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During World War 2 Oskar Schindler continually risked his life to protect and save his Jewish workers. He desperately spent every penny he had bribing and paying off the Nazis to get food and better treatment for his Jews. Nobody was hit at his factory, nobody murdered, nobody sent to death camps like the nearby Auschwitz.

But soon the Nazis' Final Solution threatened Schindler's factory itself. Increasingly helpless, Schindler found that dangerous incidents happened more and more often.


By a mistake 300 Jewish Schindler-women were deported in cattle cars to the death camp Auschwitz. Certain death awaited. A Schindler survivor, Anna Duklauer Perl, later recalled: 'I knew something had gone terribly wrong .. they cut our hair real short and sent us to the shower. Our only hope was Schindler would find us.'


The Schindler-women did not know whether this was going to be water or gas.
A survivor, Etka Liebgold, later told:'One night they took us to the gas chamber. We were waiting the whole night - in the morning we found out: Schindler is here.'


The women heard a voice:'What are you doing with these people? These are my people.' Schindler! He had come to rescue them, bribing the Nazis to retrieve the women on his list and bring them back. And the women were released - the only shipment out of Auschwitz during WW2.

Thomas Keneally tells in his famous book Schindler's Ark how the women were marched naked to a quartermaster's hut where they were handed the clothes of the dead. Half dead themselves, dressed in rags, they were packed tight into the darkness of freight cars. But the Schindler-women with their heads cropped, many too ill, too hollowed out, to be easily recognised - the Schindler-women giggled like schoolgirls. One of the women, Clara Sternberg, heard an SS guard ask a colleague: 'What's Schindler going to do with all the old women?' 'It's no one's business,' the colleague said. 'Let him open an old people's home if he wants.'

The train rolled out of Auschwitz ..


A Schindler survivor, Abraham Zuckerman, later recalled: 'Can you imagine what power it took for him to pull out from Auschwitz 300 people? At Auschwitz, there was only one way you got out, we used to say. Through the chimney! Understand? Nobody ever got out of Auschwitz. But Schindler got out 300 ...!'


The author Stella Muller-Madej was one of the women. She has recounted her memories in her book, entitled A Girl from Schindler’s List, which has been translated into 9 languages. She later told:

'What I’ll say is nothing poetic, but I will repeat till the end of my days that the first time I was given life by my parents and the second time by Oscar Schindler. 

In ‘44 there were around 700 women transported from Płaszów, 300 of whom were on his list, and he fought for us like a lion, because they didn’t want to let us out of Auschwitz. He was offered better and healthier ‘material’ from new transports, unlike us, who had spent several years in the camp. But he got us out .. he saved us ..'

When the women arrived to the factory in Brunnlitz, weak, hungry, frostbitten, less than human, Oskar Schindler met them in the courtyard. They never forgot the sight of Schindler standing in the doorway. And they never forgot his raspy voice when he - surrounded by SS guards - gave them an unforgettable guarantee: 'Now you are finally with me, you are safe now. Don't be afraid of anything. You don't have to worry anymore.'

One of the Schindler-women later recalled that on seeing him that morning she felt that 'he was our father, he was our mother, he was our only faith. He never let us down.'

 

 



 



 

Louis Bülow ©2011-13
www.auschwitz.dk

www.oskarschindler.com
www.emilieschindler.com

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