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Dr Robert and Monica Kahn

Dr. Bob and Monica Kahn

Holocaust refugees Dr. Robert and Monica Kahn, longtime residents of Greeley, passed away on February 3, 2023, as the result of an automobile crash in San Angelo, Texas. A celebration of life ceremony was held on February 8 at the Union Colony Civic Center in Greeley, officiated by Rabbi Sara Gilbert. Arrangements were made by Allnutt Funeral.

Dr. Kahn, 91, and Mrs. Kahn, 84, were traveling through Texas during their annual excursion to Padre Island when their car hit a guardrail on US 87 and flipped onto its roof. Both Dr. and Mrs. Kahn were declared dead at the scene of the crash.

Dr. Kahn’s father Herman fought for the Germans in WW I, though in 1938 was sent to the Buchenwald concentration camp.

“They (Nazi SS agents) were quite impolite,” Dr. Kahn told Chris Leppek of the IJN in February, 2022. “One of my grandmothers was quite wordy and argued with them.

“They told her to shut up, and both of my grandfathers and my father were taken to jail.”

Once Herman Kahn proved that he was a veteran, he was released, and he rejoined his family. The Kahn family escaped Germany and eventually settled in New York.

Mrs. Kahn was a native of Italy, and also fled the Nazis. Her family settled in Denver, where Mrs. Kahn graduated from East High School and attended Temple Emanuel.

In February, 2022, Mrs. Kahn told the IJN that when she and her husband were introduced as Holocaust survivors “we never thought of it that way.”

The couple met in the early 1960s when Dr. Kahn was in post-medical school training at CU, where he was studying to become a radiologist. The couple was married in Denver on Feb. 15, 1959. A few years later they moved to Greeley, where they were active at Beth Israel Congregation and became community fixtures.

“I am saddened beyond words,” said Beth Israel’s Rabbi Sara Gilbert. “It is still a little unreal to grasp.

“They were pillars of the community, and they were like family members. When newcomers came to the congregation, they were immediately welcomed by Monica and Bob.

“Their stories [about the Holocaust] were very important to them. Bob was very active in the Holocaust Observance Committee of Northern Colorado.”

Rabbi Gilbert noted that Mrs. Kahn celebrated her Bat Mitzvah at the synagogue in June, 2021.

“Her d’var Torah was her stories of the Holocaust.”

Mrs. Kahn was a regional director of the American Heart Assn. and a volunteer at many Greeley organizations. She was also president of the Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra.

In 2021, Dr. Kahn published a book Roentgen and Me, which focused on the German physicist who developed X-rays, Wilhelm Konrad Röntgen.

Survivors include daughters Emily (Dr. Doug) Kemme, Elizabeth (Greg) Kahn Lanning, and Michelle (Steve) Sauder, and grandchildren Dr. Jordan (Mia) Kemme, Madeleine Kemme, Alison Lanning, Branda Hebert, Cassie Black and Lacey McCulloch.

Contributions may be made to the Weld Food Bank, the Anti-Defamation League or the Go West Film Fest.

Copyright © 2023 by the Intermountain Jewish News

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