Verfasser: Simon Bornschlegel, Manfred Brösamle-Lambrecht
Textile merchant in Lichtenfels
Josef Kraus (1896-1942), son of Carl Kraus, trained as a businessman and worked in his father's shop at Markt 21.
He was politically active in the (left-liberal) DDP and a personal friend of the later Federal Minister of Justice, Dr. Thomas Dehler. He remained unmarried and did not try to emigrate, perhaps so as not to leave his old father alone.
Victim of the Nazi genocide
In 1938, almost 50 years after its openeing, the Nazis shut down the textile business, and in 1939 the family had to sell their business and residential building on the market square to non-Jews, well below its value. Like all remaining Jews in Lichtenfels, Josef and his father had to move into the overcrowded "Schächterhaus" next to the synagogue.
On April 24, 1942, Josef Kraus and a total of 955 Franconian Jews were taken on the DA 49 deportation train via Krasnystaw to the Krasnyszin ghetto in eastern Poland. According to an acquaintance, he was suffering from open TB at the time. Presumably on June 6, 1942, he was murdered in the Sobibór extermination camp.
Four days earlier, 2,500 marks were withdrawn from his account (that had been frozen by the Nazis) at the bank Wunder & Co (aryanized bank A. E. Wassermann) for deportation costs.