Willy Leeuwarden (1876-ca 1954)

Willy Leeuwarden (1876-ca 1952). Decorated war hero from the trenches, succesful businessman, deported to Theresienstadt (instead of Auschwitz) and survived; his wife Rosa Marcuse did not. He died in the former G.D.R.

Willy (Wolf is the Jewish equivalent of his name, which he also used) had a beautiful home in the town of Mutzschen, near Leipzig (Germany), where he owned a large fashion store. He was a brother of my great-grandmother Gretchen Lehmkuhl-Leeuwarden. In the First World War, he received an "Iron Cross" for bravery. Thanks to this Iron Cross he was not deported to Auschwitz, but deported with his wife Rosa to Theresienstadt instead. Rosa did not survive the camp; and he barely survived. After the war, he married Lucy, the nurse who had cared for him in Theresienstadt. He went to live in Mutzschen again, but had to live in a small house. It took him a lot of effort to get by. My aunt Margreeth Steenbeek-Hugenholtz has visited his home town in the 80s. They told her that he had two chickens, but he also had to hand over several eggs a week to the G.D.R. (German Democratic Republic).
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Willy Leeuwarden (1876-ca 1952)
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Willy Leeuwarden with his fiancee Rosa Marcuse
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Wangerooge 1926, with his sisters Lenchen and Henny
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After the war: Willy with his second wife Lucy
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Willy Leeuwarden