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Oscar Schindler in Germany

Bronia Gunz spent World War 2 largely under Schindler's protection: first at Plaszow and later, at the factory in Brinnlitz, Czechoslovakia.

She later recalled how Schindler told the prisoners to dig graves to deceive the Nazis. But he assured them he could save them and then he disappeared for days. "We were digging the graves and thinking: This is the end" Gunz said. Then Schindler returned. "One day this beautiful, gorgeous man shows up with a piece of paper, and he says: Saved, no digging anymore ... "

By 1944, when the workers on Schindler's list were transferred to Brinnlitz, their feelings of security were unshakeable. "Doubts? No, never!" insisted Bronia Gunz. "He was for us like God."

Stella Muller
, today Stella Müller-Madej, owes her life to Schindler's list. She was 14 but registered as being 2 years older and as a metal worker - all so she could survive as essential for the war industry. Both she and her parents would not have survived World War II without it. Aided by notes, diaries and a vivid memory, she managed to capture her recollections of the wartime period in a book: Through the Eyes of a Child, which has been published in eight countries. The book deserves a place next to Anne Frank's Diary. 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 ..'


The following posting 2002-06-14 was reported on JewishGen Discussion Group by Tom Weiss of Newton, Massachusetts, and described the humanitarian motivation of Oscar Schindler:

"In late 1970, I was with a survivor from the Schindler transport in a small village near the Brunnlitz factory where Schindler's Jews were held. The survivor, Victor Dortheimer, recalled that an elderly lady, Mrs. Hofstatter, died from natural causes.

Schindler bought a piece of land (which he showed me) adjacent to a Christian cemetery so that she could be buried in a proper Jewish manner. The camp commandant wanted to cremate her in the factory furnaces.

About a month ago I was in a London restaurant; sitting opposite was a lady unknown to me. During our conversation she told me that her family had originated in Krakow and that her grandmother was with Oscar Schindler. She said that her family never knew what happened to her which had depressed them over the years.

I asked her name, and she said 'Hofstatter'. I said, `I know where your grandmother is buried. I have been there and have seen the plot of land.' The woman was stunned that someone would know the fate of her grandmother and her final resting place.

On June 5 there was a memorial service held in the Christian cemetery of the village of Deutsch Biela. Present were the Hofstatter family, a local priest, the Israeli Ambassador in Prague and local dignitaries. A plaque in memory of both Chana Hofstatter and Oscar Schindler was placed and I, Robin O'Neill, read a prayer for the occasion."

The story was confirmed by Robin O'Neill, a writer with H-Net, an interdisciplinary organization of scholars dedicated to developing the educational potential of the Internet.




In Holocaust Testimonies, edited by Joseph J. Preil, the survivor Aaron Schwartz recalls Plaszow and the slaughter of the Cracow ghetto:

"When I came to Plaszow the first day, they put me in a group where we were digging a huge grave .. they brought in trucks, with children, from infant to twelve years old. They were all killed .. when the children were brought in, they were shot, right in that grave ..

A little girl, a beautiful blond girl, sat down in the grave, dressed in an Eskimo white fur coat, was all bloody, and asked for a little bit of water .. this child swallowed so much blood, because it was shot in the neck. And then it started to vomit so terribly. And then it lay down and it says, "Mother, turn me around, turn me around." ..

This child did not know what happened to it. It was shot, it was half-dead after it was shot. And this child sat down in the grave, among all the corpses, and asked for water .. it was still alive. There was no mother, just children brought from the Cracow ghetto.

So this little girl lay down, and asked to be turned around. What happened to it? I do not know. It was probably covered alive, with chlorine .. I am sure, because they did not give another shot to that girl .."

Over one million children under the age of sixteen died in the Holocaust - she was one of them ...


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