to a Catholic family in the Sudeten part of Czech Republic. Worked as a
salesman. Endowed with very persuasive talents, which he successfully used
later in his rescue efforts. Worked for the Abwehr and contributed to its
preparation of the attack on Poland. Joined the Nazi party. In Cracow took
over an enamel factory and employed and protected Jewish workers. Declared
even unskilled laborers as essential to the war effort and warned that
their removal would seriously hamper his output. His involvement in saving
Jews deepened after he witnessed brutal evacuations and deportations in
the Cracow ghetto. Arrested a number of times, but always released soon
befriended Gizi Fleischmann in Bratislava. He marveled at Fleischmann’s
aplomb in dealing with the Nazis. Met Kastner first on his early trip to
Budapest, prior to the German occupation, when Kastner and the Rescue
Committee were busy aiding refugees from Slovakia and Poland. Already
then, Kastner discussed with Schindler the establishment of courier routes
and the expediting of mail between Turkey, Budapest, Switzerland, and the
concentration camps in Poland. Schindler decided to help, this brought
about additional visits by Schindler to Budapest and to Kastner.
Schindler delivered information on the camps and exchanged intelligence
and was amazed at the high quality information Kastner obtained. They kept
meeting after the German take-over, exploring Schindler’s idea of opening
factories in Budapest as he has done in Cracow with the objective of
employing Jews and taking them off the deportation lists.
Mann ist unerschrocken,” Schindler said about Kastner, “…he is absolutely
intrepid, he is the coolest, calmest, smartest individual I have ever met,
yet he is totally reckless with his own safety. This man is custom fitted
for the job he does.” Kastner and Schindler hit it off, liked each other,
constantly hatched ways and means to get relief to the ones in need and
plot schemes on saving lives.
the Red Army approached Auschwitz near Cracow, Schindler persuaded the
local Gestapo and SS authorities for permission to move his factories to
the Sudeten area in Western Czechoslovakia, which he did. In this
operation he saved over a thousand of his workers. Schindler was a
practical man yet increasingly took on ever growing risks in saving Jews.
the war, Schindler engaged in various commercial enterprises in Germany
and Argentina which all ended in bankruptcy. At age sixty-six, in 1975,
Schindler died in Germany. He was buried at the Catholic Cemetery on Mount
Zion in Jerusalem, Israel.
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