Oskar Schindler (28 April 1908 – 9 October 1974) was a German industrialist and a member of the Nazi Party. He is credited with saving the lives of 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust by employing them in his enamelware and ammunitions factories. He and his wife Emilie were named Righteous Among the Nations by the Israeli government in 1993. He died in 1974 in Hildesheim, Germany, and was buried in Jerusalem on Mount Zion.
About Oskar Schindler in brief
Oskar Schindler (28 April 1908 – 9 October 1974) was a German industrialist and a member of the Nazi Party. He is credited with saving the lives of 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust by employing them in his enamelware and ammunitions factories in occupied Poland and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. He and his wife Emilie were named Righteous Among the Nations by the Israeli government in 1993. He died in 1974 in Hildesheim, Germany, and was buried in Jerusalem on Mount Zion, the only former Nazi Party member to be honoured in this way. He was the subject of the 1982 novel Schindler’s Ark and its 1993 film adaptation, Schindrer’s List. Schindlers worked in several trades until he joined the Abwehr, the military intelligence service of Nazi Germany, in 1936. In 1939 he acquired a factory in Kraków, Poland, which employed at the factory’s peak in 1944 about 1,750 workers, of whom 1,000 were Jews. He continued to bribe SS officials to prevent the execution of his workers until the end of World War II in Europe in May 1945, by which time he had spent his entire fortune on bribes and black market purchases of supplies for his workers. He moved to West Germany after the war, where he was supported by assistance payments from Jewish relief organisations. After receiving a partial reimbursement for his wartime expenses, he moved to Argentina, where they took up farming.
When he went bankrupt in 1958, he left his wife and returned to Germany where he failed at several business ventures and relied on financial support from the people whose lives he had saved during the war. His sister, Elfriede, was born in 1915. After attending primary and secondary school, he enrolled in a technical school, from which he was expelled in 1924 for forging his report card. He worked for his father for three years as a motorcyclist and competed recreationally in mountain races. In 1928 he married Emilie Pelzl, the daughter of a prosperous Sudeten German farmer from Maletein. The young couple moved in with his father and took a series of jobs, including a position at a motorcycling races. Soon after his marriage, Oskar’s parents moved with him to Brno in Brno and occupied the upstairs rooms where they lived for the next seven years. In 1938, he was arrested for espionage by the Czechoslovak government but was released under the terms of the Munich Agreement in 1938. He continued working for the Nazis, working in Poland in 1939 before the invasion of Poland at the start of World war II. In 1940, he took a job as a chauffeur for the German government. In 1941, he bought a 250-cc Moto Guzzi-zzi racing motorcycle and competed in mountain racing races in Moravia and the Czech Republic. In 1942, he became the owner of a motorbike racing company.