Hans Alfred Bernhard Leeser (1925-1998)

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John Saunders
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Hans Alfred Bernhard Leeser (1925-1998)

Postby John Saunders » Thu Jan 08, 2015 5:29 pm

Looking back through old issues of the Wycombiensian, one comes across stories of old boys who have had their fair share of suffering.

One such was Hans Alfred Bernhard Leeser (1925-1998). A Jewish boy, he came to the school in 1939, having been transported out of Nazi Germany with his younger brother after his father was killed in the Buchenwald concentration camp in 1938 (and, I think, before his mother was to meet a similar fate later during the war).

My source for this is http://www.ratsgymnasium.de/fileadmin/u ... leeser.pdf which is in German and which I have had to submit to online translation (I'll have to get my fluent German-speaking brother to have a look at it).

The writers of the above document seem unaware of Hans in later life but he did very well for himself, winning an open scholarship in Classics to Jesus College, Oxford in 1943 (where one of his leisure activities was refereeing rugby matches), temping as a teacher at the RGS, and becoming a Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery in the far east in 1945/46. He became a member of the OWs and sent letters in for publication in the Wycombiensian at regular intervals. He naturalised as a Brit in 1947, married, had two children and worked for Unilever.
John Saunders
RGS 1963-70 (personal website http://www.saund.co.uk)