Dozens of relatives, who only recently discovered their family connection, gathered in Germany today in order to pay their respects to the family member who brought them together: Karoline Cohn, who perished during the Holocaust at the young age of 14. “It’s a heart-warming emotion to meet family who were strangers to us before today,” one of Cohn’s first cousins explained.
Watch: Karolina Cohn’s family honors her
An emotional ceremony in memory of Karoline Cohn, a young Jewish girl who perished in the Holocaust at the Sobibor extermination camp, was held in Frankfurt Monday. Aside from representatives from the Claims Conference, many of Cohn’s relatives from around the world attended the ceremony.
“It’s a heart-warming emotion to meet family who were strangers to us before today,” explained Barry Eisemann, a first cousin of Karolina. “But it’s a heart-wrenching emotion … to know that Karolina and the entire family perished in the Holocaust.”
Cohn’s pendant Photo Credit: Channel 2 News
At the young age of 14, Cohn dropped her special triangular pendant as she walked to the camp’s gas chambers. The pendant has the Hebrew phrase “Mazel Tov” alongside her birthdate and place of birth engraved on it. Cohn was born in Frankfurt in 1929. She was taken to the Minsk Ghetto in November 1941 and two years later, she was sent with thousands of others to the extermination camp.
In January, archaeologists who were exploring the camp announced that they had found Cohn’s pendant and a genealogist volunteered to find her relatives. Today, more than two dozen of Cohn’s relatives gathered in order to pay their respects. During the ceremony, they unveiled four stolpersteine, one of the stones placed throughout Europe to remember Holocaust victims at their last known locations, for the young girl and her family.