An author of history and health books, Paul Kraus may be the only Australian Lutheran Holocaust survivor. He has cheated death many times by God’s grace.
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by Paul Kraus
For my parents, the 10 years before my birth in October 1944 were uncertain ones. Both were Hungarian Jews.
From 1935 it was clear the net of Nazism was closing in. In 1943, Belgrade, where they were living, was bombed and they escaped to Central Slovakia.
Within 12 months men were taken for forced labour and later transported to Mauthausen Concentration Camp. In mid-1944 my pregnant mother was forced, with my two-year-old brother, into a ghetto for Jews destined for Auschwitz.
Divine intervention resulted in them being called from one line of prisoners to another. The first line was headed for Auschwitz, the second to an Austrian labour camp.
Shortly after my birth in the camp, my mother had a vision of Jesus and accepted him as her Messiah.
We escaped just days before the war ended. The SS came later that day and took prisoners to Mauthausen. Many died.
We headed for Budapest and Russian and Italian soldiers gave us food and shelter.
My father eventually reached Budapest. He had been liberated from Mauthausen the last day of the war.
In 1949 we came to Australia as refugees. We rented a house in suburban Sydney and attended Chatswood Anglican church.
My parents worked hard and grew to love their new home. We became Australian citizens in 1955.
I left school early but later attended university and met my future wife as an undergraduate. We married and God blessed us with two sons.
I taught in a Catholic high school and wrote textbooks and history books. We attended an Anglican church for many decades.
In 1997 I was diagnosed with mesothelioma and given six to nine months to live. God guided me to healing.
However, 16 years later I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, for which I still receive treatment. I was also diagnosed with a brain tumour but had successful surgery.
I visited Germany for prostate cancer treatment, which helped save my life. There we attended a Lutheran church and, on our return home, I prayed for direction on where to worship.
God’s Spirit directed us to LifeWay Lutheran Church in Newcastle, New South Wales. God’s light and love is shown beautifully in this church.
It seems history has played out God’s wonderful message of deliverance, forgiveness and healing in my life.
‘Great is your faithfulness, oh Lord’ (Lamentations 3:23).
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