Oscar Schindler Oskar Schindler would never have been anyone’s ideal savior, especially for the Jewish community. He was an open member of the Nazi party, a womanizer, a gambler, an alcoholic, and was extremely money hungry, but was successfully able to rescue and save from death over twelve hundred Jewish men and women. Schindler was born on April 28th, 1908 in Zwittua, Czechoslavakia. He was born Catholic and into a wealthy family, but started early on a life of sin. In 1930 he moved to Poland in hopes of becoming a success in business. As the Holocaust was just in its’ beginnings, he was able to get his hands on an enamel wear factory on Lapowa Street in in Krakow.
This was one of the factories that used to owned and ran by a Jewish individual, but was then stripped away from them like all other businesses that were stolen away from the Jewish people during the Holocaust. The location of the factory was only a few miles away from the ghettos. Schindler quickly moved in on the SS officers and tried to make close ties with them in order to gain connections with high authority. He showered them with women, money, alcohol, and other desired objects. From his new acquaintances he obtained free employment from the Jewish “slaves” of the labor camps.
In order to keep his factory and the money he was making, Schindler changed his factory to cater to wartime needs. The factory was modified from producing enamel wares to ammuntion, but the ammunition was faulty and did not work. Schindler was now making a large amount of profits, but he noticed that all his money was going into saving and caring for his “Schindlerjuden” or Schindler’s children. The “Schindlerjuden” were always treated humanely. They were a;ways fed, never beaten, and none were ever killed. He told the officers that the skills his workers possessed were “essential” to the factory and were necessary to keep it running. Although Schindler was considered a war hero, after the war he had difficulty keeping a good business and was not exactly held in high favor among certain people.
In 1949, after the war, he, his wife Emilie, and his mistress moved to Argentina. While staying in Argentina, he attempted to keep a nutria farm and also opened a cement factory in Germany. In order to run a successful factory or farm, he needed free labor which he lacked and therefore both businesses were a failure. After those failed attempts, he decided to go into film and became a film producer. That effort also ended in failure.
In 1958, Schindler left noth his wife and mistress and moved back to Germany. He then called upon his “Schindlerjuden” to help him in his period of financial distress. They sent him money and support. In the early 1960’s, he took a break from his poverty and visited Israel. All the survivors and their families welcomed him with warmness, love, and gratitude. After this visit, he continually made one six-week visit to Israel every year, which was fully paid for by his “Schindlerjuden”.
Many of Oskar Schindler’s efforts were not appreciated until he was deceased. In praise, many authors and film producers have documented his life. Thomas Keneally is one other that has recorded his life in a best selling book that is taught to British school students. Steven Spielberg also made it into an Academy Award winning movie called “Schindler’s List”. Until this day, nobody understands or can grasp why Oskar Schindler would risk his life for the Jewish people, but perhaps that was his time of extraordinary bravery, courage, and strength.
He dies in Frankfurt, Germany in 1974, but his last wish was to be buried in Israel. After his death, his body was moved to a Roman Catholic Cemetery in Mount Zion, where he spends eternity with the people whom loved, cared for, and owed their lives to him. History.