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Oskar Schindler (second from the right) poses with a group of Jews he rescued during the Holocaust. The picture was taken in 1946, one year after the war ended.

The Schindlerjuden, literally translated from German as "Schindler's Jews", were a group of roughly 1,200 Jews who were saved by Oskar Schindler during the Holocaust. They survived the years of the Nazi regime primarily through the intervention of Schindler, who found them protected status as industrial workers at his enamelware factory in Kraków and, after 1944, in an armaments factory in occupied Czechoslovakia. There, they avoided being sent to death camps and survived the war. Schindler expended his personal fortune as an industrialist to save the Schindlerjuden.

Their story has been depicted in the book Schindler's Ark, by Thomas Keneally, and Steven Spielberg's film adaptation of the novel, Schindler's List. Poldek Pfefferberg, one of the survivors, persuaded Thomas Keneally to write the novel and Steven Spielberg to produce the film.

In 2012, there were estimated to be over 8,500 descendants of Schindlerjuden living across the United States, Europe, and Israel.[1]

The List[edit]

The original list of Schindlerjuden who were transported to Schindler's Brünnlitz factory in Brněnec, occupied Czechoslovakia, was prepared by Mietek Pemper, Itzhak Stern and Oskar Schindler during September and October of 1944.[2][3][4] That list likely no longer exists.

Another list with 1,000 names, compiled by Pemper upon the prisoners' arrival 21 October 1944 at Schindler's Brünnlitz factory, was presented by him to the International Tracing Service in 1958.[5]

Two lists of 1,098 prisoners made by camp administration in Brünnlitz on 18 April 1945 are extant, and are preserved in Yad Vashem Memorial, where Oskar and Emilie Schindler are recognized among the Righteous.[6][7] The first list contains 297 female prisoners while the second list contains 801 male prisoners. There are several preserved copies and carbon copies of the list from April 1945, with some in museums while others are in private hands, mostly of families of former prisoners. In April 2009, a carbon copy of the original list, documenting 801 names, was discovered among the documentation Schindler's Ark author Thomas Keneally had donated to the State Library of New South Wales in Sydney.[8]

Notable Schindlerjuden[edit]

Biographies and related material[edit]

  • Bau, Joseph. Dear God, Have You Ever Gone Hungry? Arcade Publishing, 1998. - A memoir by Schindler survivor Joseph Bau about some of his experiences during the Holocaust, being rescued by Schindler, and the impact of these experiences after the war.
  • Brecher, Elinor J. Schindler's Legacy: True Stories of the List Survivors. New York: Dutton, 1994. (D 811 .A2 B74 1994) - A compilation of interviews with many of those saved by Schindler. Includes reports of their experiences in the concentration camps and with Schindler, and their stories of life after the war. Includes over one hundred personal photographs.
  • Byers, Ann. Oskar Schindler: Saving Jews from the Holocaust. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow, 2005. (D 804.66 .S38 B94 2005) - Biography of Schindler, with emphasis on his rescue activities during the war. Part of the "Holocaust Heroes and Nazi Criminals" series for young adult readers. Includes glossary and index.
  • Crowe, David M. Oskar Schindler: The Untold Account of His Life, Wartime Activities, and the True Story Behind the List. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2004. (D 804.66 .S38 C76 2004) - A comprehensive account of Schindler's early life, business career, rescue attempts, and postwar experiences in Germany and Argentina. Based on personal interviews and archival sources, including Schindler's personal papers discovered in 1997. Includes extensive bibliography and index.
  • Fensch, Thomas, editor. Oskar Schindler and His List: The Man, the Book, the Film, the Holocaust and its Survivors. Forest Dale, VT: Paul S. Eriksson, 1995. - A collection of essays, articles, and interviews which illuminate Schindler and the international effect of his story. Includes a reprint of an article written about Schindler in 1949 and sections about Thomas Keneally's book Schindler's List, Steven Spielberg's film adaptation of the story, and issues and implications of the Holocaust.
  • Fogelman, Eva. Conscience & Courage: Rescuers of Jews During the Holocaust. New York: Doubleday, 1994. (D 810 .R4 F64 1994) - Relates stories about Schindler and his efforts to save Jews in the context of other rescue efforts and courageous acts during the Holocaust. Examines the motivation of Schindler and other rescuers, including personal, psychological, and historical factors.
  • Gruntová, Jitka: Legendy a fakta o Oskaru Schindlerovi. Praha, 2002. - Comprehensive account of Schindler's life, creation of the famous list and the daily reality of the life in the Brünnlitz factory. Based on interviews, books and archival sources.
  • Hillman, Laura. i will plant you a lilac tree – a memoir of a Schindler's list survivor. Simon and Schuster, 2006. The story of a Schindler's List survivor, her family, and her relationship with fellow inmate Dick Hillman in various concentration and labor camps during the Holocaust.
  • Keneally, Thomas. Schindler's Ark. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1982. (PR 9619.3 .K46 S3 1982) - A fictional recreation of the story of Oskar Schindler, an industrialist who saved 1,100 Jews from death by employing them in his factory in Kraków. Drawn from authentic records, the testimony of many of those saved by Schindler, and the author's extensive research. Published under the title Schindler's List in the United States.
  • Keneally, Thomas. Searching for Schindler: A memoir. 2008 - A memoir by the author of Schindler's Ark about the process of writing the novel, and the movie based on the novel that followed. Includes the stories of Schindler survivors, especially focusing on Leopold "Poldek" Pfefferberg.
  • Leyson, Leon. The Boy on the Wooden Box: How the Impossible Became Possible . . . on Schindler's List. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2015. - A memoir by one of the youngest Schindler survivors, who had to stand on a wooden box to operate factory machinery. Intended for young readers.
  • Meltzer, Milton. "Schindler's Jews." In Rescue: The Story of How Gentiles Saved Jews in the Holocaust, 55-67. New York: Harper & Row, 1988. (D 810 .R4 M247 1988) - A brief, personal account of Schindler's life and heroism. Written for young adults.
  • Müller-Madej, Stella. A Girl From Schindler's List. - A autobiography by a young Schindler survivor and her family, from Kraków to Brünnlitz.
  • Roberts, Jack L. Oskar Schindler. San Diego: Lucent Books, 1996. (D 804.66 .S38 R628 1996) - Interweaves the biography of Oskar Schindler with the larger events of the Holocaust, including the rise of anti-Semitism and the implementation of the "Final Solution." Briefly discusses Schindler's life after the war. Includes photographs. Written for young adults.
  • O'Neil, Robin. Oskar Schindler: Stepping Stone to Life,, 2010 - A biography focusing on Oskar Schindler's rescue activity during the Holocaust, based on published and unpublished materials and eyewitness interviews conducted on and off by the author since 1987.
  • Pemper, Mieczysław. The Road to Rescue: The Untold Story of Schindler's List. Other Press, 2011. - A Schindler survivor's personal account of his activities during the Holocaust, including his forced employment by Amon Göth, including the assistance he provided to Schindler in his rescue operations, and his testifying against Göth in his war crime trial after the end of the war.
  • Schindler, Emilie. Where Light and Shadow Meet: A Memoir. New York: Norton, 1997. (D 811.5 .S31513 1997) - An autobiography by Oskar Schindler's wife, written with the help of Erika Rosenberg. Tells her story from childhood to after the war. Presents a detailed, behind-the-scenes account of the list's development and the steps taken to save Jews. Includes numerous photos and two maps.
  • Silver, Eric. "The Few Who Disobeyed." In The Book of the Just: The Unsung Heroes Who Rescued Jews from Hitler, 147-154. New York: Grove Press, 1994. (D 804.65 .S55 1992) - Uses personal testimony and historical documents to construct a more personal picture of Schindler and to describe the great lengths he took to save Jews by employing them in his factory and bargaining for their lives.
  • Skotnicki, Aleksander B. Oskar Schindler in the Eyes of Cracovian Jews Rescued by Him. Kraków: Wydawn. AA, 2008. (D 804.66 .S38 S5813 2008) - Examines Schindler's legacy through testimony gathered from the Polish Jews saved by his efforts. Contains articles discussing Schindler, the list, and Płaszów concentration camp and the enamelware factory. A short list of films, press reports, and books is also presented, along with numerous photos from a variety of sources.
  • Zuckerman, Abraham. A Voice in the Chorus: Memories of a Teenager Saved by Schindler. Stamford, CT: Longmeadow Press, 1994. (D 804.3 .Z84 1994) - A survivor's personal narrative describing his life in Kraków before the war, his imprisonment in concentration camps, and his rescue by Oskar Schindler. Also tells of his life after the war. Includes personal photographs. Previously published as A Voice in the Chorus: Life as a Teenager in the Holocaust.


  1. ^ Smith, Larry (28 March 2012). "Survivor of the Holocaust tells how Schindler saved her life". Tribune 242. Retrieved 2018-11-24.
  2. ^ "Mietek Pemper". The Telegraph. June 11, 2011. Archived from the original on 2012-10-27. Retrieved October 27, 2012.
  3. ^ "Oskar Schindler's collaborator, Mietek Pemper, has died". Agence France-Presse. The Gazette (Montreal). 2011-06-15. Retrieved 2011-06-26.[dead link]
  4. ^ Martin, Douglas (18 June 2011). "Mietek Pemper, 91, Camp Inmate Who Compiled Schindler's List". New York Times. Archived from the original on 2011-06-21. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
  5. ^ Sample Documents from the ITS Archives Archived 2011-07-21 at the Wayback Machine., International Tracing Service
  6. ^ "Oskar and Emilie Schindler |". Retrieved 2018-11-24.
  7. ^ "Schindler's entire List". Retrieved 2018-11-24.
  8. ^ Reuters (8 April 2009). "Hallan la lista de Schindler" [Finding Schindler's List] (in Spanish). La Jornada. Retrieved 6 May 2018.

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