The Van Der Linde gang may be a group of outlaws, but there are many roles needed to be filled among them. Leopold Strauss is the group's accountant and resident loan shark who handles the responsibility of generated cash flow wherever they are.
In Red Dead Redemption 2 Strauss' story directly affects the lead character, Arthur Morgan. Strauss' actions play a big role in Arthur finding redemption in his way as the events of the game unfold. Here are 10 things about Red Dead Redemption 2's heartless bookkeeper, Leopold Strauss.
10 Heartless Trade
As we'll get into later Leopold Strauss didn't have the greatest life growing up in Europe. His family struggled to make ends meet and often resorted to extreme measures just to make sure they were fed and secure.
Strauss' father, in dyer times, had to trade his 9-year-old daughter in exchange for food for the rest of his family. This broke the hearts of both Strauss, his mother, and his brother. As cruel as it was, it might have been their only option to survive the cruelness of Winter in Europe.
Leopold Strauss is one of the few Van Der Linde gang members who has an accent and was born in a country across the Atlantic Ocean. He hails from Austria, the same country that the '80s movie star and hall of fame bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger does.
It's quite obvious he isn't American simply due to his thick European accent. The beauty of the Van Der Linde gang is that all that matters is your loyalty and contributions to the group. It didn't matter where you came from.
8 His Voice
The voice of the Austrian bookkeeper is provided by an actor by the name of Howard Pinhasik. Pinhasik happened to also provide much of the physical look for the character as his facial scan was used to bring Strauss to life.
His only other role of note was in the TV series titled Angels In America where he played one of the characters father. Pinhasik did an excellent job of bringing the Austrian loan shark to life and was able to toe the line between a heartless crook and loyal gang member.
7 How Old?
Whether it be his facial features or small stature, Strauss looks like the oldest member of the Van Der Linde gang. It turns out that he was two years younger than Dutch's right-hand man, Hosea Matthews.
Strauss was born in 1946 in Austria. His old age brought him wisdom and experience when it came to manipulating people into loans taking them for all they had. He may have been cruel at times, but Strauss understood what a life without money was like, and he never wanted to experience that again.
Though his name is Leopold Strauss, he can sometimes go by a nickname of sorts. Strauss' nickname is Herr Strauss, and Herr is essentially German for the word Sir. Calling someone sir followed by their last name isn't a nickname as it is a respectful and formal way to address an elder male.
Since it is German there's a case to be made for it, and it likely makes Strauss feel as if he's back in Austria among his family. Thankfully no one in the Van Der Linde gang knows the German word for a crook.
When players are first introduced to Strauss early in the game his demeanor makes him suspect from the beginning. Many times in Westerns or tales inspired by them, the men who are loan sharks and bookkeepers tend to be the first ones to bail when the going gets tough.
Surprisingly Strauss stays extremely loyal and committed to the Van Der Linde gang, even in his final days. He may have bee heartless and cruel at times, but no one could ever question Strauss' loyalty to his gang.
4 To The West
As mentioned earlier Strauss was born and raised in Austria during a time of extreme poverty. He not only had to endure hunger quite often but he had to see his sister traded away to feed his family. When he was seventeen he moved with his uncle to the United States due to his health.
Unfortunately for him his uncle passed away from a heart attack and left him alone in unfamiliar territory. This is where his schemes began as Strauss started swindling people out of their own money to make a living.
Earlier it was discussed how loyal Strauss was to the Van Der Linde gang. When he gets captured by the Pinkertons the initial thought by people is that he's going to squeal on the rest of the members.
This is based on preconceived notions about the type of people who are loan sharks and swindlers. It turns out that Strauss was indeed loyal to his death and even through torture never spilled a word about the gang who brought him in. He ended up finding redemption in his way through those actions.
2 Heartless But Effective
A man as cruel and heartless as Strauss isn't born that way. His need for money is likely linked to his youth in which a lack of income caused his father to trade away his only daughter for food.
This likely traumatized Strauss and made him the type of man who never wanted to be hungry again. Instead of falling into the pit his family had, he used his intelligence and cunning to manipulate people into owing him money. He may not have been kind, but boy was he good at getting the gang money.
1 False Birth
Often people will spice up their memories and stories of their youth to make them more entertaining. They can also tend to tell the story they want to hear as opposed to the factual truth.
Strauss' biography says that he was born under the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which didn't start until he was around 21 years old. He was born under the more accurately described Hungarian Empire since he was born in the year 1846. It's unclear whether this is a character or story writer's mistake.