Kohn became an Israeli. He served in the army, then went to medical school in Zurich. He did his residency in a Tiberias hospital, where he would listen to the proceedings of the Eichmann trial over a transistor radio.
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Today Dr. Kohn is retired but still works many a long hour as one of Israel’s leading specialists on geriatric medicine. He sits opposite me in our little Haifa neighborhood synagogue. We have a running joke: when he goes to the bimah to say the priestly blessing, I guard his shoes against any potential thieves. He lectures and consults. Every Shavuos he gives a talk to our synagogue’s late-night tikkun that combines medical ethics with rabbinic sources and traditional Jewish ideas.
Whatever one thinks of Rudolf Kastner, David Kohn survived the Nazis and has lived a rich, accomplishment-filled life thanks to the train odyssey that will forever bear Kastner’s name.
Steven Plaut is a professor at the University of Haifa. His book “The Scout” is available at Amazon.com. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.