Kohn, Herbert & Ruth

Herbert Kohn: Born in Graz, Austria               December 10, 1912
Deceased in unknown, USA    March 5, 1992
Ruth Kohn nee Arnoldi: Born in Answalde, Germany




  Children: Daniel, David, Frank

  Grandchildren: Jacob, Hannah

Family Story:

Herbert Kohn lived in Graz, Austria, where he graduated from medical school in 1937. Following graduation, he worked in a tuberculosis hospital. In 1938 he made his way across the border into Switzerland and stayed and worked in a worker’s camp. There he met a recruiter from the Joint who told him about Sosúa.

Dr. Kohn arrived in the Dominican Republic on December 7, 1940, as part of the Swiss Group. He lived and worked with the group in a community situation in Bombita. He did other odd jobs as well. For instance, because he pursued photography as a hobby, he took the pictures of new arrivals for their cédula, the national identity card required of all adult residents in the Dominican Republic. Eventually, he left the communal situation in Bombita to work in the Sosúa hospital. He made an effort to bring his parents to Sosúa but, due to an error with their names, they weren’t able to leave in time.

Ruth, who had arrived as a young teenager from Berlin, Germany, with her family, the Arnoldis (see Moses and Margarethe Arnoldi), finished her schooling in Sosúa and trained to become a nurse in the Sosúa hospital. She and Herbert were married in 1947 – theirs was the first marriage that took place in the then newly established Sosúa Synagogue. Together, they continued to work in the Sosúa hospital and lived in a house near the hospital in Batey. Their son, Daniel, was born in Sosúa.

The Kohns left for the US In May of 1951, where Herbert passed the state board medical exams for several states. They moved to New Jersey where Herbert became a child psychiatrist and Ruth worked as a mental health worker. Their sons, David and Frank, were born in the US. Herbert passed away in 1992.

Ruth continues to actively support efforts to recognize the story of Sosúa, and she is often called on to speak about her experiences in Sosúa.


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