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Who Owns Schindler’s List?

A preliminary hearing starts Wednesday in Jerusalem in a legal case that pits the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial centre against the estate of Oskar Schindler’s widow to decide who owns the legacy of the man who saved 1,200 Jews from the Nazis.

Schindlers List

Who owns Schindler’s list? That is the question to be decided by a Jerusalem court, which holds a preliminary hearing on the case on April 15. A document from almost exactly 70 years ago lies at the heart of the legal battle – dated April 18, 1945, it lists the names of 801 Jewish workers who German industrialist Oskar Schindler saved from extermination by asking the Nazi authorities to allow them to work at his factories.

The rights to this document and others are being claimed by both Israel’s Yad Vashem memorial centre and Erika Rosenberg, who is both a beneficiary and the executor of the estate of Emilie Schindler, Oskar’s wife.

Yad Vashem, which describes itself as the Jewish people’s “living memorial to the Holocaust”, is dedicated to safeguarding the remembrance of the tragedy for future generations. In 1999 the Jerusalem-based centre received a suitcase sent from Germany containing thousands of documents, including two of the four remaining copies of Schindler’s list, of which there were originally seven copies typed on onionskin paper.

The suitcase – of incalculable historical and financial value – was in the possession of Anne-Marie Staehr, who was once Oskar Schindler’s mistress. Schindler left for Argentina with his wife after the war, returning alone to Germany in 1957, where he died in anonymity in October 1974.

The suitcase and the list found its way to the press in Germany, where it made headlines, and was eventually sent to Yad Vashem by German journalist Ulrich Sahm, a Jerusalem resident and a former correspondent for the “Stuttgarter Zeitung” newspaper.

On these events, both warring parties agree. But the two sides differ on who held the rightful claim to the documents prior to their arrival in Israel.

Rosenberg alleges that Staehr absconded with the documents from Schindler’s home in Frankfurt after his death and kept them in the suitcase until her own death in 1984. Forgotten in the attic of her house in Hildesheim, Lower Saxony, they were found 15 years later by Staehr’s son.

Emilie Schindler, who still lives in Argentina, learned of the existence of the documents through the media. She asked Rosenberg, then her friend and biographer, to retrieve them and bring them to her in Buenos Aires. But when Rosenberg confronted the “Stuttgarter Zeitung” to demand it hand over the documents, she was told the suitcase had already been sent to Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.

The Israeli news daily “Haaretz” cites Rosenberg as saying that Emilie fell ill over the affair, and that she called it “a huge injustice”. “I saved Jews, together with my husband, and now the Jews have taken the suitcase away from me. You must demand it, even after my death,” she allegedly said.

In 2001 Emilie returned to Germany, where she died without leaving any descendents. Like her husband, she was posthumously bestowed with the title of “Righteous Among the Nations”, the highest civilian honour that Israel grants to Gentiles who saved Jews during World War II.

As the designated executor of Emilie Schindler’s estate, Rosenberg sought in vain to fulfill her wishes by retrieving the documents. In 2013 she filed a legal suit against Yad Vashem, which she accused of theft.

Rosenberg’s lawyer, Naor Yair Maman, makes a distinction between the legal case and its historical ramifications.

“Even if you believe that, from the historical-academic perspective, it would be preferable that the documents remain in Yad Vashem, you have no right whatsoever to claim title to someone else’s property,” he told AFP.

Yad Vashem says it obtained the documents legally and has always acted with transparency. The memorial centre contends that Oskar Schindler gave the suitcase in question to Staehr voluntarily – and that it had, therefore, never belonged to Emilie.

“Yad Vashem holds the documents lawfully and has acted the whole time openly and publicly,” it said in a statement to AFP, adding that it was opposed to “trading in Holocaust-era documents”. Citing their historical value, the centre said the documents must remain in the public domain.

Yad Vashem requested a dismissal of the charges in February, a request that was denied by the Jerusalem District Court.

“We will hold our debate with Rosenberg in court to ensure these documents do not reach the private hands of those who are not their legal owners and whose interests are unclear,” Yad Vashem subsequently vowed.

Rosenberg has always defended her intentions, saying she only wants to “preserve, protect and restore the historical data”.

In July 2013, another copy of Schindler’s list – which notably inspired the eponymous film by American director Steven Spielberg – was sold on eBay for $3 million.

April 15, 2015 Posted by | Auschwitz, News, This Day In History | , , , | Leave a comment

Memoir of the youngest survivor on Schindler’s List

A memoir written by one of the youngest Holocaust survivors on Oskar Schindler’s List has been acquired by UK publishers Simon and Schuster Children’s Books.

The memoir of Leon Leyson, entitled The Boy on the Wooden Box, follows the profoundly moving true story of his survival through the Holocaust and has been compared to the diary of Anne Frank. Leyson was just 10-years-old when the Germans invaded Poland and his family was forced to relocate to the Krakow ghetto. He began working in Schindler’s factory when he was 13.

Ingrid Selberg, a publisher at Simon and Schuster, commented on the memoir: “We are honoured to be publishing this very important book which chronicles one of history’s most significant and devastating events through the eyes of a child who was actually there. This is a book every child of nine and up should read alongside Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl.”

As a result of the heroic actions of Oskar Schindler, the lives of Leyson, his parents, and two of his four siblings were saved, although Leyson lost two brothers during the Holocaust. The rest of the family moved to Los Angeles three years after the war ended.

via Memoir of the youngest survivor on Schindler’s List to be published – Telegraph.

May 31, 2013 Posted by | News | , , , , | Leave a comment

Schindlers List: The Girl in the Red Coat

A little girl in a red coat becomes the catalyst which saves the lives of more than 1,000 Jews destined for the concentration camps in Steven Spielberg’s celebrated film Schindlers List.

But for the now 24-year-old woman who played the role in 1993, the iconic appearance left her traumatised for years.Oliwia Dabrowska was three years old when she starred as the girl in the red coat – the only flash of colour in the otherwise black-and-white film.

via Schindlers List: Trauma of girl in the red coat who became holocaust icon | Mail Online.

A Girl From Schindlers List by Stella Muller-Madej

 

March 5, 2013 Posted by | This Day In History | , , , , | Leave a comment

Stella Muller-Madej ‘A Girl from Schindler’s List’ dies age 83.

Stella Müller-Madej, a Holocaust survivor who wrote about being saved by Oskar Schindler, has died.

Stella Muller-Madej

Müller-Madej died on Jan. 29 in Krakow at the age of 83. She was born in 1930 in Krakow. In March 1941, she was moved to the Krakow Ghetto and in 1942 to the Nazi camp in Plaszow. She entered Auschwitz in October 1944. Thanks to the efforts of her uncle, Müller-Madej was listed with her family on Schindler’s list and along with other prisoners was sent to the Brunnlitz factory.

After the war she returned to Krakow, and in 1991 she published a book, “A Girl From Schindler’s List.” In 2001, she published the second part of her memoirs, “A Girl From Schindler’s List: Postwar Years,” which describes the life of her family after the war and the impact of the trauma of World War II on her life.

February 1, 2013 Posted by | Auschwitz, Events, News | , , , | 1 Comment

Spielberg the Clear Favorite to Win best Director.

American filmmaker Steven Spielberg is clear favorite among the public to win the best director award for his film about President Abraham Lincoln at the Academy Awards this year, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday.

While the race to win best film at the February 24 ceremony was shaken up by “Argo” stealing the thunder of “Lincoln” at two award ceremonies last weekend, the best director statuette was deemed destined for one man.

Scene from Schindlers List, filmed on Szeroka in Kazimierz, Krakow.

Scene from Schindler’s List.
Filmed on Szeroka in Kazimierz, Krakow.

Spielberg, 66, who has been nominated seven times for best director at the Oscars and won twice – for the World War Two dramas “Schindler’s List” in 1993 and “Saving Private Ryan” in 1998 – was seen as far ahead in the all-male field of five.

A Reuters Ipsos poll of 1,641 Americans found 41 percent thought Spielberg should win and 38 percent said he was most likely to win for his U.S. Civil War-era drama in which British actor Daniel Day-Lewis plays Lincoln.

Almost half of the respondents to the survey conducted Friday through Tuesday were unsure who should or was most likely to be voted best director. The accuracy of the poll uses a statistical measure called a “credibility interval” and is precise to within 2.8 percentage points.

The online poll comes before the Directors Guild of America awards on Saturday in Los Angeles. Since 1948, there have been only six occasions where the winner of the DGA Award for Feature Film has not gone on to win the Oscar for best director.

But this year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, whose members choose Oscar winners, overlooked the directors of four of the year’s biggest movies – Ben Affleck (“Argo”), Kathryn Bigelow (“Zero Dark Thirty”), Quentin Tarantino (“Django Unchained”) and Tom Hopper (“Les Miserables”) – opening the possibility of a rare split in February in the best film and best director categories.

January 31, 2013 Posted by | News | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Schindler’s List – 20th Anniversary Edition

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2013 marks the 20th Anniversary of Steven Spielberg’s Oscar winning film Schindler’s List, and Universal is acknowledging the milestone by giving the film a Blu-ray release with a 20th Anniversary Limited Edition. Set to arrive in March, the Blu-ray Combo Pack will include the film on Blu-ray and DVD as well a digital copy and UltraViolet.

Directed by Spielberg, the 1993 black-and-white drama is based on Thomas Keneally’s novel Schindler’s Ark and stars Liam Neeson as the title character Oskar Schindler, a Catholic man and member of the Nazi party who puts his life and career on the line by employing 1,100 Jews in his factory during the Holocaust. Also among the cast are Ben Kingsley, playing Schindler’s accountant, and Ralph Fiennes, who played a cruel Nazi commander.

Here’s the trailer for the Blu-ray…

For its Blu-ray release, the film has been “meticulously restored from the original film negative in pristine high definition, supervised by Steven Spielberg.” Bonus features include “Voices from the List,” a documentary that includes testimonies from Holocaust survivors. And also “USC ShoahFoundation Story with Steven Spielberg,” which focuses on how Spielberg was inspired by the film to start the USC Shoah Foundation, an institute for visual history and education. 

It’s hard to believe the film is turning twenty this year. Given the anniversary, the timing seems right for the movie to make its Blu-ray debut, and for the film to get touched up for high def. It’s certainly one of the more moving historical pictures in movie history and well worth owning. 

Universal has the release date for Schindler’s List 20th Anniversary Limited Edition set for March 5, 2013. Below is a look at the box art for the set.

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LINKED POST

A Girl from Schindler’s List

January 16, 2013 Posted by | News | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Youngest Oskar Schindler’s List Survivor Dies Aged 83

Krakow Tours

Leon Leyson, the youngest among the 1,100 Jews saved by German industrialist Oskar Schindler during World War II, died over the weekend at his southern California home. He was 83 years old. His daughter told the Los Angeles Times that her father passed away after a four-year battle with lymphoma.

Schindler saved Jews by telling SS officers that they were his employees and necessary for his factories. He called Leyson “the Little Leyson” because the boy, who went to work in Schindler’s factory at age 13, needed to stand on boxes to work the machinery.

Leyson’s mother and brothers were also saved by Schindler, who died in 1974 and was buried in Jerusalem. He was named as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem in 1993.

LINKED POSTS

Remembering Oskar Schindler

Schindlers List Review

Schindlers List For Sale

The Krakow Ghetto

A Girl From Schindlers List

January 15, 2013 Posted by | News | , , , | Leave a comment

Auschwitz Books – Online

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The Sketchbook from Auschwitz on Ebay

 

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A Girl from Schindlers List on Ebay, Signed Copy.

January 3, 2013 Posted by | News | , , , | Leave a comment

Remembering Oskar Schindler

KRAKOW TOURS – On the day that the world is remembering and reminiscing about John Lennon (today would have been  his 70th birthday), another internationally famous figure should be remembered also.

On this day (9th October) in 1974 Oskar Schindler died.

Oskar Schindler rose to the highest level of humanity, walked through the bloody mud of the Holocaust without soiling his soul, his compassion, his respect for human life –  and gave his Jews a second chance at life. He miraculously managed to do it and pulled it off by using the very same talents that made him a war profiteer – his flair for presentation, bribery, and grand gestures.

In those years, millions of Jews died in the Nazi death camps like Auschwitz, but Schindler’s Jews miraculously survived.

To more than 1200 Jews Oscar Schindler was all that stood between them and death at the hands of the Nazis. A man full of flaws like the rest of us – the unlikeliest of all role models who started by earning millions as a war profiteer and ended by spending his last pfennig and risking his life to save his Jews. An ordinary man who even in the worst of circumstances did extraordinary things, matched by no one. He remained true to his Jews, the workers he referred to as my children. In the shadow of Auschwitz he kept the SS out and everyone alive.

Oskar Schindler and his wife Emilie Schindler were inspiring evidence of courage and human decency during the Holocaust. Emilie was not only a strong woman working alongside her husband but a heroine in her own right. She worked indefatigably to save the Schindler-Jews – a story to bear witness to goodness, love and compassion.

Today there are more than 7,000 descendants of the Schindler-Jews living in US and Europe, many in Israel. Before the Second World War, the Jewish population of Poland was 3.5 million. Today there are between 3,000 and 4,000 left.

Oskar Schindler spent millions to protect and save his Jews, everything he possessed. He died penniless. But he earned the everlasting gratitude of the Schindler-Jews. Today his name is known as a household word for courage in a world of brutality – a hero who saved hundreds of Jews from Hitler’s gas chambers.

Schindler died in Hildesheim in Germany October 9, 1974. He wanted to be buried in Jerusalem. As he said: My children are here ..

October 9, 2010 Posted by | Events, News, Tour Information | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Poland … Cracovia … Krakow … (via Shashamane1’s Blog)

Some more great photo’s, this time taken by Richard Brooks, some of which whilst on tours with KRAKOW TOURS.

poland ... cracovia ... Beautiful light on this nun walking through the city in the early evening … again this lovely evening light … reverence and awe … political stencil street art … 4 kotlarska … weathered facade … … Read More

via Shashamane1’s Blog

August 9, 2010 Posted by | Krakow Travel Advice, News, Tour Information | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

When Hollywood Becomes History

Some fantastic photographs here of the area in and around the Liban Quarry, site of one of the working quarries used by the nazi’s for the prisoners from the nearby work camp of Płaszów. And used during the filming of Shindlers List as a mock up of the Płaszów camp.

Krakow Tours’ Schindlers Steps walk takes you through this area and includes many other interesting sites from Schindlers time in the area seen and locations used in Spielberg’s film.

When Hollywood Becomes History More Works from the Płaszów series… (click on an image to see them larger) … Read More

via Patrick Hough Photography

August 5, 2010 Posted by | News | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Schindler’s List For Sale $2.2 Million

KRAKOW TOURS – Oskar Schindlers List, Krakow Tours.Schindler, the Czech businessman made famous by Stephen Spielberg for saving 1,200 Jews from the concentration camps, made 7 copies of his life-saving list.

The whereabouts of two of them are unknown, the Israeli Holocaust Museum has two, another is in a public archive in Koblenz, Germany, another is in the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C., and the final extant list belongs to the Stern family, descendants of Schindler’s accountant and right hand man, Itzhak Stern.

After two years of negotiations with historic document dealer Gary Zimet of MomentsInTime.com, the Stern family has put that last known privately-held copy on the market. The price is a cool $2.2 million.

“It’s printed on onion-skin paper,” Zimet said. “It’s remarkable given the age and the paper. It’s in excellent shape.”

“This is the only remaining copy left in private hands,” Zimet said. “The rest are in museums.”

While Zimet expects that many museums will be interested in obtaining the list, he notes that the high price will require a patron to step forward. “These days, museums are all broke,” Zimet said.

Several copies of the list were made between 1944 and 1945. Every time Schindler submitted a new (and longer) list of employees to be spared the camps, he kept a carbon copy. According to the Stern family, this particular list of 801 names dated 18/04/1945 was the second to last one Schindler made.

Here’s hoping someone with cash could use the tax write-off and donate it to a public institution.

March 23, 2010 Posted by | Krakow Travel Advice, News, Tour Information | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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