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 Georges Andre Kohn

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Georges-Andre Kohn

Georges-Andre 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 camp.

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.


In 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 ill.

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 had cried.

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 ..

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