Paul Kraus

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Paul Kraus
Actual copy of Paul Kraus birth certificate as found in the St. Pölten, Austria archives
Actual copy of Paul Kraus birth certificate as found in the St. Pölten, Austria archives
Born (1944-10-20) 20 October 1944 (age 74)

Paul Kraus (born 1944) is a Holocaust survivor and mesothelioma patient. Kraus was born in and survived a Nazi forced labor camp during World War II.[1] In 1997, Kraus was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a type of cancer caused by asbestos.[2] Despite his "terminal" diagnosis Kraus is considered to be the longest known mesothelioma survivor in the world.[3] Today, Kraus is a well known Australian author and cancer survivor whose writings focus on Australia, health, and spirituality.[4] His book Surviving Mesothelioma and Other Cancers: A Patient’s Guide is a best-selling book on the subject.[1]

Viehofen Forced-Labor Camp[edit]

Clara Kraus, a Hungarian Jew had a two-year-old boy (Peter) and was pregnant with Paul Kraus when the Nazis deported her and her child to Auschwitz.[5] Due to rail destruction by Allied bombing, the journey ended at a forced labor camp established in the Viehofen flood plain near St. Pölten, Lower Austria.[6] Approximately 180 men, women and children lived in three barracks in the camp where they were used as slave labor for the state-owned Traisen-Wasserverband company in St. Pölten and the surrounding area.[6]

Paul Kraus was born in the camp on 20 October 1944.[5] Inadequate nutrition, lack of hygiene, shootings by the SS, failed attempts to escape, and bombings by the Allied Forces caused many deaths at the camp.[6] Despite these conditions, Clara Kraus escaped with her toddler (Peter) and infant son (Paul) in January 1945 and survived a cross-country trek in winter to Clara’s home in German-occupied Budapest.[5] There she was reunited with her husband who survived imprisonment in the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp whereupon the family immigrated to Australia after WWII.[5] As of 2013, there are only six living survivors of the Viehofen Forced-Labor Camp – Greta Balog, Olga Balog, Vera Mahler, Susan Fisher, Peter Kraus, and Paul Kraus.[6]


Paul Kraus received his BA at Macquarie University and a Master of Arts and Education from the University of Sydney.[7] During a summer vacation as an undergraduate student, he worked adjacent to an asbestos factory and his clothes and body were covered with fine asbestos dust.[8] Decades later, he was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma, the asbestos cancer.[9] Due to his advanced metastases, doctors gave him little hope and suggested he had only weeks to live.[9] Kraus pursued a course of integrative care combining modern medicine, traditional medicine, herbal medicine, and alternative medicine.[4][7]

Over the last 30 years, Kraus has worked as an author and educator.[9] He has written several books including books co-written with Ian Gawler.[10]

Selected works[edit]

  • Faith, Hope, Love and Laughter – How They Heal
  • Not So Fabulous 50s: Images of a Migrant Childhood
  • A New Australian, a New Australia
  • Surviving Cancer: Inspirational Stories of Hope and Healing
  • Prayers, Promises & Prescriptions for Healing
  • Surviving Mesothelioma and Other Cancers: A Patient's Guide
  • Mother Courage: From the Holocaust to Australia


  1. ^ a b Lewin, Natasha (8 May 2013). "Tales from a Survivor: An Interview with Author Paul Kraus". The Tolucan.
  2. ^ Baillie, Rebecca (24 May 2001). "Keeping fit helps man beat deadly cancer". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 7 May 2013.
  3. ^ Branley, Alison (7 May 2013). "Survivor sees his illness as a 'gift'". Herald News. Retrieved 7 May 2013.
  4. ^ a b Dinneem, Martin (29 March 2008). "Stories Of Survival To Offer Inspiration". Newcastle Herald.
  5. ^ a b c d Brown, Malcolm (16 February 2011). "Mother who escaped SS with her infants". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 7 May 2013.
  6. ^ a b c d Granski, Miki. "The Viehofen Forced-Labor Camp (1944-5)" (PDF). Mahnmal Viehofen. Retrieved 7 May 2013.
  7. ^ a b Kraus, Paul (2005). Surviving Mesothelioma and Other Cancers: A Patient's Guide. Raleigh, North Carolina: Cancer Monthly, LLC. ISBN 978-0-9772901-1-6.
  8. ^ Surviving Mesothelioma and Other Cancers: A Patient's Guide, p. 143
  9. ^ a b c Watson, Chad (7 June 2002). "Living Proof". Newcastle Herald. Retrieved 7 May 2013.
  10. ^ O’Connor, Michael (November 2012). "Prayers, Promises & Prescriptions". Aurora. 119 (22): 23. Retrieved 7 May 2013.

External links[edit]