Cohn, Oscar

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COHN, OSCAR (1869–1936), German socialist politician. A lawyer in Berlin, he was a socialist member of the Reichstag from 1912 to 1918 and from 1921 to 1924. After the Russian Revolution of October 1917, he became legal adviser to the Soviet embassy in Berlin. He acted as counsel for the defense in the trials following the naval mutiny of 1917 and the general strike of January 1918. Cohn was often legal consultant in Jewish affairs and was active in various Jewish charity organizations. In the German Reichstag he combated the postwar campaign against the Ostjuden. In 1920 he went to Poland as a member of the commission set up by the International Socialist Conference to investigate the situation of the Polish Jews, and contributed to the report on their findings: La situation des Juifs en Pologne. Rapport de la Commission d'Etude désignée par la Conférence Socialiste Internationale de Lucerne (by Oscar Cohn, Pierre Renaudel, G.F. Schaper, and Thomas Shaw, 1920). In 1925 he was elected as representative of the *Po'alei Zion Party to the assembly of deputies of the Jewish communities of Berlin. He died in Geneva, and his remains were interred, according to his will, in kibbutz Deganyah.


E. Hamburger, Juden im oeffentlichen Leben Deutschlands (1968), 503–8. add. bibliography: M. Brenner, in: Terumah, 3 (1987), 101–27; L. Heid, Oscar Cohn (Ger., 2002).