Moritz (Morris) Kotzin

Moritz (or Morris, or Moses, or Moshe) Kotzin was the brother of Max. He married Helen Frydland (presumably in Warsaw). Around the time of World War I, they emigrated to Canada. (Sol, Moritz’s son, mentions Edmonton, Alberta, on page 4 of this document.)

Moritz died on December 11, 1927, in Chicago.*

Above: Moritz Kotzin in Canada (probably Edmonton, Alberta)

For another picture, with the family, click here.

When Leo wanted to come to the United States during World War II, he thought about contacting the Kotzins (who were now in Chicago), but wasn’t sure how the Kotzin branch felt about the Hurwicz branch. This uncertainty had to do with circumstances surrounding Moritz’s emigration to Canada (perhaps initially to Edmonton, Alberta) around the time of World War I.

Sol Kotzin (Moritz’s son) described Moritz’s early experience in Canada:

At that time Canada was not a developed country and most of the Jewish population was busy in some commercial enterprise. At the beginning of his arrival besides trying to learn the English language father put a pack on his back and he traveled from one area to another in western Canada where he was selling clothing and other items to workers in the developing plants. His business progressed but he was unable to receive us until he was really settled to be able to keep up the family.

By 1920, Moritz had established a store, again probably in Edmonton, Alberta. (Near the top of this page, There’s a photograph of him leaning in the doorway of a typical “Old West” type general store, with foot-high lettering on a squarish false facade proclaiming M. KOTZIN, GENERAL MERCHANT. Click on it for a larger version.) At this point, he returned to Poland to get his family. In Poland, he once again asked Max for financial assistance for the trip back to Canada.

The first time that Moritz went to Canada, in 1912, Max had helped him financially. Apparently, when Moritz returned to Poland in 1920, Max’s perception was that Moritz had been unable to get established in Canada, and Max was unwilling to provide funds for a second try.

Well, of course, Moritz did return to Canada even without Max’s help, but as Sol said, “Father bought our tickets and didn’t have a penny left.” (Sol attributed this largely to the extremely unfavorable exchange rates they got when buying Belgian currency needed for the tickets.)

Moritz was not happy with Max’s refusal and, even after the Kotzins moved to Chicago, the two brothers remained estranged.

“Moritz was very angry at this,” Leo explained, “and they stopped talking to each other. Not talking to each other was a very favorite form of punishment in the Hurwicz family. You have to understand that they were not talking with one another while one side was in Moscow and the other was in Chicago, so it was very easy not to talk with each other.”

“However, the two sisters, Aunt Helen and Sara Lea, secretly corresponded with each other, and broke the boycott, but didn’t tell the others. I didn’t know this story, but I knew there was some bad blood. But I didn’t know if I should try to contact them.”

Both brothers died in 1927, Sara Lea in 1935. So, in 1939, there was reason to hope that old grudges, too, had passed away.

The secret connection between the sisters turned out to be a good thing for Leo in 1939, when he began planning to come to the U.S. from Europe. Continuing his narrative:

“The first few days of World War II, I was in Bern, which is the capital of Switzerland. On the second (or third, but I think the second) day of the war, the 2nd of September, 1939, I got a telegram from my father. It said something like “We are OK.” (Actually it was a lie, because there was bombing all over Warsaw, the Nazis were attacking.)”

“But then what it gave was the address of the Kotzins in Chicago: 3605 Dickens Avenue.”

This was the first signal that the Kotzins would help him. They ended up sending him money for his passage and taking care of him in every way when he first arrived.

* According to, Moses died on December 11, 1927. He was buried on December 12, 1927, in Proviso Township, Cook County, IL. It gives the cemetery as “Ezra Israel”. This may refer to the Ezra Israel Anshe Motele synagogue, which was listed at 1227 Washburne Av in the city directory of 1923. In 1928, it was listed at 1614 S. Homan. The S. Homan address is around 4.5 miles from 3605 Dickens Avenue, where Aunt Helen lived when Leo arrived in 1940. There is a large Jewish cemetery in Proviso Township, Waldheim Jewish Cemetery. I submitted a query to them and got a negative response ( ) with a suggestion to follow up with another caretaker within Waldheim Cemetery called Silverman & Weiss, as well as suggestions of other Jewish cemeteries: Westlawn Cemetery & Mausoleum,Oakridge Cemetery, Forest Home Cemetery {Old German Waldheim). However, I have not pursued these leads yet.

Moses (Moshe, Moritz) Kocyn Kotzin
b: 1869
d: 1927
  • 1869 - Birth - ; Lithuania
  • 1927 - Death - ; Chicago
Tobiasz Tuvya Kocyn Kotzin
1831 - May 7, 1874

Family Group Sheet - Child
PARENT (M) Tobiasz Tuvya Kocyn Kotzin
DeathMay 7, 1874 Warsaw, Poland
Marriageto Elka Razajczyk
FatherKocyn Kotzin
PARENT (F) Elka Razajczyk
Marriageto Tobiasz Tuvya Kocyn Kotzin
FLea Dwora Kocyn Kotzin
Marriageto Icchak Cohen
MMoses (Moshe, Moritz) Kocyn Kotzin
Marriageto Helen (Chaya Feigel) Friedland
MMaks Mojzesz Hurwicz
Birth1862Shavlany, Lithuania
DeathMarch 7, 1927Moscow
Marriageto Sara Lea Frydland
Family Group Sheet - Spouse
PARENT (M) Moses (Moshe, Moritz) Kocyn Kotzin
Death1927 Chicago
Marriageto Helen (Chaya Feigel) Friedland
FatherTobiasz Tuvya Kocyn Kotzin
MotherElka Razajczyk
PARENT (F) Helen (Chaya Feigel) Friedland
Marriageto Moses (Moshe, Moritz) Kocyn Kotzin
FatherCheskel Frydland
MotherMiriam Batszeva Kocyn
MShlomo Solomon Kocyn Kotzin
Marriageto Chana Ann Kotzin (Née Brickman)
MAdek Abraham Kocyn Kotzin
Marriageto Leah Lewartowicz
MBernard Kocyn Kotzin
Marriageto Kocyn Kotzin
MTheodore Todros Kocyn Kotzin
Descendancy Chart
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