Friday, September 15, 2017

Leo E. Kok (1923-1945)

Leo Kok was born in Berchem by Antwerp, the son of Dutch Jewish parents, diamond cutter Leon Kok and Kaatje Swaab. During WWII he arrived in the Netherlands, in 1940 where he worked as a freelancer inadvertising in Amsterdam until he was arrested. He was deported to Camp Geesbrug and later transferred to Camp Westerbork.
Image result for Kok, Leo Westerbork
In Westerbork he married the nurse Kitty de Wijze. Both remained relatively long in Westerbork. They were deported on one of the last transports in September 1944 to the Theresiënstadt concentration camp. Kok was then transferred to  Auschwitz. In early 1945 he was transferred to Mauthausen by the Germans and arrived in Ebensee, one of the subdivisions of this concentration camp.
Image result for Kok, Leo Westerbork
Six days after the liberation of the camp, at the age of 22, he died in a lazaret in Sankt Wolfgang. He is buried on the Dutch war cemetery in Salzburg.  His wife survived the Second World War.
During his stay in Westerbork camp he has made drawings, watercolors and sketches that have been preserved, including portraits of fellow prisoners such as Hans Krieg and the artist duo Johnny & Jones. Kok has also made watercolors of the camp and decors for the revue of Westerbork. 

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