Hilda Stern Cohen

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Hilda Stern Cohen (born 1924 in Nieder-Ohmen , Upper Hesse; died 1997 in Baltimore ) was a Holocaust survivor who only became known as a poet and writer after her death after she found old school notebooks .


From 1937 to 1938 Hilda Stern Cohen attended the Israelite Teacher Training Institute in Würzburg and worked as a religion teacher at the Jewish district school in Bad Nauheim until she was deported to the Lodz ghetto and the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1941 .

She survived the concentration camp and emigrated to the USA in 1946, via Austria . During this time 150 poems and prose texts were written, with which she processed her traumatic experiences in Lodz and Auschwitz and the murder of her parents and grandparents. Topics covered include her problems returning to a normal life as a concentration camp survivor and her experiences in Austrian DP camps where she had to wait for her immigrant visa for the USA. In order to begin a new life internally, she gave up her mother tongue, ceased literary activity and devoted herself to her work as a Jewish religion teacher in Baltimore.

Even after nearly 50 years of marriage, her husband knew nothing of his wife's literary ambitions. He unexpectedly found the notebooks described with poetry and prose in her estate. The texts were sent to the Holocaust Literature Unit at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen via the Goethe Institute in Washington, DC . Here Hilda Stern Cohen's work was prepared and published as a book under the title Nailed my tongue .

In 2008, read the actress Iris Berben in Licher Cultural Bezalel synagogue from the works of Hilda Stern Cohen. The event was broadcast on the radio program of the Hessischer Rundfunk ( HR 2 ). In 2013, as part of a commemorative hour on the 75th anniversary of the Reichspogromnacht, a musical reading from the work of Hilda Stern Cohen by Lilli Schwethelm and Georg Crostewitz took place in the Hessian state parliament .


  • Erwin Leibfried, Sascha Feuchert (Ed.): My tongue is nailed. Poems and prose by a Holocaust survivor by Hilda Stern Cohen (1924–1997) (=  Memento . Volume 2 ). Ernst Ludwig Chambré Foundation, Giessen 2003, ISBN 978-3-00-010499-2 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Hilda Stern Cohen. Holocaust literature at the Institute for German Studies at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen , accessed on August 10, 2015 .
  2. Iris Berben read texts by Hilda Stern-Cohen. In: Gießener Allgemeine Zeitung . November 9, 2008, accessed August 10, 2015 .
  3. ^ Memorial hour for the 75th anniversary of the Reichspogromnacht. Hessian State Parliament , November 9, 2013, accessed on August 10, 2015 .
  4. Reading and Music - Poetry and Prose by Hilda Stern Cohen. Theater Mimikri, Büdingen , accessed on August 10, 2015 .