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Emilie Pelzl was born on October 22, 1907, in Alt Moletein, a village in the German-populated border region of The Republic of Czechoslovakia. Emilie later recalled the local pastor, an old family friend, who instructed her that her friendship with a young Jew, Rita Reif, was not good. Emilie defied the pastor and retained her friendship with Rita, until Rita was murdered by the Nazis in front of her father's store in 1942.

Emilie Pelzl first saw the tall, handsome and outgoing Oscar Schindler when he came to the door of her father's farmhouse in Alt Moletein. It was in 1928 and Oscar Schindler was selling electric motors. After a courtship of six weeks, they were married on March 6, 1928, in an inn on the outskirts of Zwittau, Oscar's hometown. Emilie's father had given Oscar a dowry of 100.000 Czech crowns, a considerable sum in those days, and he soon bought a luxury car. In her A Memoir Where Light And Shadow Meet Emilie recalls how she struggled trying to understand him:

"In spite of his flaws, Oscar had a big heart and was always ready to help whoever was in need. He was affable, kind, extremely generous and charitable, but at the same time, not mature at all. He constantly lied and deceived me, and later returned feeling sorry, like a boy caught in mischief, asking to be forgiven one more time - and then we would start all over again ..."

Now without employment, Oscar joined the Nazi party, as did many others at that time. Maybe because he had seen the possibilities which the war brought in its wake, he followed on the heels of the SS when the Nazis invaded Poland.

 

 

 

He left his wife in Zwittau and moved to Crakow in Poland, where he took over a Jewish family's apartment. Bribes in the shape of money and illegal black market goods flowed copiously from Schindler and gave him control of a Jewish-owned enameled-goods factory, DEF - Deutsch Emailwaren Fabrik -, close to the Jewish ghetto, where he principally employed Jewish workers. At this time presumably because they were the cheapest labor ...

 

Louis Bülow  -  ©2016-18
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