Matylda Krausova

This is my paternal grandmother, Matylda Kollmannova. The photo was taken in 1950.

My grandmother was from Ceske Budejovice. After she and Grandpa Robert Kraus were divorced, she remarried; she married some man, a Jew, who was named Alexandr Straschnow. My father basically adopted that Mr. Straschnow as his stepfather, and loved him very much. I consider him to be my step-grandpa. He died in 1941, before the deportations.

My father managed to protect his mother, my grandmother, from the transports until 1944. In 1944 he himself had to leave Terezin, that's connected with the propaganda that took place around the visit of the Red Cross, when the Nazis liquidated practically all of Terezin. However, my grandmother had the luck that she stayed in Terezin and survived. It's a very unusual case that both of my grandparents survived, which is truly an exception, because usually it didn't happen that way. My grandmother survived thanks to the fact that my father was in AK1 and my grandfather thanks to the fact that he was in a mixed marriage.