Posted by on 22 February, 2010

Have you read the book Schindler’s List or seen the film titled Schindler’s Ark? The book by Thomas Kennealy and the film by Steven Spielberg have made Schindler’s name famous. But, who was Oskar Schindler? In my search for amazing people, I decided to find out.

After attending a business conference in Krakow, Poland, I became very interested in what Oscar Schindler did there. It was in Krakow that he established his first factory and became the director of a slave labour factory. It was in Krakow that he operated a ‘black market’ and spent his evenings drinking and carousing with the Nazi SS leaders who were sending Jews and other minorities to the concentration camps.

It was also in Krakow that he changed from being a supporter of the German war effort to the supporter of saving lives, particularly those of the Jews who were working for him. Therefore, who was the real Oskar Schindler. I discovered that he was not a German by birth, as he was born in the Czech Republic. He became involved with the Nazis by spying for them against his own country. That is why they rewarded him when he followed their invasion of Poland.

Ironically, Oscar Schindler continued as a spy, but working for his Jewish employees. He would find out from his Nazi associates when the next purge would take place and try to protect them from the gas chambers. He eventually took his workers to his own country in one of the most amazing pieces of deception ever practiced on the Gestapo.

But, Oskar was an enigma, perhaps even to himself. Having been so successful during the war, he had many failures in business afterwards. He continued to live in Germany even though they refused him a passport. To their credit, the Jews that he had saved helped him and he moved to Argentina with their assistance. But his ventures there failed also. He returned to Germany once again, not his country of birth. However, where did he finish his life. On his death, his Jewish friends arranged for his remains to be buried in Israel as Oscar had requested in his Will.

The story of Oskar Schindler’s life and legacy is  in an E book that  I have written

Thanks to photos/bevershed for use of the flickr picture

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