A prayer shawl, or tallit, is worn by Jewish men during prayer recitations. This shawl belonged to Harry Cohen who lived in Montreal before the war. Originally from Poland, he immigrated to Canada during the 1920’s.
Harry Cohen’s Return to Poland
In the summer of 1939, Harry returned to Poland to take care of family-related matters. His four children stayed in Montreal. When the war started on September 1st, 1939, Harry couldn’t leave Europe. A Christian family hid him, but he was discovered and deported to Auschwitz, where he was presumably killed. Harry Cohen is the only known Canadian victim of Nazi concentration camps.
In 1945, the woman who hid Harry during the war sent back this prayer shawl to his family in Montreal.
Harry Cohen's Prayer Shawl
His son, Manuel Cohen, donated it to the Montreal Holocaust Museum in 2002.
This project is part of the implementation of the Plan culturel numérique du Québec.