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But slowly as the brutality of the Nazis accelerated with murder, violence and terror, the seeds of their plan for the Final Solution - the total extermination of the Jews - dawned on Oscar Schindler in all its horror. He came to see his Jews not only as cheap labor, but also as mothers, fathers, and children, exposed to ruthless slaughter.

So with help from Emilie he decided to risk everything in desperate attempts to save the 1300 Schindler Jews from certain death in the death camps. Thanks to massive bribery and Oscar's connections, they got away with actively protecting their workers.

Oscar Schindler promised the Jews who worked for him that they would never starve, that he would protect them as best he could. And he did, building his own workers barracks on the factory grounds to help alleviate the sufferings of life in the nearby Plaszow labor camp. He gave safe haven to as many Jewish workers as possible, insisting to the occupying Nazis that they were "essential workers", a status that kept them away from harassment and killings.

 

 

 

At Schindler's  factory DEF, nobody was hit, nobody murdered, nobody sent to the death camps. But conditions at the factory were far from comfortable. Freezing, lice-ridden inmates still suffered typhus and dysentery.

Until the liberation of spring, 1945, the Schindler's used all means at their disposal to ensure the safety of the Schindler-Jews. They spent every Pfennig they had, even Emilie's jewels were sold, to buy food, clothes, and medicine. They set up a secret sanatorium in the factory with medical equipment purchased on the black market. Here Emilie looked after the sick. Those who did not survive were given a fitting Jewish burial in a hidden graveyard - established and paid for by the Schindlers.

Later accounts have revealed that the Schindlers spent something like 4 million German marks keeping their Jews out of the death camps - an enormous sum of money for those times.

The factory continued to produce shells for the German Wehrmacht for 7 months. In all that time not one usable shell was produced! Not one shell passed the military quality tests. Instead, false military travel passes and ration cards were produced, just as Nazi uniforms, weapons, ammunition and hand-grenades were collected.

 

Louis Bülow  -  ©2016-18
www.oskarschindler.com   www.emilieschindler.com   www.deathcamps.info  
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