The site is centered on a particular Cassirer and Cohen family and their descendants as they shaped their lives from the eighteenth century to this day. In the course of that it touches on over 7,000 related people with more than 1,200 surnames. Of course unless you happen to be one of these people, the thing of interest is likely to be the histories.
As with many other familes of Jewish origin the story of Cassirer and Cohen begins in Central Europe, in this case from a small area bounded by Schweinfurt, Dessau, Berlin, Schwientochlowitz, and Crakow. The Cassirer family (including Ernst Cassirer who's philosophy is a focus of increasing contemporary interest) became extremely prominent in Berlin prior to World War II. Whilst the Holocaust (Shoah) shattered the Cassirer family spreading its survivors across the world, Henry Cohen, by contrast, arrived in Australia involuntarily as a convict. It was not the disaster that at first it must have seemed. The Cohen family found bountiful opportunity in the new land, and subsequent generations rose to prominence in commerce and government.
This, then, is in essence a story of how the Nazi holocaust and earlier brutal British policies of transporting even minor transgressors to penal settlements confronted and uprooted two families. It is also the story of how they and their descendants responded and rebuilt their lives.
Using this site
The best place to start is the Overview, or for a particular person, the Family Tree. There is also a quite large Document Collection including 18th Century family trusts, photographs, convict records and much else. To find specific information either click search the site or the corresponding item at anytime in the left menu bar.
This site is a "living document" in which corrections by readers are an essential means to improving accuracy or documenting more speculative observations. Consequently corrections to errors and deficiencies, additional facts, interesting accounts of the lives of any the people touched on here, or any relevant photos, documents or references to them are always appreciated. Site policy is not to make available addresses or other contact details. Any information about you will, at your request, be removed or corrected with information that you provide. The site editor is Jim Falk. You can contact me here.
The site editor is Jim Falk, Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne. Some related sites include Ernst Cassirer, Cassirer, Falk, and Cohen home pages and some other supportive sites. Contributors retain their copyright. What follows is primarily for indexing purposes: These pages are about some members of the Cassirer, Falk, and Cohen families, some of them living for centuries in Germany. These include the philosopher Prof. Ernst (Alfred) Cassirer (1874-1945), galerist Paul Cassirer (1871-1926) and publisher Bruno Cassirer (1872-1941). As with most other jewish families of the 19th and 20th century their experience is against a background of antisemitism, humilation and extermination. Whereas the Cohens under consideration here were already in Australia, the Cassirers and Falks, as families who once migrated from the Russian Empire (Poland) and Austrian Empire (Galicia, Bohemia, Hungary) to the German Empire (Prussia), lost some of their loved ones in the Holocaust. For more information about these please look at the Yad Vashem site of the Jewish Holocaust Museum. The Cohen family escaped the Holocaust since they were already in Australia. The oppression of the Shoah unleashed by the Nazi regime caused the Falk and Cassirer family members to leave Berlin or face death. We have identified family members murdered in the Holocaust. Erich Falk escaped the Holocaust and ended with his family in Israel. Click here for the family tree entries, and the Ernst Cassirer, Cassirer, Falk, and Cohen home pages.