|“||It's a nasty world out there, and it's catching up with us...||„|
|“||Originally hailing from Austria, Herr Strauss is responsible for keeping the gang’s books and running their money lending operation. A serious, somewhat shifty and unemotional man, he has all the qualities a loan shark needs.||„|
|—Rockstar Games' description.|
Strauss was born circa 1846 in the poverty of Vienna, Austria. By the age of twelve, his brother was already a petty crook beating night watchmen for food scraps. Strauss's father sold his youngest, a nine-year-old named Anna, away into slavery in order to provide for the rest of his family, breaking her brothers' hearts. Due to his health problems, Strauss himself was shipped off to the United States with his uncle at seventeen, landing right in the middle of the New York City draft riots of 1863. The fiery, hellish-looking sight of war-torn Brooklyn gave Strauss's uncle a fatal heart attack, leaving Leopold all alone in an unfamiliar land. Dutch van der Linde picked the immigrant up soon after and inducted him into his gang, where he became the group's accountant, handling Dutch's loan sharking business.
Events of Red Dead Redemption 2
Horseshoe Overlook chapter
Soon after the gang arrives at Horseshoe Overlook, Strauss starts up his loansharking business. He asks Arthur to collect money from three debtors: Chick Matthews, Mr. Wróbel, and Lilly Millet. When Arthur has completed these tasks, he gives him the name of another debtor: Thomas Downes. It was during the confrontation with Mr. Downes that Arthur contracted Tuberculosis, which would plague him until his death.
Leopold, along with John is briefly taken a hostage in Valentine by Leviticus Cornwall's goons, who wants Dutch dead for robbing his train. In the ensuing gunfight, Leopold is shot in the leg and has to be carried to safety by the other gang members.
Clemens Point chapter
Strauss gives Arthur two names of the men he needs to collect money from. The first one, Winton Holmes, is located in a camp north of Strawberry and is unable to pay back his debt. He, however, has been tracking a rare white cougar and says he plans to slay it and use its pelt to pay back his debts. The endeavor is successful, and Arthur slays the cougar, although Winton loses his life in the process. The other, Gwyn Hughes, an apprentice undertaker and is unable to pay back his debt. To do so, he exhumes the corpse of an old lady who was buried with a diamond brooch. With this money, his debt is repaid.
Strauss asks Arthur to collect money from Algie Davison. Algie tells Arthur he has the money, before attacking and attempting to kill him. After defeating Algie, his son Nate gives Arthur the location of the money.
Strauss also assists the gang in robbing a wealthy businessman and gambler Desmond Blythe on a Grand Korrigan riverboat. During a poker game, he sits behind the said gambler and gives Arthur tells about his opponent's hand. When the Guards are alerted, he escapes with Arthur, Javier, and Josiah.
Beaver Hollow chapter
Strauss gives Arthur two new money debtors to collect from. The first debtor is J. John Weathers, a soldier who deserted the American Army. The other is Arthur Londonderry, who is part of the mining workforce in Annesburg.
Arthur finds Weathers west of Beaver Hollow, where he will be trying to fix a broken wagon. Weathers will tell Arthur he can't pay off the debt in money, but Arthur can have his supplies instead. It is then that soldiers from Fort Wallace attack and the two will fight off the soldiers. Afterward, a Wapiti female will run in, who Weathers has entered a relationship with. Arthur can then choose to either Absolve the debt, or demand for its payment.
After dealing with Weathers, Arthur goes to Annesburg to collect from Londonderry. Unfortunately, the foreman at the mine will tell Arthur that Londonderry has died, but his widow could perhaps pay back the debt. After riding to his widow's house, it soon becomes apparent that she cannot pay it off, and they cannot sustain themselves as it is. Arthur can then choose to either absolve the debt and give her money or just absolve the debt.
After returning to camp, Arthur has a conscientious crisis and decides to throw Strauss out of camp for ruining so many lives with his loansharking, in addition to being inadvertently responsible for getting him sick.
While rescuing Charles in Saint-Denis, he informs John that Strauss was captured by the Pinkertons and interrogated. He died in custody without revealing any information about the gang. John praised him for staying loyal until his death.
Strauss was noted to be a serious and unemotional man, which allowed him to be effective in his job as the main operator behind the Van der Linde gang's loan sharking business. Despite this, he was devoted to the gang, refusing to give up any of his friends to the Pinkertons, even after Arthur threw him out, and undergoing brutal torture, eventually dying in custody.
Strauss is an elderly man with gray hair, a long nose, big ears, thin lips, and a somewhat large mouth. He also wears a pair of glasses.
- "Outlaws from the West"
- "Enter, Pursued by a Memory"
- "Eastward Bound"
- "Money Lending & Other Sins I"
- "Money Lending & Other Sins II"
- "Money Lending & Other Sins III"
- "The Sheep and the Goats"
- "A Strange Kindness"
- "Money Lending & Other Sins IV"
- "Sodom? Back to Gomorrah"
- "Blood Feuds, Ancient and Modern"
- "The Battle of Shady Belle"
- "Money Lening & Other Sins V"
- "A Fine Night of Debauchery"
- "Horsemen, Apocalypses"
- "Fleeting Joy"
- "That's Murfree Country"
- "Money Lending & Other Sins VI"
- "Money Lending & Other Sins VII"
- His biography inaccurately states he was born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which wasn't formed until 1867. He was actually born in the Austrian Empire.