Polak, Leo

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Polak, Leo Gender: M
Leonard Polak
born on 6 January 1880 at 22:00 (= 10:00 PM )
Place Steenwijk, Netherlands, 52n47, 6e08
Timezone LMT m6e08 (is local mean time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Astrodienst
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_capcol.18.gif 16°01' s_mo.18.gif s_scocol.18.gif 07°07 Asc.s_vircol.18.gif 20°11'

Leo Polak (1925)


Dutch philosopher, jurist, humanist and freethinker. He was one of the first victims of National Socialism in the Netherlands as he protested against the Nazi Berufsverbote for Jews.

After finishing the Gymnasium of Zwolle (summer 1898), Polak studied Law at the University of Amsterdam , succeeded in 1903 with honors for doctoral Law and received his doctorate in 1921 thesis "De zin der vergelding" (The sense of retribution). At first he was a private tutor in the theory of knowledge. In 1925 Leo Polak was extraordinary professor at the University of Leiden in the philosophy and law. In 1928 he was appointed professor of philosophy at the University of Groningen , succeeding Gerard Heymans. He would remain until his death. After 1910 he became active in the free-thinking for the Freethinkers Association Aurora (his first article dates from 1913). He gave in 1931, 1932 and 1933 include radio lectures on various topics for the Freethinkers Radio Broadcasting Association (VRO) and he was a prominent collaborator and adviser of the freethinkers association Aurora, but as far as is known, not a member. However, he was chairman of the Dutch Atheïstenbond. Polak also worked as a councillor for the People's University in Groningen.

Polak was one of the early victims of the Holocaust. November 1940 professors of Jewish descent were made inactive. He was arrested in February 1941. He was betrayed by the pro- Nazi rector of the University of Groningen, Kapteyn. In a letter Polak objected he had called the Germans 'enemy' against his suspension. Kapteyn had read this letter to the German authorities . After being held prison in Groningen and Leeuwarden, August 1941 Polak was deported to camp Sachsenhausen . In various testimonies he showed great strength of mind: he even gave more lectures and held a diary (August 1901 till May 1941) to achieve "euthymia". Polak died in Sachsenhausen on December 9, 1941 by internal bleeding when he was still forced a day after complex intestinal surgery in the camp hospital to carry stones in the context of forced labour.


He married in 1917 with Henriette Antoinette Schwarz (1893-1974), one of the heirs of the essence factory Polak & Schwarz . They had three daughters. Polak was an uncle of the publisher Johan Polak .

His second daughter Henriette jr. (Jetteke) (11 October 1921, Amsterdam) took part in the resistance. She was arrested on the street in Groningen in 1941 and first deported to Ravensbrück and then to Auschwitz, where she died on November 11, 1942. Henriette sr., And two other children, Bettina (23 March 1919, Amsterdam) and Annie (Ans) (21 May 1924, Amsterdam), left Groningen, arrived in Dutch camps, went into hiding and survived the war. Henriette sr acquired after the war reputation as a patron and was called the mother of the Humanist Association. She was one of the founders of the humanistic AH Gerhard House in Amsterdam Slotermeer, which was responsible for housing atheist elderly, the Rosa Spier house in Laren and named after her Museum Henriette Polak in Zutphen. In 1972 she founded in honour of her husband the Leo Polak House in Amsterdam.

The Foundation Endowed the Leo Polak Chair at the University of Groningen. Polak is depicted on the memorial windows in the Academy Building of the University.

Link to German Wikipedia


  • Relationship : Marriage 16 July 1917 (Henriette Antoinette Schwarz)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Family : Adopted a child 11 October 1921 in Amsterdam (Henriette jr. (Jetteke))
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 13 December 1921 in Amsterdam (Dissertation: De zin der vergelding : een strafrechts-filosofies onderzoek. -.Dl.1)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death of Father 3 March 1924 in Amsterdam (Abraham Polak, born 11 February 1837, Steenwijk)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 2 February 1929 in Groningen (Inaugural speach: Het probleem der buitenwereld)
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  • Work : Fired/Laid off/Quit 23 November 1940 in Groningen (Lost position as professor)
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  • Work : Fired/Laid off/Quit 1 December 1940 in Groningen (Nazi Berufsverbote for Jews)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Other Social 6 December 1940 (received an invitation to come and teach at the New School for Social Research in Manhattan.)
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  • Social : Institutionalized - prison, hospital 15 March 1941 in Leeuwarden (Moved from Groningen to the prison of Leeuwarden)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Social : Institutionalized - prison, hospital August 1941 in Sachsenhausen concentration ca (Was moved by August 1941 to Sachsenhausen, a concentration camp near Berlin)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death of Child 11 November 1942 in Auschwitz concentration camp (Jetteke)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Svi retrieved the BC from the municipal archive of Steenwijk.

Polak, Leonard (1880-1941)

Leo Polak (1880 - 1941) - Humanistische Canon: De een wordt overvloed, gezondheid, kracht, begaafdheid, verstand, schoonheid in de schoot geworpen de ander moet in ontbering zwoegen of werkloos lijden, moet met ziek gestel of bekrompen geestvermogens, misdeeld of mismaakt zijn levensstrijd strijden. Dat is noodlot, diep onrechtvaardige fataliteit, die wij hebben te corrigeren, zover menselijk willen en kunnen daartegenover niet machteloos staat.


  • Traits : Mind : Exceptional mind
  • Passions : Criminal Victim : Terrorism victim (One of the first innocent targets of Nazi State terrrorism in the Neterlands.)
  • Vocation : Education : Teacher (Professor of Law and Philosophy. Freethinker. Humanist.)
  • Vocation : Law : Jurist (Professor of Law and Philosophy)
  • Vocation : Religion : Other Religion (atheist/freethinker)
  • Notable : Awards : Other Awards (After his death honoured as a martyr of Freethinking.)
  • Notable : Famous : First in Field (Humanist, freethinker)