Discovery of Holocaust-era pendant brings closure to relatives

Seven decades after her murder during the Holocaust, Karoline Cohn’s relatives will gather in her memory.

By: World Israel News Staff and AP

More than two dozen people related to Karoline Cohn, a young Jewish Holocaust victim, are to participate in a memorial ceremony for her, a Jewish girl from Frankfurt who was murdered by the Nazis.

He existence had been all but erased by the Nazis, until archeologists last year unearthed at the grounds of the former of the Sobibór Nazi extermination camp in Poland a silver piece of jewelry which bears the words “Mazal Tov” written in Hebrew on one side, and on the other side the Hebrew letter “ה” (God’s name) as well three Stars of David.

Among other personal items found at the death camp were a Star of David necklace, a woman’s watch and a metal charm covered in glass with an engraving of the image of Moses holding the Ten Commandments; on the reverse side of the charm was the inscription of the Jewish prayer “Shema.”

Through the use of Yad Vashem’s online pan-European Deportation Database “Transports to Extinction,” they were able to ascertain that the pendant belonged to Karoline Cohn. It’s almost identical to one belonging to Anne Frank, who was murdered in the Holocaust and is well known for the diary she wrote while in hiding in Amsterdam.

Dr. Joel Zissenwein, director of the Deportations Database Project, found that Cohn, born on July 3, 1929, was deported from Frankfurt to Minsk on November 11, 1941. While it is not known if Cohn survived the harsh conditions in the Minsk ghetto, her pendant reached Sobibór sometime between November 1941 and September 1943, when the ghetto was liquidated and the 2,000 Jewish prisoners interned there were deported to the death camp.

There, along the path to the gas chambers of Sobibór, the pendant belonging to 14-year-old Karoline Cohn was dropped and remained buried in the ground for over 70 years.

After the discovery, Yad Vashem called on Cohn’s relatives to contact them.

A year later in Frankfurt, four little brass plaques, called “Stolpersteine” (stumbling stones),will be placed for Karoline, her sister and parents on Monday in front of the location where the family lived before they were deported to their deaths.