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Harry  Kraus

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Marie  |  Richard  |  Harry

Before his death in 2000, Otto B. Kraus wrote in memory of his brother:


My brother, Harry Kraus, son of Richard and Manya (Marie Strass) Kraus, was born in Prague in 1928.  For six years he was the youngest child in the whole family and, as the last grandchild from both his maternal and paternal grandparents, was the pet of all his uncles and aunts.


He was a loveable child with big black eyes and a head of flowering dark curls who had a very happy childhood.  Later when he attended school he was most popular with his teachers, attended Sokol, the Czech sports club where he made many friends in spite of the barely hidden anti-Jewish trend of the organization.


For a long time Harry considered himself Czech and tried to hide his Jewishness.  Most of his friends were non-Jewish and I believe that had it not been for the tragic events that changed his life, he might have assimilated and probably married a non-Jewish partner.  He was an outstanding sportsman and his dream was to become a professional football star following the footsteps of the then world famous goaly Planicka whose photo he had above his head together with a picture of the first Czech president T. G. Masaryk.


In 1939, when the tide of history swept our lives, Harry decided to learn a vocation and trained with a certain Borger-Borghini.  After a short time he became quite a skilled magician, a kind of child prodigy and even gave performances at children's parties.  He took up a professional name of Bernhardini, after his paternal grandfather Bernhard Kraus.


Since he couldn't attend school, my brother spent most of his days from 1940 to his deportation in May 1942 at the Jewish sports club in Prague, called Hagibor where he was kind of helper and right hand of Freddy Hirsch.


In 1942 he was deported to Terezin, from there in December 1943 to Auschwitz and at the beginning of July 1944 to a labor camp in Poland.  According to a rumor he was shot by an SS sentry in March or April 45 when he tried to escape the prisoner column during the so called "Death March"

The exact place of his grave is unknown.


Otto Kraus