Oskar Schindler

Image
02

Oskar Schindler

Oskar Schindler (28 April 1908 " 9 October 1974) was an ethnic German industrialist born in Moravia. He is credited with saving over 1,100. Jews during the Holocaust by employing them in his enamelware and ammunitions factories, which were located in what is now Poland and the Czech Republic respectively. He is the subject of the novel Schindler's Ark, and the film based on it, Schindler's List.

01
Oskar Schindler
02

Oskar Schindler's Family

Schindler was born on 28 April 1908 into a Sudeten German family in Zwittau, Moravia, Austria-Hungary. His parents, Hans Schindler and Franziska Luser, were divorced when he was 27. Oskar was always very close to his younger sister, Elfriede. On 6 March 1928, Schindler married Emilie Pelzl (1907"2001), daughter of a wealthy Sudeten German farmer from Maletein.

01
Oskar Schindler's Family
02

Schindler's List

Schindler's List is a 1993 film about Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saved the lives of more than a thousand mostly Polish-Jewish refugees during the Holocaust by employing them in his factories. The film was directed by Steven Spielberg, and based on the novel Schindler's Ark by Australian novelist Thomas Keneally.

01
Schindler's List
02

Oskar Schindler

Oskar Schindler (seated) with Leopold Pfefferberg, who gave novelist Thomas Keneally his copy of "Schindler's list".

01
Oskar Schindler
02

Oskar Schindler Enamel factory

As an opportunistic businessman, Schindler was one of many who sought to profit from the German invasion of Poland in 1939. He gained ownership from a bankruptcy court of an idle enamelware factory in Kraków. With the help of his German-speaking Jewish accountant Itzhak Stern, Schindler obtained around 1,000 Jewish forced labourers to work there. Initially Schindler may have been motivated by money, as Jewish labour cost less, but later he began shielding his workers without regard for cost. He would, for instance, claim that certain unskilled workers were essential to the factory. While witnessing a 1943 raid, where soldiers were used to round up the inhabitants for shipment to the concentration camp at Płaszów, Schindler was appalled by the murder of many of the Jews who had been working for him. He was a very persuasive individual, and after the raid, increasingly used all of his skills to protect his Schindlerjuden ("Schindler's Jews"), as they came to be called. Schindler went out of his way to take care of the Jews who worked at DEF, often calling on his legendary charm and ingratiating manner to help his workers get out of difficult situations.

01
Oskar Schindler Enamel factory
02

Oskar Schindler

Schindler and his wife fled to Austria's U.S. zone, escaping prosecution by dressing in prison clothes and carrying a letter testifying to their heroic actions. By the end of the war, Schindler had spent his entire fortune on bribes and black-market purchases of supplies for his workers. Virtually destitute, he moved briefly to Regensburg and later Munich, but did not prosper in postwar Germany. In fact, he was reduced to receiving assistance from Jewish organizations.

01
Oskar Schindler
02

Oskar Schindler Grave

In 1971, Schindler moved to live with friends at Goettingstrasse Nr. 30 in Hildesheim, where he died on 9 October 1974, at the age of 66. At the time of his death, he was surrounded by friends and family. He died penniless; the costs for his stay in the hospital were paid from social welfare of the city of Hildesheim. A sign at the entrance to the cemetery directs visitors "To Oskar Schindler's Grave".

01
Oskar Schindler Grave
02

Oskar Schindler

Have a look at a brief history on Oskar Schindler's life.

01
Oskar Schindler
Share facebook twitter gplus

Related Slideshows