Ingrid Kraus

Ingrid Kraus

Ingrid Kraus is a writer and psychologist who lives in the mountains of North Carolina with her husband. She is fascinated by the observation that two people who are present at the same event do not experience it the same way. She wonders, then, how people can ever truly know each other or learn to get along and respect one another. She explores these themes in her writing. Her debut novel, The Red Leather Chair, is available at

Strength to pursue our ideals

In 1963, I was a senior at Shades Valley High School in Birmingham, Alabama. That was the year, a bright, intensely idealistic, not very savvy girl learned to retreat.

Put me in context. My parents were immigrants who left Europe with my brother during World War II to escape persecution because their ethnic background was Jewish. I was born in New York, and after years there and in Boston, my parents moved to Birmingham in 1953. I was seven.

My father felt he had behaved in less than courageous fashion in Europe on occasion, and he decided he would not hide his progressive views in Birmingham. He helped start the Alabama Council on Human Relations so that blacks and whites could meet together and communicate, a simple enough proposition which at the time was illegal according to Birmingham city ordinances.