Robert Krais, Ettenheim, has died #germany

Yvonne Stern

Robert Krais,  pioneer of the jewish remembrance of the  Ortenau, and 2005  Obermeyer Award winner, has died on  January 29th 2023, at age  of 81.
His interest in the Jewish cause began in 1972 with the tragic events during the 1972 Olympic Games in München. He had gone to Munchen to watch the competitions and was very shocked by the sad outcome, particularly when he witnessed  the boarding.of the coffins with the remains of the 11 athletes on the plane that would take them back to Israel, Mr. Krais was so shocked that, at that moment, he decided to commit himself to work for the Jewish cause. He called it   "In contact and remembrance", and it became his  great achievement.
From there on he spent every free moment  recalling the memory of the former Jewish communities in the Ortenau (Ettenheim, Kippenheim, Schmieheim, Friesesheim, Lahr, Rust, Altdorf, Nonnenweier, Orschweier)., looking for and getting to know  the  former residents  and  their descendants and  doing all possible to keep alive the jewish memory in those towns. He did it with all his heart and rare mastery.
 In 1974 he  helped  found  the German Israeli Working Group of  Southern Upper Rhine (DIA) and was Deputy Chairman from 1974 to 1983 and from 1999 to 2020.
His name stands for German-Jewish and Christian-Jewish reconciliation in the region.
Mr.Krais  wrote  and has translated several books.
Among others he published the book  Maurice Meier wrote from Gurs  to his son: "Letters to my Son 1940-1942".
Mr.Krais was also keen to remember the deportation of the Jews from Baden to the imprisonment Camp de Gurs on October 22, 1940 and  regularly attended the annual commemorative ceremony in honor of former detainees.
I send  my deepest sympathy to his family.
Yvonne Stern
Rio de Janeiro