Oskar Schindler

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Oskar Schindler

Oskar Schindler was born in Zwittau, Czechoslovakia, part of the ethnically German Sudeten region. He became a member of the Nazi Party when the Sudetenland was annexed in 1938.Following the German invasion of Poland, Schindler moved to Krakow as a dispassionate war profiteer. He purchased a company previously owned by Jews and obtained military contracts to produce army mess kits. While he was not interested in the Jewish plight at the time, he became disgusted with the atrocities committed against them, and decided to save as many as possible. He built a subcamp to keep his selected workers safe. Schindler spent all his money bribing Wehrmacht, SS, and Gestapo officials, and buying supplies for the Jewish prisoners from the black market. In all, he saved nearly 1,200 Jews from almost certain death in Auschwitz.

After the War

Oskar Schindler and his wife Emilie fled Zwittau and surrendered to American forces in Germany. The Schindlerjuden sent a letter to tell how Schindler saved them and treated them well.Schindler attempted many businesses after the war, but all failed, including a farm in South America. He depended on the generosity of the Schindlerjuden in the last years of his life.A tree was planted on the Avenue of the Righteous in his honor in 1962. After his death in 1974, he was buried in Germany, but eventually re-interred in Jersualem. Schindler is one of the "Righteous Among the Nations," a high honor in Israel.

Lasting Impact

Oskar Schindler saved 1,200 Jewish lives. It is estimated that there are more than 7,000 descendants of the Schindlerjuden.


Keneally, Thomas. Schindler's List. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1982. Print."Oskar Schindler - The Righteous Among The Nations - Yad Vashem." Yad Vashem. Yad Vashem The Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority, n.d. Web. 23 May 2014.



"Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire."

1908-Born in Zwittau1939-Purchased DEF, Krakow, Poland1943-Established subcamp at DEF1944-Moved camp to Brinnlitz1945-Surrendered to American forces1974-Died, Hildesheim, Germany1993-Honored as "Righteous Among the Nations," Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, Israel

Oskar Schindler


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