Kohn was the youngest son of Armand Kohn, a rich
Jewish businessman in Paris. In 1944 Georges, his
grandmother (75), mother, father, his older sisters,
Rose-Marie and Antoinette, and his eighteen year-old
brother, Philippe, were crowded into cattle cars with
hundreds of Jews to be deported to a concentration
The Nazi officer responsible for the deportation was
SS Hauptsturmfuhrer Alois Brunner.
Three days after the train began moving, Rose-Marie
and Philippe broke the bars of the car's small window,
jumped out and miraculously escaped. When the train
arrived at the KZ camp, the family was separated. Only
Armand Kohn and the two escaped survived the Holocaust
A gruesome fate awaited Georges-Andre.
November 1944 20 Jewish children, among them
Georges-Andre Kohn, had been brought from Auschwitz to
the concentration camp of Neuengamme, just outside
Hamburg. The youngsters, aged between 5 and 12 years
old, came from all over Europe. Plucked from their
homes the children had witnessed the murder of parents,
siblings, and relatives.
Now they were to be human guinea-pigs in a series of
medical experiments conducted by the SS doctor Kurt
Heissmeyer. Dr. Heissmeyer removed the children's
lymph glands for analysis, and he injected living
tuberculosis bacteria in their veins and directly into
their lungs to determine if they had any natural
immunities to tuberculosis. They were carefully
observed, examined and photographed as the disease
progressed. The condition of all the children
deteriorated very rapidly and they became extremely
On April 20th, 1945, the day on which Adolf
Hitler was celebrating his fifty-sixth birthday and
just a few days before the war ended, the Nazis
decided to kill the children in an effort to hide
evidence of the experiments from the approaching
Allied forces. The British were less than three miles
from the camp.
The children were told that they had to be vaccinated
against typhoid fever before their return journey.
Then they were injected with morphine. They were
hanged from hooks on the wall, but the SS men found it
difficult to kill the mutilated children. The first
child to be strung up was so light - due to disease
and malnutrition - that the rope wouldn’t strangle
him. The SS officer, untersturmführer Frahm, had to
use all of his own weight to tighten the noose. Then
he hanged the others, two at a time, from different
hooks. 'Just like pictures on the wall', he
would recall later. He added that none of the children
At five o' clock in the morning on April 21th,
1945, the Nazis had finished with their work and drank
hard-earned coffee ...
Not one of the children of Bullenhuser Damm was older
than twelve. Had they survived another two weeks, they
would have been liberated by the Allied forces.
Georges-Andre Kohn was murdered a few days before
April 23, 1945, the day on which he would have been
celebrating his bar mitzvah ..