Levenheck, Henri

Henri Levenheck was born in Strasbourg, France.  When the war came, he was still a boy, ready for all that his teenage years might bring him.  But the summer of 1940 saw those dreams taken away, replaced by the terrible new reality of Nazi occupation.  henri and his family were forcibly evacuated from Strasbourg and sent to Rivesaltes, one of the camps created for French and foreign Jews in wartime France.  Many of Henri’s family members, including his father, were deported from this camp to Auschwitz, where they became victims of the Holocaust.  Much of what happened to them happened at the hands of their own countrymen, many of whom aligned themselves with the Nazis.  Henri and other members of his immediate family were able to survive the war, and Henri’s teenage years took place against this terrible backdrop of anti-Semitism and constant fear of arrest.  Henri made his way to Paris after the war, looking to rebuild his life; a few years after the war, he met another French Jew who had survived, his future wife Frida.  Together they would emigrate to Canada, where they built their postwar lives.

Henri and Frida were interviewed at Baycrest’s cafe Europa in December 2018, by a delegation of Crestwood students that included Adam Bacik, Sarah Swartz, Rylie Tishler, and Lucy Cuthbertson.