Leah Krausz (Citron)

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Leah Sura Taube Krausz (Citron)

Also Known As: "LEACHU", "Leale", "Leah Sura Taube"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Hajdubosormeny, Debrecen, Hungary
Death: June 20, 2014 (90)
Monsey, Rockland County, New York, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of R' Yehoshua Citron and Rahel Dreize Citron (Ginz)
Wife of Rabbi Aaron Meyer Krausz
Mother of Private User; Malka Mysels and Rita Goldstone (Krausz)
Sister of Jacob Joseph Czitron and R' Farkas Zev - Wolf Citron

Occupation: Just a Bubby
Managed by: Daniel Elliott Loeb
Last Updated:

About Leah Krausz (Citron)

I am a Holocaust Survivor. We are retired, and enjoying my Children grand & great grand Children. B'H.


A joyful mother and infinite inspiration to her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren--selflessly always giving her all was the defining feature of Leah Krausz nee Citron our dear mother. How intently she would listen, caring about and empathizing with our every struggle---so committed to and proud of our accomplishments, and enthusiastically sharing in our joyous celebrations.

A beautiful strong, woman with steely resolve, an indomitable, unshakable fierce burning faith in G-d, and unreserved pride in her family. Her promises were ironclad, her generosity without bounds, her unequivocal integrity, deep understanding, acute judgement, intuition and wisdom were extraordinary.

Growing up as the only daughter of a Chief Rabbi in Hungary, she was the apple of her father's eye and he allowed Lily to sit by his side even as he adjudicated complicated cases. Our mother's knowledge of the minutia of Jewish Law of Kashrut grew to virtually equal that of Talmudic scholars.

In fact, she so ardently loved her father that she couldn't tolerate the thought of replacing him with any husband, especially another rabbi. Nevertheless, once it was obvious that Divine Providence had other ideas, she quickly fell into line as a ceaselessly diplomatic helpmate to Rav Aaron Meyer Krausz, her dear husband.

Beloved by all who were privileged to meet her unique soul that so intensely radiated intelligence, charm and charisma, it seemed she was continually surrounded by those seeking her sage advice, or her keen insight into global politics and world events.

Even at the end, her strong will and captivating personality dominated--- with doctors and nurses in awe of her exceptional tenacity, grace, beauty and wisdom.

THE SHOAH

The story of Lily Krausz's life is docudrama worthy. Plucked at the tender age of sixteen from a peaceful bucolic Hungarian town into the fiery crucible of the Shoah, she never flinched, but surmounted every obstacle with sheer genius tempered with resolute faith and unyielding courage.

During the Holocaust, Lily together with her family were herded onto a cattle train heading from Debrecen to Auschwitz. Due to a major bureaucratic mistake their train was mistaken for another train scheduled for the Strasshof slave labor camp in Vienna under a deal brokered by Rudolf Kasztner in 1944 with the Nazis.

(See "The Daring Rescue of Hungarian Jews: A Survivor's Account", by Ladislaus Löb, pg 95) and The Katsztner Transports

Following are the highlights of just some of her noteworthy exploits during the Holocaust. Honestly, just hearing these stories used to terrify me no end, as the danger and violence she overcame was so great.

HITCHING A RIDE IN A GERMAN TANK

On one occasion, Lily's chutzpah knew no bounds as she had the temerity to hitch a ride on a fleeing German tank as either American or Russian bombers were methodically strafing the area and bloody dead corpses were strewn all over.

Her fluency with the german language also came handy many other times. In fact her ear for picking up languages was so uncanny, that by the end of the war she could reasonably converse in Russian.

SHOWDOWN AT THE THEATRE

Another time, Lily with two friends snuck out of the work-camp in Vienna and somehow found their way through the city to a movie theater where they managed to blend in with the crowd going in. Midway through the show shouts rang out in german as soldiers poured in demanding the missing Jewish girls who had been seen in the area.

Spunky or perhaps just reckless, though most likely it was a desperate effort to prevent the two terrified girls with her being questioned, Lily rose and responded, " We are the Jewish girls, take us! " Her calm fearless, flawless german announcement, plus sheer audacity, struck the soldiers as an impossibility to emanate from a wretched Jewess, and they dismissed her as a German anti-war protestor and left.

ANOTHER CLOSE CALL

Another escapade found the three friends stuck on the outskirts of the town forced to take shelter under the branches of a large tree as fighter planes rained missiles down on the area. The ceaseless bombing was unrelenting---without a doubt the tree would be hit---the only question was when?

Suddenly, across the street a curtain moved aside, and cautiously two elderly women peeked out and beckoned them to seek shelter inside. Lily sternly warned the girls not to dare open their mouth or respond to any questions as only she spoke german.

Barely had they entered the front door, when the tree they had just been standing under received a direct hit, and exploded into a million pieces!

Their refuge though was short-lived as during a particularly thunderous explosion one of the girls involuntarily yelled out, "Shema Yisrael"! The two women's hitherto welcoming demeanor abruptly morphed into ugly hatred at hearing these sacred words. They immediately locked the girls in the room---now eager to turn them in to the first German soldier they saw.

Incredibly the first soldiers to knock were Russian and not German, and it was the two women who now had to fear for their lives.

RUSSIAN ROULETTE

Though the war was almost over, Lily's escapades with the triumphant Russian army were just as harrowing. Soldiers coming from remote uncivilized corners of Russia with no concept of indoor plumbing were confused by all the modern European conveniences.

Lily observed a precarious but comical incident occurring when a boorish Russian soldier, based at the Catholic hospital where she was sheltering, tried to wash some item in the toilet and was mortified when it disappeared. Completely enraged, savagely demanding its immediate return, he ran wildly all over---finally to the point of even frantically looking in the toilet one flight down.

Another time, Russian demands for "spirits" was mistakenly met by ever helpful Lily with "turpentine" naively mistaking the true purpose of the request. She suddenly had to run for her life, to prevent the fallout, when to her horror the industrial solvent was gulped down by the soldiers. triggering vengeful murderous results.

In summary, there are so many more such stories.

SPIRITUAL LEGACY

When asked how she was so brave, our mother would reply that when really cornered, with no other way out, she would pray for G-d's help in the merit of her great grandfather who was known as a holy mystic---the Shmuel Kamader, Rabbi Shmuel Frankel, the Doroger Rav, (1815 - 1882) appointed Av Beit Din by the Sanzer Rebbe, R' Chaim Halberstam of Sanz under whom he studied.


Also, Psalm 119, was also very dear to her heart---a legacy from her dear mother, R' Rahel Dreize Citron (Ginz) who asked all descendants to memorialize her through recitation of this particular psalm.

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My Bubby

 

The greatest testament to Bubby’s character is that even after her passing, she remains alive in my thoughts every day.

Only someone who was as special as Bubby can be a source of wisdom, kindness, comfort, and inspiration in life and afterwards.

When I’m faced with a challenge of any sort, I think of my Bubby. I often ask, how would she have handled the situation? How would she have dealt with this person?

Especially when it comes to Mitzvot that are difficult for me, I think of Bubby’s devotion to her faith and observance of the mitzvot. Few people manage to balance what Bubby balanced – a strict adherence to halacha while remaining open minded, non-judgmental, humble, and kind to everyone she met.

And while she did mitzvot joyously and with poise, she never even raised an eyebrow as I asked her fundamental questions- not even while she was on the hospital bed. In fact, when visiting Bubby while she was sick, I naturally thought it wasn’t a time to ask her such deep questions or tell her about my difficult choices. But she would ask and ask, always saying she loved to hear about everything going on with me. And it was true.

Even when she was ill, Bubby was warm, caring, optimistic, and sharp. I can’t remember her complaining or even pouting all the years I knew her.

While I feel such a loss any time I think of her, and how I wish I could just visit her again to hear her cheery voice and be offered something sweet at her apartment, she has never left me. She continues to guide me every day. I am so lucky to have known her as well as I did, so that I can always think of how my Bubby would handle things-undoubtedly with grace, kindness, reason, and courage.

by Talia Jaffe

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Leah Krausz (Citron)'s Timeline

1924
January 10, 1924
Hajdubosormeny, Debrecen, Hungary
1930
September 1930
- July 1944
Age 6
Hajdubosormeny, Hajdu, Hungary
2014
June 20, 2014
Age 90
Monsey, Rockland County, New York, United States
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Debrecen Polgary foishkola.
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