Dr. Hugo Cohen, born 3.3.1876 in Castrop

Westenhellweg 91/93, Do-West

Physician Dr. Hugo Cohen passed his final school-leaving examination at the Petrinum High School in Recklinghausen in 1897, studied medicine, was granted his licence to practice in Freiburg, and set up in medical practice in Dortmund in 1906. He was granted specialist recognition in dermatology and urology, and initially had his practice at Ostenhellweg 50 I; in 1935, he relocated to Hansastrasse 40, now practising as a specialist in dermatology, urology and sexually transmitted diseases; he had his home in the same building.

From 1936 onwards, he was arrested several times and taken to Steinwache police station for offences against Section 175, the law prohibiting homosexual acts between men. Whether he was ever tried in court and convicted is not known.

From 1937, Hugo Cohen was no longer allowed to treat patients under the statutory health insurance scheme; the result was that he could no longer afford to maintain the practice and his home at Hansastrasse 30. He therefore took lodgings with Jeannette Wolff, a Jewess who kept a boarding house for Jews at Münsterstrasse 40½. There, along with other residents, he was physically mistreated by members of the SA in the course of the November pogrom, and was also sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp.

After spending time in custody in the camp, he returned to Dortmund on 24. November 1938 and planned to emigrate. He now lived as a lodger with a person or persons named Eisenstätt at Westenhellweg 91/93. On 20 May 1941, he was ordered to go and live in the collective accommodation at Parsevalstrasse 4 in Huckarde.
There, together with several other Jews, he received an order in autumn 1941 to present himself at the Börsensaal building (link to place). On 27 January 1942, they were deported to Riga.
On their arrival there, the Jews from Westphalia were physically mishandled by German and Latvian SS men. As Jeanette Wolff describes in her report, written after 1945, Hugo Cohen was severely ill, suffered from diabetes and also frostbite, and soon after arriving in Riga, was loaded onto a lorry, along with other mostly sick and elderly people and accompanied by blows from the guards, and taken away to Dünamünde, where he was murdered.

The so-called “Action Dünamünde” involved the murder of some 3,000 Jews from the Riga ghetto and took place in either early February or mid-March 1942.
Hugo Cohen was officially declared dead in 1956. He died in February or March 1942, aged either 65 or 66.

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