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Oskar Schindler

Oskar Schindler

Oskar Schindler (* 28 April 1908 in Zwittau, Morovia, present-day Czech Republic; † 9 October 1974 in Germany) saved about 1200 Jewish labourers.

What you need to know:

  • Businessman and factory owner Oskar Schindler protected his Jewish labourers from Nazi persecution by placing them on a ‘safe list’.
  • He had a reputation for womanising, heavy drinking, gambling and exploiting cheap labour, but he ensured the safety of over 1,000 Jews who would have perished at the hands of the Nazis.
  • There are more than 7,000 descendents of Jews who worked for Oskar Schindler, living mainly in Israel but also in the United States and Europe. Schindler’s Jews became the subject of a historical novel, written by Australian writer Thomas Keneally and published as Schindler’s Ark in 1982. Film rights to the book were later sold to Universal Studios for which Steven Spielberg made his film Schindler’s List (1993).

Oskar Schindler

“The persecution of Jews…gradually worsened in its cruelty…I simply had to help. There was no other choice”.

Oskar Schindler