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A German-Jewish teenager works at her desk in a Berlin department store where she is apprenticed as an office clerk.

Photograph | Digitized | Photograph Number: 45948

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    A German-Jewish teenager works at her desk in a Berlin department store where she is apprenticed as an office clerk.
    A German-Jewish teenager works at her desk in a Berlin department store where she is apprenticed as an office clerk.

Pictured is Steffi Cohn, sister of the donor.

    Overview

    Caption
    A German-Jewish teenager works at her desk in a Berlin department store where she is apprenticed as an office clerk.

    Pictured is Steffi Cohn, sister of the donor.
    Date
    1938
    Locale
    Berlin, [Berlin] Germany
    Variant Locale
    Berlin-Buckow
    Berlin-Mariendorf
    Berlin-Ploetzensee
    Berlin-Reinickendorf
    Berlin-Tempelhof
    Berlin-Wannsee
    Berlin-Schlachtensee
    Berlin-Duppel
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Ruth Hilde Terner

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: Ruth Hilde Terner

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Biography
    Ruth Terner (born Ruth Cohn) is the daughter of Werner and Frieda (Friedl) Cohn. She was born in 1923 in Berlin, where her father and uncle manufactured summer hats and doll clothes. Her older sister Steffi was born in 1921. Her father's family had lived in Berlin for generations, and her mother's family came from Soldin, near Poznan. In 1934 Ruth was forced to leave her mixed German and Jewish school and move to an all-Jewish middle school. In 1939 Werner and Frieda decided to send their daughters to England on a Kindertransport with the hope that they eventually would join them. Steffi left first since she just barely squeezed by under the upper age limit of 18. Ruth left on the next to the last transport on August 10, 1939. Her sponsor was Frau Landsmann, a non-Jewish German woman who together with Mrs. Atkinson of Dorset, helped many Jewish children to find refuge. After Ruth's arrival in England, Mrs. Atkinson, now Ruth's guarantor, sent her to a small town in Buxted Sussex to train for a career in nursing. She first was given the position of a trainee to a matron in a boarding school. Ruth was very unhappy there and eventually moved to a different school in Warminster, Wiltshire, where there were other refugee children. After Ruth became ill, she had to move to a still a new position. Since her sister was then in Birmingham, Mrs. Atkinson found her work nearby assisting mentally handicapped children. Ruth eventually convinced Mrs. Atkinson that she had no interest in that type of work, and following a two-week vacation in Dorset at Mrs. Atkinson's home and farm, Ruth went to work for the war effort. While in Birmingham, Ruth met Karl (later Charles) Terner, a chemist and Jewish emigre from Vienna. They married in the Central Synagogue of Birmingham in 1945 and immigrated to the United States ten years later.

    While in England, Ruth and Steffi regularly corresponded with their parents up until 1940 or 1941. After that point they only could receive short messages through the Red Cross. In the spring of 1942, Ruth's parents were deported from Berlin to Treblinka where they perished. In July 1942 her grandmother, Olga Cohn, wrote to another son living in India telling him that she was about to travel, a euphemism for deportation. She also perished. Another uncle, aunt and cousin of Ruth met the same fate in 1943.
    Record last modified:
    2005-03-09 00:00:00
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/pa1134130

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