The Jewish Museum

Jewish Britain

A History in 50 Objects


Travelling trunk

This travelling trunk was used by Ernst Kohnstamm, a German hop merchant who travelled all over Europe. In 1937 he emigrated to England, moving in with his brother Otto, who had emigrated in 1933 after he was barred from practising as a heart specialist by the Nazis. Ernst’s luggage was transported in this trunk and was probably delivered ahead of him. Later the Kohnstamm brothers were followed to England by their parents.

Ernst and his family were among the 70,000 Jewish refugees who had come to Britain by 1939, fleeing persecution in Nazi Germany.



David Phelps

Otto was our family doctor in Willesden Green. I remember his consulting room well and his many elderly Austrian lady patients.

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