Cohn, Emil Moses

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COHN, EMIL MOSES (pen name Emil Bernhard ; 1881–1948), German rabbi, writer, and active Zionist. Cohn, who was born in Berlin, was the son of the pro-Herzl Zionist Bernhard Cohn. He received both a Jewish and Zionist education at home. As a student, he organized a Zionist student group together with J.L. *Magnes, A. *Biram, and others. In 1906 he was appointed prediger (preacher and teacher of religion) by the Jewish community in Berlin, but was forced to resign in 1907 because of his Zionist views. The resignation caused a scandal and gave rise to much polemical literature (cf. his own statement in Mein Kampf ums Recht). After serving as rabbi in Kiel (1908–12), in Essen (1912–14) and in Bonn (1914–26), he returned to Berlin, where he served as rabbi in Grunewald. After several arrests by the Nazis, he emigrated to the Netherlands, then in 1939 to the U.S., where he lived until his death. Cohn published plays (mostly under the pseudonym Emil Bernhard), some of which were performed in Germany and abroad. One of them, Brief des Uriah (1909, printed in 1919), was performed by the *Habimah theater. He also wrote poetry, ideological essays on Judaism and Zionism, a book entitled David Wolfsohn, Herzls Nachfolger (1939; Eng. tr. 1944), and a translation of Judah Halevi's Diwan into German (1920). In the field of Zionism he was one of the editors of Zionistisches abc Buch (1908) and published his Zionist and Jewish credo called Judentum, ein Aufruf der Zeit (1923, 19342). He also published Juedischer Kinderkalender (1928, then Juedischer Jugendkalender 1929–31 and 1934).


Tramer, in: blbi, 8 (1965), 326–45 (including bibliography). add. bibliography: M. Zimmermann, in: ylbi 27 (1982), 129–53; R. Heuer (ed.), Lexikon deutsch-juedischer Autoren, 5 (1997), 208–25.

[Getzel Kressel /

Marcus Pyka (2nd ed.)]