09/21/2021 Oskar Schindler Remembered   Leave a comment

Today is not just a day of remembrance for me but for the descendants of nearly 1200 Jews saved from death at the hands of the Nazis during the Holocaust. Oskar Schindler died at the age of 66 in 1974. Being a member of the Nazi party made it possible for him to bribe officials and obtain forged documents. He placed himself and his family at mortal risk and when it was all said and done he was penniless.

As a member of the Nazi Party, he ran an enamel-works factory in Krakow during the German occupation of Poland, employing workers from the nearby Jewish ghetto. When the ghetto was liquidated, he persuaded Nazi officials to allow the transfer of his workers to the Plaszow labor camp, thus saving them from deportation to the death camps. In 1944, all Jews at Plaszow were sent to Auschwitz, but Schindler, at great risk to himself, bribed officials into allowing him to keep his workers and set up a factory in a safer location in occupied Czechoslovakia. By the wars end, he was penniless, but had saved 1200 Jewish lives.

In 1962, he was declared a Righteous Gentile by Yad Vashem, Israel’s official agency for remembering the Holocaust. According to his wishes, he was buried in Israel at the Catholic cemetery on Mt. Zion.


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