• Art S.

Passing of Oskar Schindler, 1974

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

On This Day in Jewish History: October 9, 1974

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#onthisday, 1974, the only former Nazi buried on Mount Zion in Israel, Oskar Schindler, passes away.

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By the time of his death, he was not considered a war criminal, but someone Righteous Among the Nations, responsible for saving the lives of 1200 Jews.

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The outlines of Schindler’s accomplishments were made familiar to the world in Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning film "Schindler’s List" in 1993.

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Schindler, the owner of an enamelware factory in Krakow, Poland, employed approximately a thousand Jews.

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When he witnessed the liquidation of the Krakow Ghetto, he was shocked by the brutality and his workforce went from employees to people, from Ghetto dwellers to a part of humanity.

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He tapped all his resources to save them. Schindler’s most remarkable feat was cajoling Amon Goth, a sadistic SS officer in charge of the Plaszow concentration camp, to keep his factory outside the camp and house his workers in a safe sub-camp where they could eat well and observe their Judaism.

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His extensive contacts within the Nazi Party and his considerable wealth underwrote his courageous life-saving project. He also provided information to the Jewish resistance movement about Nazi atrocities and secured money for the underground.

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Then, in 1944, with the help of several Jewish contacts, combined in Spielberg’s film into the figure of Itzhak Stern, Schindler was provided a list of Jews he set out to save by moving his factory, now making munitions, to the Sudetenland beyond the clutches of the Nazis and their plan to liquidate all factory workers.

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When his workers bound for their new home were instead sent to death camps, Schindler had to once again exert his powers of persuasion and bribery to rescue them. He was successful yet again.

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After the war, having spent all his money on saving lives, Schindler endured business failures in Germany and Argentina. He survived on the financial assistance of the Jews he had saved.

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#onthisday#judaism#jewish#history#jewishhistory#otdjh#Holocaust#NeverAgain#OskarSchindler#righteousamongthenations#zichronlivracha

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Text Source:

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/oskar-schindler



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