Richard Cohn

Born: Halle, Germany, 28 June 1907

Profession in country of origin: Lawyer

Arrived in Britain as a refugee from Germany in July 1939


Male enemy alien - Exemption from internment - Refugee  
Surname: Cohn
Forename: Richard
Alias: - 
Date and place of birth: 28/06/1907 in Halle
Nationality: German 
Police Regn. Cert. No.: 712 053 
Home Office ref: C 673   
Address: Kitchener camp, Richborough, Sandwich, Kent 
Normal occupation: Lawyer
Present occupation: 
Name and address of employer: - 
Decision of tribunal: Exempted "C" & 9A   
Date 17.10.1939 
Whether exempted from Article 6(A): Yes 
Whether desires to be repatriated: No 

Tribunal District: Richborough Camp Tribunal no. 3

Source: National Archives, Home Office: Aliens Department: Internees Index, 1939-1947.

Editor’s note: We are not allowed to reproduce National Archives (UK) images, but we are permitted to reproduce the material from them, as shown above.


Richborough transit camp, Richard Cohn, Letter, 19 July 1939, page 1
Kitchener camp, Richard Cohn, Letter, 19 July 1939, page 1
Richborough transit camp, Richard Cohn, Letter, 19 July 1939, page 2
Kitchener camp, Richard Cohn, Letter, 19 July 1939, page 2


Kitchener Camp


19 July 1939

    Dear father, dear Heinz!

    Although I have not heard from you for a long time, not even on the detour through Halle, I want to announce my happy arrival. Although it naturally meant a change for me, I've settled in quite well. The camp is generous in every way. Although about 2,500 people stay here, everything works like a clock. The food is good and plentiful. Much care is given to entertainment. There is a cinema of its own with upholstered chairs and state-of-the-art equipment. We also have concerts, Variety performance etc. Also, the relations between each other are quite friendly. Had we not been worried of our dears at home, it would be ideal. Thank God, I have good news. Dear Recha writes such lovely letters, yet you can read between the lines how her heart is bleeding. Touch wood, Hanneli thrives and brings everyday in these crazy times new happiness.

    As I already wrote to you from Paris, the Palestine office is willing to acquire certificates against a deposit of 60000 – cash, 1000LP. Unfortunately, it seems as if the Gestapo denied the authorization to deposit, although our trustee approved it. The payment should have been made by PalAmt by 15 July, but the Gestapo had not approved it by that date. If this thing does not work, I foresee unfortunately a black future, since for the time of 1 October 1939 to 1 April 1940 no certificates will be issued. Can you manage to get Certificates from Erez on this schedule?

    Independently of this, I work diligently to ensure that dear Recha with the child will be coming to England as soon as possible. As you know, the parents of Max Jahn behaved fabulously and agreed to accept Recha and Hanneli in their home. As far as I know, this is only pro-forma, but it is sufficient for the application. The applications from Camp residents are preferably processed, so I hope to have my family here in about two months. My father's cousin's guarantor is 200LP. First thing, I'll go to London and have the money written in my name. A pass to London is generally granted only after four weeks, but I hope to be able to go earlier.

   I spent some nice days in Paris. Erich was great. For the time being he lives from hand to mouth. He is mainly involved in the sale of export business. Since France was little exporting until now, I think the business is expandable. Erich works closely with Ernst Strauss and receives from him several orders per week.

    Meanwhile, Uncle Lu has helped me a little bit to get settled in England. Of course, he lacks the language. He is worried that in a short while he will spend all his savings, and then what? So, everyone has their own worries.

     I forgot to note that I signed up to be trained to become an English teacher. For this purpose, I still have to take an entrance examination. I have not yet found out the possibilities to achieve a Law degree in England. I would have liked to take part in a Cooking or Baking course, but currently there is no such thing here. In the kitchen you are only used for dish washing!

Let's hear from you soon. I send you many warm greetings.


Many greetings to Siegfried and Hanna. How is the little Margalit?
Richborough camp, Richard Cohn, Letter, 5 September 1939
Kitchener camp, Richard Cohn, Letter, 5 September 1939, Rosh Hashana
Dr Richard Cohn, Hut 37/I                                                Kitchener Camp Nr. 2291                                                 Richborough, near Sandwich, Kent                                                                                             

Café Atarah Jaffa Road Jerusalem 5 September 1939 My dear ones! Until the last minute, we were hoping the catastrophe would be averted, but fate has said otherwise. You will understand how I feel [?]. And in this mood I am to convey to you, as every year, my good wishes for the New Year!  But it seems to me that especially in this situation we have to ask for the protection and help of God, the Almighty, we entrust the life to all those who are dearest and most dear to us on this earth. May he protect them for us, and us for them. This is my deepest wish, also for you, on the threshold of the New Year. 

You do not have to worry about me; I'm still in good hands here. My last news from dear Recha was dated 26 August. I am now trying to send her a sign of life through my relatives in Holland. Erich will do his duty. In the meantime, Ruth and their little daughter are probably in the south of France, I do not know exactly yet. 

Hopefully you are all well, in particular you, dear father. Please write to me quite often, so that I will not worry about your fate. Please do not be angry with me for my short message today; I'll catch up. Celebrate the holidays in solemn devotion, remembering all our loved ones and also yours. 

Sincere greetings and kisses Richard
Richborough camp, Richard Cohn letter 3 November 1939
Kitchener camp, Richard Cohn, letter 3 November 1939
Kitchener camp, Richard Cohn, Letter, 3 November 1937
Kitchener camp, Richard Cohn, Letter, 7 November 1939


Kitchener camp, Richard Cohn, upper left
Recognised by Richard’s family, from the Hans Friedmann collection
With kind permission from the Pollack family

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