Paul Kraus's birth certificate (St. Pölten, Austria archives)
|Born||20 October 1944|
St. Pölten, Austria
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. In 1997, Kraus was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a type of cancer caused by asbestos. Doctors originally believed that the cancer was terminal and he had only weeks to live, but Kraus is now considered to be the longest-lived mesothelioma survivor. Today, Kraus is an Australian author and cancer survivor whose writings focus on Australia, health, and spirituality. His book Surviving Mesothelioma and Other Cancers: A Patient’s Guide is a best-selling book on the subject.
Viehofen Forced-Labor camp
Clara Kraus, a Hungarian Jew, had a two-year-old boy (Peter) and was pregnant when the Nazis deported her and her child to Auschwitz concentration camp. Due to rail destruction by Allied bombing, they were sent to a forced labor camp established in the Viehofen flood plain near St. Pölten, Lower Austria. Approximately 180 men, women and children lived in three barracks in the camp where they were used as forced labor for the state-owned Traisen-Wasserverband company based in St. Pölten and the surrounding area.
Paul Kraus was born on the grounds of the camp on 20 October 1944. 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. 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. There, she was reunited with her husband, who survived imprisonment in the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp. At the end of World War II, the family immigrated to Australia. As of 2013, there are only six living survivors of the Viehofen forced labor Camp – Greta and Olga Balog, Vera Mahler, Susan Fisher, and Peter and Paul Kraus.
Paul Kraus received his Bachelor of Arts degree at Macquarie University and a Master of Arts and Education from the University of Sydney. During a summer vacation as an undergraduate student, he worked adjacent to an asbestos factory, where he was exposed to fine asbestos dust. Decades later, he was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma, a cancer known to be caused by exposure from asbestos. Due to his advanced metastases, doctors believed he only had weeks to live.
- 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
- Lewin, Natasha (8 May 2013). "Tales from a Survivor: An Interview with Author Paul Kraus". The Tolucan.
- Baillie, Rebecca (24 May 2001). "Keeping fit helps man beat deadly cancer". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 7 May 2013.
- Branley, Alison (7 May 2013). "Survivor sees his illness as a 'gift'". Herald News. Retrieved 7 May 2013.
- Dinneem, Martin (29 March 2008). "Stories Of Survival To Offer Inspiration". Newcastle Herald.
- Brown, Malcolm (16 February 2011). "Mother who escaped SS with her infants". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 7 May 2013.
- Granski, Miki. "The Viehofen Forced-Labor Camp (1944-5)" (PDF). Mahnmal Viehofen. Retrieved 7 May 2013.
- Kraus, Paul (2005). Surviving Mesothelioma and Other Cancers: A Patient's Guide. Raleigh, North Carolina: Cancer Monthly, LLC. ISBN 978-0-9772901-1-6.
- Surviving Mesothelioma and Other Cancers: A Patient's Guide, p. 143
- Watson, Chad (7 June 2002). "Living Proof". Newcastle Herald. Retrieved 7 May 2013.
- O’Connor, Michael (November 2012). "Prayers, Promises & Prescriptions". Aurora. 119 (22): 23. Retrieved 7 May 2013.