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Oskar Schindler
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Oskar Schindler Memorial

The Oskar Schindler commemorative plaque from 1994 is located opposite his family home on Poličská Street.


Oskar Schindler was born in Svitavy in 1908 and in his hometown he was known better under the nickname Schindler-Rogue. At the end of the Second World War he was given credit for saving nearly 1,200 Jews from their death in Polish camps. A contradictory individual, agent of the German intelligence organization Abwehr, member of the Nazi Party, philanderer and heavy drinker, Schindler launched his adventurous enterprise in 1944. Schindler employed Jews in his Krakow factory and grew rich on their forced labour. In 1943 Schindler had a change of heart and began to support the Jewish resistance in the Płaszów work camp on the outskirts of Krakow. Through Schindler money was distributed in the camp for the needs of the underground resistance. He took advantage of corruption in Nazi administration and in the autumn of 1944, with his factory due to be shut down, he invested his assets into transferring his prisoners to the work camp in Brněnec in Moravia. There, after surviving dramatic events, his nearly 1,200 prisoners lived to see their liberation. Following the war Schindler fled to the American occupation zone. While Schindler was sought by the Communists in postwar Czechoslovakia for war crimes, in the democratic world he was exalted as a protector. He was bestowed numerous prestigious awards, lived with material support from the Jews he had saved, and made unsuccessful attempts to start businesses in Argentina and West Germany. Schindler died in 1974 and was buried in the Mount Zion Catholic Cemetery in Israel. He was the only Nazi to be honoured by Israel as one of the Righteous Among Nations. His story became well-known 1982 after Australian writer Thomas Keneally's book Schindler's Ark was published. American director Steven Spielberg based his Oscar-winning film Schindler’s List (1993) on the novel. The town of Svitavy unveiled a symbolic commemorative plaque for its native son on the occasion of the ceremonial advance premiere of the film in town in 1994.

Copyright © Městské muzeum a galerie ve Svitavách 2018