CONDOLENCES: Rabbi Romi Cohn, 92-year-old Holocaust survivor and rescuer, passed away yesterday from the #coronavirus. Romi was born on March 10, 1929 in Pressburg (now Bratislava), Czechoslovakia. When the Germans began deporting Jews from Slovakia in 1942, Romi’s parents had him smuggled to Hungary, which had not yet been occupied by the Nazis. He settled in a small town and attended a local yeshiva until 1944 when the mass deportation of Hungarian Jews began. Romi managed to make his way back to Czechoslovakia where he acquired false Christian papers and made contact with the underground resistance. He then used his connections to find housing and fake papers for 56 Jewish families. Romi was eventually arrested by the Gestapo and, after a daring escape, decided to join the partisans hiding in the mountains. In order to reach the mountains, he forged a German military travel order and convinced the officers that he was a German spy. Romi spent six months capturing, interrogating, and executing SS officers with his partisan brigade. After the war, he returned home to be reunited with his father and two of his sisters. His mother and four of his siblings were murdered. Romi left Eastern Europe in 1950, first living in Canada and then settling in Brooklyn where he met his wife Malvine. The couple moved to Staten Island in 1961 where Romi served as a prominent Rabbi and mohel. Less than two months before his death, Rabbi Cohn delivered the opening prayer in the U.S. House of Representatives for the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. He was a beloved teacher, leader, and hero who risked his life to rescue fellow Jews during the Holocaust.
May his memory forever be a blessing, BDE
Source: American Society for Yad Vashem