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Willy Cohn

The historian Dr. Willy Cohn (1888-1941), whose specialization was Medieval German History, was a teacher and educator, an active member of the Social-Democratic party, an active Zionist, and a German patriot who served in the front for four year during World War I. As a man deeply involved in the life of the Jewish community of Breslau and other German-Jewish communities he visited as a lecturer, and as a man who had kept in touch with colleagues in his home town and across Germany, his diary holds a comprehensive and unique description of his and the Jewish public’s manner of coping with the difficult reality under the Nazi regime, as well as regarding the relationships between Jews and non-Jews, friends and neighbors, who had suddenly been placed on different sides of the fence. Three of his children left Germany before the war, two of whom immigrated to Israel. Willy Cohn, his second wife Trudy, and their two young daughters – nine year old Susanna and three year old Tamara, were murdered in the Ninth Fort in Kaunas on November 29th, 1941.
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