Leo Cohn

Ritterstraße 56
Stone was laid
17 May 2018
26 January 1875 in Berlin
on 13 January 1942
January 1942 in Riga
Leo Cohn was born in Berlin on the 26th of January 1876. He went to school in Berlin as well. In 1893 he got his first job in a machine and bronze factory, which he ended up leaving one year later, 1894. Shortly after, he created his own exportation industry. He was responsible for selling metal and bronze items, for example razorblades. In the same year he married Hedwig Singer, a Jewish woman born on the 18th October 1876. Taking the name of Leo Cohn she was renamed Hedwig Cohn.
They had an enjoyable and relatively wealthy life. 1906 they had their first child together, Heinz Cohn (*1906-1970). They lived in a 5 room apartment, had a housemaid and used to travel on vacation. On the 18th July 1917 Hedwig gave birth to their second child, Franz Emanuel Cohn.
Leo Cohn fought for Germany in World War I. During the war he was injured on his head by a grenade which led him to be transferred to a military hospital. He was rewarded with a medal and managed to return to his family alive and well. Son Heinz achieved his graduation on the 8th March 1924 and not long after, he entered the Friedrich Wilhelm University to become a signified teacher. On the 2oth February 1917 Franz Emanuel Cohn passed away due to an ear inflammation in the Virchow Hospital in Berlin-Wedding. In the year 1931 Heinz Cohn finally finished his education as a teacher and started working in the public service.
During these events the hatred towards the Jewish people kept on growing in Germany.
The life situation for Jewish people became more and more difficult with every day. The Cohn family was also affected.
When Adolf Hitler came to power, laws against Jews came into force and political pressure was built up. Family Cohn became poorer, they had to give up their apartment and move to a flat in Ritterstraße in the district of Kreuzberg. Heinz Cohn, not living at home anymore, lost his job. Nevertheless he managed to get a new job as an assistant at a school department of the “Reich's Agency” and in 1934, he married Käthe Else Isaack.
1937 Käthe Else Cohn gave birth to their only son Wolfgang (later Warren) Immanuel Cohn. With a responsibility not only for themselves, they decided to flee from Germany. And 1941 they did so, not at all too early, since two months later the emigration of Jews was forbidden.
1942 almost on year later Leo and Hedwig Cohn, who had stayed in Germany, were deported to Riga in Latvia.
Little is known about the circumstances of their death. They were deported on the 13th of January 1942 via Berlin-Grunewald in a train with 1034 people in total.
The train arrived in Riga three days later. Leo and Hedwig Cohn are registered as “disappeared”. The assumption is that they suffered the same fate of many other people deported to Riga: they most probably were murdered in a mass shooting in a free field.