A new Holocaust exhibit was opened at the National Infantry Museum over the weekend. The display was named in memory of Aaron Cohn, who served during World War II, and participated in the liberation of a concentration camp in Austria.
Following his service for the U.S. 3rd Armored Cavalry, Cohn became a juvenile judge in Columbus, Georgia, using his experiences during the war as a pretext for his commitment to speaking out and acting against injustice.
“He was a wonderful hero,” said the late judge’s daughter Gail Cohn at the exhibit’s opening in Fort Benning, Georgia over the weekend. “The reason was because he lived his values. He didn’t just talk about them and expect you to do them, he modeled them.”
A video featuring Judge Cohn was shown at the exhibition’s opening, providing insight into how his experience during the war shaped his life in the years following.
“There was a gentleman there who was a fine looking man who looked like a cadaver. He took my hand and he kissed it and he said ‘Major Cohn when you get back to the United States of America, you must tell the world what has happened to us,’” says the Judge in a video interview filmed prior to his passing.
Gail Cohn added more about the lessons her father preached after witnessing first hand the atrocities of the Holocaust.
“He often talked about the Holocaust and the lessons that it gave us. And, the lessons that it gave us is that we had to speak up and speak out against injustice. We had to fight for the good. We had to take care of this democratic country of ours.”
Israel’s Consul for Media Affairs in New York, Shahar Azani, addressed the gathering, and heirs of Judge Cohn saying, “I wish to take this opportunity and express my nation’s sincere gratitude and appreciation to the United States of America for being a beacon of freedom in the modern era and for all of those who sacrificed their lives in the protection of humanity. Israel will never forget.”