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Oral history interview with Cantor Hans Cohn

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

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    Oral history interview with Cantor Hans Cohn


    Interview Summary
    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.
    Cantor Hans Cohn
    Peter Ryan
    Ruth D. White
    interview:  1999 August 11
    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

    Physical Details

    Oral histories.
    2 videocassettes (SVHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Personal Name
    Cohn, Cantor Hans.
    Corporate Name
    United States. Army

    Administrative Notes

    The Bay Area Holocaust Oral History Project conducted the interview with Cantor Hans Cohn on August 11, 1999. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum received the tapes of the interview from the Bay Area Holocaust Oral History Project in December 2000.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this oral history interview has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 08:44:01
    This page:

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