The Wiener Library

For the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide

Henry and Rika Leek

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Plaque

Rika Leek

Rika Leek

Henry Leek
born 12 September 1871 Amsterdam
died 11 December 1942 Auschwitz

Rika Leek
born 9 July 1869 Groningen
died 11 December 1942 Auschwitz
and many Dutch relatives of the Leek family

Introduction

Henry and Rika were double 1st cousins: they shared both sets of grandparents: Samuel Benjamin Leek and Hester Joseph de Groot Isaac Hartog Nort and Rika (Joseph Levie) Van Ronkel. The first known Leek ancestor was one Samuel Victor b.1735c in Leer on the German side of the border. He came to the village of Leek near Groningen in The Netherlands, from which the family took its name. The family later moved to Groningen. The Nort family is in part descended from the Van Ronkel family who came to Groningen from Runkel near Koblenz in the early 18th century. The families lived in and around Folkingestraat, where the synagogue still stands and was the heart of the Jewish Quarter. There are surviving descendants of the Leeks and Norts around the world: this page was prepared by descendants of Henry Julius’ brother Julius in the UK.

Family Members Who Lost Their Life In The Holocaust

Henry Leek

Henry Leek

Hester Leek 1865-1943 Westerbork 1c 1r

Izak Leek 1874-1943 Auschwitz 1st cousin

Johanna Leek 1928-1943 Sobibor 2c 1r

Joseph Leek 1881-1942 Auschwitz 1st cousin

Regina Leek 1863-1943 Westerbork 1c 1r

Frederika Nort 1871-1943 Auschwitz 1st cousin

Mauritz Judels 1869-1942 Auschwitz 1st cousin

Elsje Judels 1871-1942 Auschwitz 1st cousin

Isaac Judels 1874-1942 Auschwitz 1st cousin

Abraham Judels 1875-1943 Sobibor 1st cousin

Dina Polak 1870-1943 Sobibor 1st cousin

Herman De Vries 1902-1942 Auschwitz 1c 1r

This list is necessarily incomplete but provides a glimpse into the devastation of the Leek and Nort families commensurate with Netherlands’ Jewry as a whole. Source “In Memoriam” the record of the Holocaust in The Netherlands.

Heritage

Memorial in Leek, NL

Memorial in Leek, NL

A group of Julius’ descendants travelled to Holland in 2003 to visit places associated with their family and to discover their heritage. This included visits to Amsterdam (Julius’ birthplace, Leek (from where the family took its name)and Groningen (the Leek home for around 200 years) where they were guided by one of the very few surviving descendants there of the Norts and Leeks, Rene De Vries, son of Herman De Vries above and to Westerbork through which most of our family passed on the way to their fate. The pictures below are at the Old Jewish School in Leek – now a memorial and museum to the lost Jews of the community.

Their Children

Etty Flora Wilhelmina Leek (1903 London -1985 Den Haag) = Cornelius Hendricus Johannes Alkemade (1892-1949)

Joseph Julius Leek (b.1906 London) = Bertha Hendrika Enk (b.1903)

Their Grandchildren

Han Kees Alkemade (1935-1946)

Han Kees Alkemade (1935-1946)

Cornelius and Han Alkemade died as a result of the privations they suffered during the war. We can only surmise that Etty and Joseph’s British passports and marriages to non-Jews contributed to their survival. The descendants of Julius are a large and widespread family with a significant contingent still in Birmingham where Julius and his wife Selina nee Teller (whose parents were also from Groningen) settled and raised nine children. The descendant of these nine regularly meet for reunions across the generations including a Passover Seder at Shirley Golf Club founded by Julius’ sons and with a Leek still Life President. Rene De Vries and his daughter attended one of these Seders – a wonderful event; with Rene attending a large family occasion for the first time since he was a small boy before the war and the UK Leeks sharing their family with the Dutch remnant who they believed to have all perished.

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