Oskar Schindler
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Oskar Schindler (1908 - 1974)

Oskar Schindler
Born in Zwittau, Moravia, Sudetenland, Austro-Hungarian Empiremap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 6 Mar 1928 in Zwittau, Czechsoslovakiamap
[children unknown]
Died in Hildesheim, West Germanymap
Profile last modified | Created 4 Jul 2014
This page has been accessed 6,276 times.

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Oskar Schindler is honored as Righteous Among the Nations for the many Jewish lives he saved during the Holocaust, at mortal risk to himself
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Father Johann Schindler
Mother Francisca Luserová

Oskar was born April 28, 1908 in Zwittau, Moravia, Sudetenland, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now Svitavy, Czech Rebublic). He was baptised May 10, 1908 in the Catholic Church there. His parents, Johann Schindler and Francisca Luserová,[1] were a wealthy and deeply religious Catholic family.[2]

Transcription of Baptismal record

"His father is Johann Schindler, an agent in Zwittau born on 09 May 1883, son of Johann Schindler citizen in Lotschnau and his wife Marie born [to] Peter Peichl, a day-laborer in Lusdorf.

His mother is Franziska born 15 Feb 1884, daughter of Franz Luser a mason in Lotschnau and his wife Franziska daughter of Viktoria born [to] Johann Baar, a cottager in Ketzelsdorf."[3]

Oskar had one younger sister, Elfriede, with whom he had a close relationship, despite a seven-year age difference. As a child, Schindler was popular and had many friends, but he was not an exceptional student. Among his childhood playmates were the two sons of a local rabbi.[2]

As a young man he worked for his father in the family machinery business. He then married Emilie Pelzl, which caused friction with his father. As a result, he went to work as a sales manager for a Moravian Electric Company.[2]

Oscar Schindler Portrait
Oscar Shindler

As Europe drew closer to war, Schindler felt it necessary to join the Nazi party for reasons of self preservation. Schindler collected information for the Nazis, working in Poland in 1939 before the invasion of Poland at the start of World War II.[2]

In 1939 he obtained an enamel factory in Poland. The factory went on to employ over 1700 workers, the vast majority were Jews. Because of his political connections, Schindler was able to protect his Jewish workers from deportation and death in the Nazi concentration camps. Initially, he did this to maintain his profits, but quickly he began shielding his workers without regard for the cost. He went as far as to give Nazi officials bribes and gifts of luxury items obtainable only on the black market in order to keep his workers safe.

As the war exploded, he had an epiphany. Watching innocent people being packed onto trains, bound for certain death, awakened him spiritually. He was heard to say, “Beyond this day, no thinking person should fail to see what will happen. I am now resolved to do everything in my power to defeat the system.”[4]

The Nazis tried desperately to exterminate all Jews in Poland prior to the Russian invasion. This prompted Schindler to draw up a list of 1200 Jews he swore to save.[4] He managed to save most of them.

Oscar Schindler Gravestone
Oscar Shindler's Gravestone

After the war, Oskar fled to Argentina with his wife and a mistress (one of several that he had throughout his marriage). In 1958, abandoning both wife and mistress, he returned to Germany alone, where he lived until his death.[4]

Oskar died October 9, 1974 in Hildesheim, Germany and was buried in Jerusalem on Mount Zion.[5]

Although Oskar struggled at times in his life with fidelity and had some moral flaws, he ultimately died a hero for his moral convictions and devotion to humanity.

    * Emily
    * Oscar


[1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Oblastni Archiv, česká republika (Czech Republic Church Books), Catholic Baptisms - Svitavy 1904-1909, volume M30-5850, image 283 of 411, (provided by Rachel Johnson).
    Oskar Schindler Baptism
    (Click HERE for full size)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Encyclopedia of World Biography, Oskar Schindler biography, (accessed October 28, 2015).
  3. 3.0 3.1 Transcription donated by Nick Gombash
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Jewish Virtual Library, Oskar Schindler biography, (accessed October 28, 2015)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Wikipedia, article about Oskar Schindler, (accessed October 28, 2015).

See also:

  • Brecher, Elinor J. True Stories of the List Survivors. New York: Dutton, 1994.
  • Keneally, Thomas. Schindler's List. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1982.
  • Roberts, Jack L. Oskar Schindler. San Diego: Lucent Books, 1996.
  • Roberts, Jeremy. Oskar Schindler: Righteous Gentile. New York: Rosen Publishing Group, 2000.
  • Thompson, Bruce, ed. Oskar Schindler. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2002.
  • Oskar Schindler: His Life Story
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 03 December 2018), memorial page for Oskar Schindler (28 Apr 1908–9 Oct 1974), Find A Grave: Memorial #4724, citing Mount Zion Catholic Cemetery, Jerusalem, Yerushalayim (Jerusalem District), Israel ; Maintained by Find A Grave.

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