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Milein Cosman

Arrived in Britain:
Place of Birth:
1 July 1939
Interview number:


Dr Bea Lewkowicz

Date of Interview:

Interview Summary:

Milein Cosman was born in Gotha 1921. She grew up in Dusseldorf, where she received her early education. She did not know that she was Jewish until she wanted to join the Bund Deutscher Maedel. When her parents realised that it was becoming difficult to be a Jewish pupil in Germany they sent her to a Boarding School in Geneva, Switzerland, first to the Odenwaldschule and then to the International School. She visited her brother in the UK in the summer of 1938 and came to Britain in 1939 to study at the Slade School of Art, which, during the war, was housed in Oxford. Her mother ran a boarding house near Oxford. In 1947 she started to work for the Radio Times where she met and later married the writer and broadcaster Hans Keller and they settled in Hampstead, London. In 1949 Milein was commissioned to draw members of the new German parliament. Milein Cosman has become a well known artist. Her drawings, etchings, and paintings have been exhibited all over the world. 


Full Interview


How do you account, how can you say what is your home? Everything is so mixed up with your very innards and I’ve never been psychoanalysed. I don’t know what would come out but what I feel is very much a duality. I suppose I’m divided - why not?

Goethe said: ‘To a wise man, all ports are havens.’ And I think I agree with that. Even if one isn’t wise, one may look at life in that way and perhaps that’s the best way to survive the vicissitudes which undoubtedly every life has. And I think it’s wonderful to be alive.

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