Emilie Schindler: Before the War-
- Emilie Schindler was born as Emile Pelzl on October 22, 1907.
- She was born in a village called Alt Moletein, which is now modern day Czechoslovakia and grew up on a farm.
- Parents were Josef and Marie Pelzl.
- She loved nature and animals and she was always willing to care for them.
- Her friends and family described her as "cautious, loving, and very helpful."
- She met her future husband, Oskar Schindler, when he was selling electric motors to her father.
- Emile and Oskar dated for six weeks and got married on March 6th, 1928.
Oskar Schindler: Before the War-
- Oskar Schindler was born on April 28, 1908.
- He grew up in a place called Moravia, Brno, which is also in modern day Czech Republic.
- Born to the parents of Hans Schindler and Franziska Luser.
- Oskar's best friends growing up were Jews, who lived near him. He and his friends spent their childhood growing up together.
- His family was very wealthy at first but went bankrupt due to the depression of 1929.
- He joined the Nazi party as a spy to gather intelligence information to help save Jewish lives. Although he was a spy for the "other side," he was on good terms with the Gestapo.
- He drank a lot and was a womanizer and deceiver but he always risked his life for Jews so they wouldn't be sent to death camps.
- He left Emilie in Zwittau to live in Crakow so that he could employ Jews because they were the easiest to take over at the time.
During the War-
- In 1935, Oskar Schindler started working for the German Intelligence Service in Crakow (Abwher). Still working for Abwher, Schindler owned an enamelware factory, which employed several Jews by authorization from the SS. Most Jews were sent to concentration camps.
- A short while after, the Germans decided to close down the factory and all the remaining Jews were sent to a death camp called Auschwitz.
- Oskar found a new job in Czech and wanted to take back several of his Jewish workers.
- He made a list that included 300 workers from the enamelware factory.
- 750 Jews from the concentration camp.
- Several recommended Jews.
- This started to become an issue when the Mayor of the city addressed Emilie and Oskar stating the factory was a target for bombing raids.
- Emilie arose to the situation and went to the mayor who happened to be her old swim teacher. They started talking and when Emilie left she got a permit to establish the factory anyway.
- In 1944 Oskar was managing the plant and Emilie was in charge of making meals for everyone. She tried as hard as she could to make everything nutritious.
- Oskar went away for a short period and a man who was in charge of transporting Jews from a Polish mine asked if the 250 Jews he was transporting could stay with Emilie and Oskar.
- A couple years later, once all the Jews were nursed back to health by Emilie, Oskar announced that he was going to close down the plant.
In an order of recognition, most of the Jews in the factory signed a document thanking the Schindlers' for everything they had done for them to save their lives.
Oskar's Enamelware Factory
The Schindlers: Why Were They Heroes?
The Schindlers were apart of the Nazi Party. They were very rich at the time they were saving Jews. Today, we recognize them as heroes, because they saved over 1,000 Jewish lives. While Oskar continued to find shelters for them, Emilie nursed them back to health and fed them. Without Emilie and Oskar Schindler, there would be several Jews that would have been sent to death or concentration camps.
Oskar Schindler disappeared from Emilie in 1974 still married. He died later that year on October 8th at age 66. His body rests in Jerusalem, Israel.
Emilie Schindler lived to be 93 years old and died in 2001 on October 5th in the Berlin Hospital. She wrote a memoir explaining her feelings toward her husband's leaving but says that she has forgiven him for giving his Jews more than he gave her and for cheating on her several times. Her resting place is in a cemetary in Waldkraiburg, Germany.
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