21 May 2014
History: Upstanders during the Holocaust
“One, who saves a single life, saves the World entire.”
Anti-Semitism, hatred or prejudice of Jews, has tormented the world for a long time, particularly during the Holocaust. The Holocaust was a critical disaster that happened in the early 1940s and will forever be remembered. Also known as the genocide of approximately six million European Jews during World War II, an assassination by the German Nazis lead by Adolf Hitler.
Emilie and Oscar first met in 1928 when Oscar was selling electric motors on the door of her father’s farmhouse in Alt Moletein. Six weeks later, they were married on March 6 1928 on the outskirts of Oscar’s hometown, Zwittua. In the 1930s, Oscar Schindler was unemployed and joined the Nazi party because he saw the possibilities which the war brought. He followed on the heels of the SS when Germany invaded Poland. He left Emilie in Zwittua and invaded a Jewish ...view middle of the document...
At Oscars factory, nobody was hit, treated inhumanly or sent to Death Camps. The conditions at the factory were far from comfortable. Inmates suffered from Typhus and Dysentry. In 1945, the Schindlers spent all at their disposal to ensure the safety of the Jews, even Emilie’s jewels were sold to buy food, clothes and medicine. A secrecy sanatorium was established.
The deceased when given a religious Jewish burial in a hidden graveyard. Paid for by the Schindlers.
An Account recorded, states that 4 million German Marks were spent to keep the Jews out of Concentration Camps and Death Camps.
The factory continued to produce shells for the German Wehrmacht for 7 months. One evening while Oscar was in Crakow saving 250 Jews from impending death, only weeks before the end of the war, Emilie was confronted by Nazis transporting Jews from Golechau to a Death Camp. They were packed into four wagons. She persuaded the Gestapo into transporting the Jews to the factory camp, “with regard to the continuing war industry production”.
In her A Memoir she recalls:
“We found the railroad car bolts frozen solid .. the spectacle I saw was a nightmare almost beyond imagination. It was impossible to distinguish the men from the women: they were all so emaciated - weighing under seventy pounds most of them, they looked like skeletons. Their eyes were shining like glowing coals in the dark ..
Each had to be carried out like a carcass of frozen beef. Thirteen were dead but the others still breathed. Throughout that night and for many nights following, Emilie worked without halt on the frozen and starved skeletons. One large room in the factory was emptied for the purpose. Three more men died, but with the care, the warmth, the milk and the medicine, the others gradually rallied.”
After the war , survivors told about Emilie's unforgettable heroism in nursing the frozen and starved prisoners back to life.
Feiwel (Franciso) Wichter, 75, was No. 371 on Schindler's List, the only one of the Schindler Jews living in Argentina:
As long as I live, I will always have a sincere
and eternal gratitude for dear Emilie.
I think she triumphed over danger because of
her courage, intelligence and determination to
do the right and humane thing.
She had immense energy and she was like a mother.