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Oral history interview with Cantor Hans Cohn

Oral History | Accession Number: 1999.A.0122.148 | RG Number: RG-50.477.0148

Cantor Hans Cohn, born in Berlin, Germany on May 31, 1926, discusses his childhood in Berlin; being forced to leave his public school after the passage of the Nuremberg laws in 1935; antisemitic propaganda; his feelings of exclusion from social and athletic activities; the 1936 Olympic games; the events of Kristallnacht; the long wait for a visa to the United States; the family's decision to leave Germany for Shanghai, China; his impressions upon arrival in Shanghai; the life of his family and the Jewish community in Shanghai; his mother's death; the difficulties and illnesses he endured; moving into the Hongkew ghetto when the Japanese took control of Shanghai in 1942; his experiences there; the Allied bombings of Shanghai that took place in the spring of 1945; his life in post-war Shanghai; stowing aboard a ship to Australia in 1946; living as an illegal immigrant in Australia; his immigration to the United States in 1948; being drafted into the military; volunteering as a cantor in a San Francisco synagogue; returning to school and obtaining a cantorial diploma; working as a singing waiter in the Borscht Belt in New York while he was attending Hebrew Union College in New York; being reunited with his father in 1952; and his later experiences.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Cohn, Cantor Hans
Ryan, Peter
White, Ruth Donig
interview:  1999 August 11
Oral histories.
2 videocassettes (SVHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Jewish Family and Children's Services of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 20:13:11
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