Czech Holocaust survivor publishes diary

By Michael Stein, JTA

PRAGUE — A Czech Holocaust survivor published a diary of his Nazi concentration camp experiences.

Michal Kraus, 81, published the diary, which he wrote shortly after World War II, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Jan. 27. The diary will be presented officially by the Prague Jewish Community on Thursday.

Kraus, a native of the Czech town of Nachod, from the ages of 12 to 14 was in the Terezin, Auschwitz and Mauthausen concentration camps, where his parents were murdered and he survived two death marches. He wrote the diary shortly after the war; a diary written before the war and at Auschwitz was taken from him.

He immigrated to Canada in 1948 at the age of 17 with help from the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.

Kraus told the Czech News Agency that he decided to publish his diary now because of the persistence of racism and the persecution of minorities in the Czech Republic and Europe as a whole. The diary was given to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, with copies going to museums in The Czech Republic and Israel.

Kraus said he owes his survival of the camps to being among 89 boys chosen to work as servants and messengers, though only a few of the selected inmates survived.