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Heinz-Egon Glass papers

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 2005.371.1

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    The papers consist of three letters written by Susi Cohn (later Susi Cohn Podgurski) in the United Kingdom to Heinz-Egon Glass in Shanghai. The letters describe school, her life in England, and asks Mr. Glass to tell her parents not to worry about her.
    Collection Creator
    Susi C. Podgurski
    Martin Cohn (1884-1943) was born on June 6, 1884. His wife, Toni Scherk (d. 1943) was born to Heinrich Scherk and Margarethe Scherk (1872-1943). Martin and Toni Cohn married on January 20, 1919. They had two children: Hildelotte (Hilde) Cohn, born on June 14, 1921 and Susi Cohn, born on January 25, 1924 in Berlin, Germany. Martin Cohn was a dentist and served in World War I.

    Prior to June 1939, Eugen Hirschfeld lost his home. He moved in with the Cohn family and assisted with the rent after Martin Cohn’s business was destroyed. Hirschfeld became like an older brother to Susi Cohn, and a close family friend. His letters to Susi were often signed “dein großer Bruder.”

    On June 21, 1939, Susi Cohn was sent on a Kindertransport from Germany to England under the auspices of the Refugee Children’s Movement, Bloomsbury House, London. She lived with Sigismund Goldberg, a cousin of Martin Cohn, and his family for three days upon her arrival in London before traveling to guardians in North House. She attended a boarding school in Bournemouth and later attended Clark’s College in London.

    On December 12, 1941, Hilde Cohn married Helmut Gerson. Hilde worked as a registered nurse at the Jewish hospital in Berlin, Germany. It is unclear when Hilde and Helmut’s twin sons died. Hilde and Helmut Gerson were sent to Theresienstadt. Margarethe Scherk was deported to the Theresienstadt ghetto on Transport 1/45 from Berlin, Germany on August 14, 1942. While in the ghetto, she was nursed by her granddaughter, Hilde Cohn Gerson. Margarethe died in December 1943.

    Helmut Gerson was eventually sent to work in the salt mines. Hilde contracted tuberculosis while imprisoned in Theresienstadt. Both survived. In 1946, both returned to the section of Berlin where they had previously resided, which was under Soviet authority. Contact with persons outside that sector was not allowed. In 1947, Helmut wrote to Susi that her sister was dying from tuberculosis and that they lacked food to aid her recovery. The Russians would not allow Susi Cohn to visit her sister, nor did they allow her care packages to be received. Hilde Gerson died on March 21, 1947. Nineteen of Susi’s packages were finally allowed to be delivered on the day that Hilde was buried.

    Their parents, Martin Cohn and Toni Cohn, were deported to Auschwitz concentration camp on March 12, 1943. They perished in Auschwitz, likely upon arrival.

    Susi Cohn married Joseph C. Podgurski on March 14, 1950. Their daughter Barbara married Sigvard Martensson.

    Physical Details

    German English
    1 folder

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    Material(s) in this collection may be protected by copyright and/or related rights. You do not require further permission from the Museum to use this material. The user is solely responsible for making a determination as to if and how the material may be used.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The papers were donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2005 by Heinz-Egon Glass.
    Record last modified:
    2024-04-01 11:41:52
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