Franz Kohner

Franz Kohner was a Jewish refugee who escaped to Northern Ireland from the Sudetenland. There, he took on an important role on a refugee resettlement farm.

Jewish Refugee

Franz Kohner

Coming from Sudetenland, Czechoslovakia, Franz Kohner escaped persecution with his young family and they found themselves managing a farm in Millisle, Co. Down in 1939.

Franz Kohner was a Jewish refugee from the Sudetenland. He and his wife and two young children came to Northern Ireland as part of the Kindertransport.

He came to be an administrator of the Kindertransport resettlement farm at Ballyrolly House, Millisle, Co. Down. He undertook the role with his wife Edith Kohner. Daughters Edith Kohner and Dinah Kohner accompanied their parents.

There was a lot of administration required. The British government viewed refugees from Germany and Austria as “enemy aliens”. They could only live in assigned areas and had to adhere to a 2200hrs curfew. The Kohners looked after paperwork such as each refugee’s Alien Registration Book. They also handled permits issued by the local police to permit refugees to leave the farm.

The extended Kohner family lost a total of 23 members during the Holocaust.

Newsletter Signup

If you'd like to hear more from WartimeNI, you can sign up for regular free updates to your inbox. Just enter your email address below.