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John Hans Krebs (December 17, 1926 – November 10, 2014) was a U.S. Representative from California.

John Hans Krebs
John H Krebs.png
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 17th district
In office
January 3, 1975 – January 3, 1979
Preceded byBob Mathias
Succeeded byCharles Pashayan, Jr.
Personal details
Born(1926-12-17)December 17, 1926
Berlin, Germany
DiedNovember 10, 2014(2014-11-10) (aged 87)
Fresno, California, United States
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Hanna Krebs
Alma materUniversity of California at Berkeley, University of California
Military service
AllegianceUnited States of America
Branch/serviceUnited States Army
Years of service1945 (Haganah)
1952 – 1954 (U.S. Army)

Life and careerEdit

Born in Berlin, Germany, Krebs moved to British-mandated Palestine in 1933 and attended Balfour School (elementary), 1937. He graduated from Ben Yehuda College (high school) in 1945. As a young man, he volunteered for Haganah, a Jewish paramilitary group that supported the creation of an Israeli state. Afterward he immigrated to America in 1946 and obtained United States citizenship in 1954. He earned an A.B., University of California at Berkeley, 1950, and an LL.B., University of California Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, 1957. He was admitted to the California bar in 1957 and commenced practice in Fresno in 1958. He served in United States Army from 1952 to 1954. Krebs served as a member of the Fresno County Planning Commission from 1965 to 1969 and on the Fresno County Board of Supervisors from 1970 to 1974. He served as delegate, California State Democratic convention, 1966.

Krebs was elected as a Democrat to the Ninety-fourth Congress, defeating four-term Republican Bob Mathias by a 52% to 48% margin. He served in the Ninety-fourth and Ninety-fifth Congresses (January 3, 1975 – January 3, 1979). Because he grew up in the British League of Nations Mandate of Palestine (known as Mandatory Palestine) and held a passport from Mandatory Palestine before emigrating to the United States, Krebs is considered by The Jewish Press to have been the first Palestinian American to serve in Congress[1]. However, other sources, including Haaretz, consider John E. Sununu to have been the first Palestinian American to have served in Congress.[2]

He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1978 to the Ninety-sixth Congress, losing to Charles Pashayan, Jr.. He was a resident of Fresno, California.

Krebs died on November 10, 2014 in Fresno, California.[3]

The John Krebs Wilderness in Sequoia National Park was named after him in 2009.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Rosenthal, Vic. "The First Actual Palestinian-American in Congress (and He Was Jewish)". Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  2. ^ Kampeas, Ron (2019-01-06). "Ilhan Omar Said She Was the First Refugee Elected to Congress. These Jewish Refugees Came First". Haaretz. Retrieved 2019-01-12.
  3. ^ John Krebs, former Fresno congressman dies at 87 Archived 2014-11-11 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Wilderness Connect". Retrieved 2019-08-31.
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Bob Mathias
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 17th congressional district

Succeeded by
Charles Pashayan, Jr.

  This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website