Oskar Schindler

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Oskar Schindler (28 April 19089 October 1974) was a Sudeten German industrialist credited with saving almost 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust, by having them work in his enamelware and ammunitions factories located in Poland and what is now the Czech Republic.


  • The persecution of Jews in occupied Poland meant that we could see horror emerging gradually in many ways. In 1939, they were forced to wear Jewish stars, and people were herded and shut up into ghettos. Then, in the years '41 and '42 there was plenty of public evidence of pure sadism. With people behaving like pigs, I felt the Jews were being destroyed. I had to help them. There was no choice.
    • 1964 interview[[1]]
  • I hated the brutality, the sadism, and the insanity of Nazism. I just couldn't stand by and see people destroyed. I did what I could, what I had to do, what my conscience told me I must do. That's all there is to it. Really, nothing more.
    • Oskar Schindler speaking about his take on the final solution(refers to the German Nazis' plan to engage in systematic genocide against the European Jewish population during World War II.)[[2]]
  • There was no choice. If you saw a dog going to be crushed under a car, wouldn't you help him?
    • Oskar Schindlers answer after Poldek Pfefferberg, another Schindlerjew asked him why he risked so much[[3]]
  • Now you are finally with me, you are safe now. Don't be afraid of anything. You don't have to worry anymore.
    • What Oskar Schindler said to the 300 women he saved on their return to his factory.[[4]]
  • What is there to say? They are my friends. I would do it again, over and over - for I hate cruelty and intolerance.
    • Oskar Schindler[[5]]


  • Beyond this day, no thinking person could fail to see what would happen.
  • I was now resolved to do everything in my power to defeat the system.

About Oskar Schindler

  • He came to my house once, and I put a bottle of cognac in front of him, and he finished it in one sitting. When his eyes were flickering - he wasn't drunk - I said this is the time to ask him the question 'why' ? His answer was 'I was a Nazi, and I believed that the Germans were doing wrong ... when they started killing innocent people - and it didn't mean anything to me that they were Jewish, to me they were just human beings, menschen - I decided I am going to work against them and I am going to save as many as I can'. And I think that Oscar told the truth, because that's the way he worked.
    • Murray Pantirer, a Schindler survivor asked Schindler why he helped the Jews and he was given this answer.[[6]]
  • We gave up many times, but he always lifted our spirits ... Schindler tried to help people however he could. That is what we remember.
    • Helen Beck, a Schindler survivor recalling how he kept their spirits alive.[[7]]
  • He was a gambler, who loved living on the edge. He loved outsmarting the SS. I would not be alive today if it wasn't for Oscar Schindler. To us he was our God, our Father, our protector.
    • Rena Ferber also a Jew who was saved by Schindler remembers how important his actions were[[8]]
  • If he was a virtuous, honest guy, no one in a corrupt, greedy system like the SS would accept him .. In a weird world that celebrated death, he recognized the Jews as humans. Schindler used corrupt ways, creativity and ingenuity against the monster machine dedicated to death.
    • Zev Kedem who was saved by Schindler during world war 2[[9]]
  • There were SS guards but he would say 'Good morning' to you. He was a chain smoker and he´d throw the cigarette on the floor after only two puffs, because he knew the workers would pick it up after him. To me he was an angel. Because of him I was treated like a human being. And because of him I survived.
  • What people don't understand about Oscar is the power of the man, his strength, his determination. Everything he did he did to save the Jews. 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 ....!
    • Abraham Zuckerman, survivor of the Final Solution thanks to Schindler. He recalls how Schindler got 300 people out a Auschwitz as[[10]]
  • We do not forget the sorrows of Egypt, we do not forget Haman, we do not forget Hitler. Thus, among the unjust, we do not forget the just. Remember Oskar Schindler.
    • Preamble to an appeal launched by the Schindlerjuden in 1961 on Schindler's behalf. Cited from Thomas Keneally Schindler's Ark (London: Coronet, 1983) p. 396.

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