolff Cohen, Bruno Cohn, Paul Grünewald, Martin Neuhaus, Friederike (Frieda) Neuhaus

Clara Cohn, née Laser, born 12 July 1888, deported 8 Nov. 1941 to Minsk

Vogelhüttendeich 40 and Grindelallee 132

Clara Laser was one of the sisters of Hermann Laser, the father of Adolf Leo and Rudolf Michel Laser. She was born on 12 July 1888 in Wongrowitz, Posen (today Wagrowiec, Poland), and probably came to Hamburg with her siblings. She was registered in Harburg on 8 July 1910 at Lüneburger Straße 46. Later that year, on 10 November, she moved to Sande near Bergedorf, but returned to Harburg the following June.

Clara Laser married Bruno Cohn (*27 Sep. 1890 in Lübeck) on 24 October 1919. The couple lived in a ground-floor apartment at Brückenstraße 5 in Harburg. Their only child, Hildegard, was born there on 2 October 1920. On 18 April 1922, the family moved to Rathausstraße 4, and then on 10 October 1930 to Lüneburger Straße 28. Bruno and Clara Cohn had a clothing store called Sa-La, a "specialty store for men’s and women’s fashion,” at this address.

In October 1920, the Harburg Chamber of Commerce lodged a complaint with the Harburg District Court that the Sa-La company on Lüneburger Straße, corner of Lohmühlenweg (today Walkmühlenweg) owned by Bruno Cohn, "[ran] a men’s clothing store in the most select business location without being listed in the trade register.” According to the Harburg Chamber of Commerce, the company, which had been assessed a business tax of 80 Reichsmarks in 1920, was required to be listed.

As a result of this complaint, Bruno Cohn registered his clothing store in the trade register on 1 November 1920, and listed his wife as authorized signatory. The store was very successful, and many sales clerks apprenticed there.

After 1933, Jewish families in Harburg were subject to anti-Semitic persecution, and Jewish business-owners suffered from the Nazi boycott measures. The Sa-La clothing store closed its doors on 7 March 1938.

Clara and Bruno Cohn sold the store and the property to the Otto Bretschneider company (Hamburg Harburg, Wilstorferstraße 2). The couple left Harburg in early April, and moved to Grindelallee 132 in Hamburg. After they left the building at Lüneburger Straße 28 in Harburg, the Otto Bretschneider wallpaper store moved into the ground floor. In 1939, the Harburg-Altstadt Nazi Party Welfare Offices were located on the second and third floors.

Beginning on 1 September 1938, Bruno Cohn worked with his brother-in-law Joseph Juda in his men’s clothing store at Süderstraße 162 in Hamburg. It is possible that Bruno Cohn helped his wife’s sister, Rosa Juda, run the story while Joseph Juda, his son-in-law Oskar Salomon, and Adolf Leo Laser were in prison on charges of "racial defilement.”

Bruno Cohn was taken into "protective custody” on the day after the November Pogrom in 1938, and, at the age of 48, was sent to the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. He returned to Hamburg on 10 January 1939, in poor health after two months imprisonment under inhuman conditions. He was admitted to the Israelitic Hospital on the next day.

Hildegard Cohn, Clara and Bruno’s daughter, emigrated to England in the summer of 1939 and survived the Holocaust. Her parents were deported to Minsk on 8 November 1941.

Stolpersteine for Bruno and Clara Cohn were placed in the sidewalk in front of the building at Grindelallee 132, their last address in Hamburg. There is also a Stolperstein for Clara Cohn in front of the building at Vogelhüttendeich 40, where her nephews Adolf and Rudolf Laser lived.

Translator(s): Amy Lee

Translation kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg

© Barbara Günther

Quellen: 1; 2 (R 1942/25); StaH, 332-8 Meldewesen, K4409; StaH, 351-11, AfW, 43467; StaH 430-64 Amtsgericht Harburg, VII B 759; Adressbuch 1939, S. 724 (online-Ausgabe http://agora.sub.uni-ham;jsessionid=FC74E6B89E07C3E186B4E58AA501CF05.agora2?did= c1:648140&sdid=c1:650817 (eingesehen am 5.12.2011).
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