Asked in Oskar Schindler
Oskar Schindler

What are facts about Oskar Schindler?

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11/01/2013
  • Oskar Schindler was born into a wealthy business family on 28 April 1908 in Zwittau, now Svitavy, Bohemia, which was then part of Austria-Hungary, but is now the Czech Republic.
  • Because he was a businessman, he initially sought to profit from the German invasion of Poland in 1939 by buying a factory in Krakow at a low price and employing Jews as cheap labour.
  • Schindler began to hide wealthy Jewish investors, possibly for profit, but later he began shielding his workers without regard to cost. His wife Emilie supported him through this.
  • He witnessed a 1942 raid on the Kraków Ghetto, where soldiers shipped the ghetto inhabitants to the concentration camp at Plaszow, and was appalled by the murder of many Jews who had tried to hide. Because of this, he worked to transfer the Jews to a safer place.
  • Schindler used his skills of persuasive speech and his money to bribe government officials to avoid being investigated. He spent millions to protect and save the Jews.
  • After the war, Schindler emigrated to Argentina, but returned to Germany in 1958, bankrupt.
  • Schindler died in Germany on 9 October 1974, at the age of 66. His cause of death is variously cited as being stroke or liver failure.