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Oskcar Schindler
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Okcar Schindler

schindler.jpg

-was born on april 28, 1908.

-in 1939 he set up a business in an old enamel works factory in Poland, employing Jews from the Krakow Ghetto as cheap labour.

April 28, 1908 - Oskar Schindler is born in Zwittau, an industrial city in Moravia, a province of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Moravia is nestled between Bohemia in the north and Slovakia in the south. The region is also known as the Sudetenland.

August 1, 1914 - The First World War begins. Austria-Hungary joins with Germany to fight France, Britain, Italy, and (in 1917) the United States.

November 11, 1918 - First World War ends with collapse of three empires: Russia, Germany, and Austria-Hungary. Moravia, which included Schindler's hometown of Zwittau, is detached from Austria and annexed by the new republic of Czechoslovakia.

As a result of the war, several million Sudeten Germans find themselves a minority people in the new Czechoslovak state. Schindler is ten years old. Schindler attends german-language school--gymnasium-- in Zwittau. Among his classmates and playmates are two Jewish boys, sons of the local rabbi.

1920's - Schindler works as salesman for his father's farm-machinery factory.

May, 1928 - Schindler races motorcycle, a Moto-Guzzi, in high class competition.

1928 - Schindler marries Emilie. His father disapproves of marriage, and apparently Schindler leaves his job working as a salesman as a result of a tiff. He becomes a salesman for Morovia Eklectric and travels to Poland on business.

January 30, 1933 -Hitler is appointed Reichschancellor in Germany.

1935 -Schindler family factory goes bankrupt. Oskar's parents separate. Schindler joins the pro-Nazi Henlein party in Czechoslovakia.

September 29, 1938 - Hitler meets British Prime Minister Chamberlain and French Premier Daladier in Munich, Germany. The western leaders step back before Hitler's threats of war and force the Czechoslovak government, an ally, to cede the Sudetenland to Nazi Germany. The Jews and Czechs of the Sudetenland were summarily expelled and their property confiscated. They fled to Prague and to the regions of the rump Czech state not yet occupied by the Nazis. That would come six months later.

Autumn 1938 -Schindler joins German military intelligence, Abwehr, under Admiral Canaris. As a salesman, Schindler travels to southern Poland and reports to Abwehr regarding points of military importance in Poland. His affiliation with Abwehr excuses Schindler from military service.

November 9, 1938 - Kristallnacht, The Night of Broken Glass. Throughout the Greater German Reich (Germany, Austria, and the Sudetenland), Nazi storm troopers smash and burn Jewish shops and synagogues. The glass littering the street in the aftermath gave the event its name: The Night of Broken Glass. Tens of thousands of Jewish men are arrested and sent to the concentration camp, Buchenwald.

March 15, 1939 - German troops occupy the rump state of Czechoslovakia and enter Prague to the gloom of the populace. Slovakia becomes a cooperative satellite of the Nazis. The Czech lands of Bohemia and Moravia are absorbed into the Reich and named the Reichsprotectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.

September 1, 1939 -German troops attack Poland. Three and a half million Jews live in Poland. The southern Polish city of Krakow, the ancient seat of Polish kings, is occupied on September 6, 1939. Oskar Schindler arrives shortly thereafter.

October 12, 1939 - The Nazis establish Krakow as the seat of their General Government of occupied Poland. Hans Frank, Hitler's lawyer, is designated Reichsfuehrer of Nazi-occupied Poland. He orders the "voluntary" departure of all but "work-essential" Jews from Krakow. After several months, the Germans took matters into their own hands and expelled 32,000 Jews to Warsaw, Lodz, other Polish cities, and the nearby countryside.

Schindler makes initial contact with Stern.

December 3, 1939 - Schindler informs Stern of an impending SS raid in the Jewish ghetto of Kazimierz, a suburb of Krakow. "Tomorrow, it's going to start," he said. "Jozefa and Izaaka Streets are going to know all about it!"

December 4, 1939 - SS Einsatzgruppen descend on Jewish ghetto at Kazimierz, a suburb of Krakow. They terrorize Jews on Jozefa and Izaaka Streets, searching for diamonds and gold and then set fire to the synagogue of Stara Boznica, the oldest in Poland.

January 1940 - Schindler opens Deutsche Emailwaren Fabrik factory at 4 Lipowa Street in Krakow neighborhood of Zablocie.

April - June 1940 - Hitler attacks and conquers western Europe.

August 1, 1940 - Hans Frank issues deadline for all but "work-essential" Jews to depart Krakow voluntarily. There is a mad scramble as Jews search for "essential" jobs. Through the urging of Stern, Schindler accepts 150 Jews as employees at his factory.

October 1940 - Hans Frank, in a speech, says, "My dear comrades, I would not eliminate all lice and Jews in one year (public amused, he notes in his diary), but in the course of time, and if you help me, this end will be attained."

November 1, 1940 - By this date, 23,000 Jews have been expelled from Krakow.

November 10, 1940 -Nazis issue decree: "All Jews and Jewesses over the age of nine through the General-Government must wear a four inch arm band in white, marked with "the star of Zion" on the right sleeve of their inner and outer clothing."

February 1941 - Two Krakow rabbis, Kornitzer and Rappaport, are sent to Auschwitz and killed for having protested the expulsions from Krakow.

March 20, 1941 - Jewish ghetto established in Krakow in neighborhood of Podgorze. As historian Lucy Dawidowicz has written, "The Krakow ghetto was enclosed within walls in the form of Jewish tombstones, symbols of a terrifyingly literal character."

The Jewish police in the ghetto, the OD (or Ordnungsdienst) is formed.

June 22, 1941 - Hitler attacks the Soviet Union.

End of 1941 - Schindler is arrested by Gestapo for black market activities. He manages to be released by way of his high-ranking friends and bribery.

December 1941 - Hans Frank, in a speech, said, "As far as the Jews are concerned, I want to tell you quite frankly that they must be done away with in one way or another . . . Gentleman, I must ask you to rid yourself of all feelings of pity. We must annihilate the Jews. Difficult to shoot or poison the three and half million Jews in the General-Government, but we shall be able to take measure which will lead, somehow, to their annihilation."

April 28, 1942 - Schindler's thirty-fourth birthday. He kisses a Jewish girl at his birthday party.

April 29, 1942 - Schindler arrested a second time, having been denounced as "a Jew kisser." He again wins his release.

June 1, 1942 - Beginning of first Krakow deportation to Belzec.

June 3, 1942 - Schindler goes to Krakow train station to rescue his office manager, Abraham Bankier, and other workers from deportation to Belzec. In the film, Itzhak Stern is given the role of the rescued.

June 4, 1942 - Seven thousand Jews are deported from Krakow ghetto. In the afternoon, Schindler rents two horses and he and his mistress watch the SS's liquidation of ghetto from a nearby hill. Schindler becomes fixated on a little Jewish girl dressed in red who stands out from the crowd of Jews being herded to the train.

October 28, 1942 - 2000 Jewish children and 6000 Jewish adults are deported to Belzec death camp.

End of October 1942 - Six Jews killed in forests near Krakow, having been betrayed by local peasants.

Autumn 1942 - Schindler travels to Budapest, Hungary, to inform Jewish leaders there of the extermination campaign going on in Poland. In general, Hungarian leaders do not believe him. It is, says one, "an insult to German dignity."

Forced labor camps established at Plaszow, a suburb of Krakow. Amon Goeth is commandant.

December 22, 1942 - The Jewish Fighting Organization blows up several cafes in the heart of Krakow that were frequented by German officers. They were led by Jewish commander Adolf Liebeskind. "We are fighting for three lines in a history book," he said.

By February 1943, all members of Jewish Fighting Organization in Krakow are arrested or killed.

March 13, 1943 - Final liquidation of Krakow ghetto begins.

March 14, 1943 - Several hundred small children shot in entrance of house, and several hundred old people and sick are killed in street. Two thousand Jews sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Children and old people are slaughtered at Jewish hospital. Dr. Zygmunt Fischer is ordered to abandon his patients, but he refuses and is shot with his wife and child. The patients are killed in the wards.

Schindler establishes a Jewish sub-camp (a Julag) at his Emalia factory.

Spring 1944 - At Chujowa Gorka forest, Nazis unearth and burn bodies of Jews executed earlier.

Jews await deportation to death camp, but Schindler goes to train station and arranges through Goeth for a fire brigade to spray the cattle cars with water.

July 20, 1944 - German officers attempt to assassinate Hitler. The effort fails.
Emalia factory ordered dismantled, the prisoners sent to Plaszow. Schindler plays a game of cards with Goeth for Helen Hirsch.

Autumn 1944 - Schindler prepares a "list" of Jews that he argues are "essential" workers and are needed at his new factory in Czechoslovakia.

Schindler establishes factory at Brunnlitz, Czechoslovakia.

September 13, 1944 -Amon Goeth is arrested by the SS and charged with black market activities.

300 Schindlerjuden are sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau instead of to Brunnlitz.

November 1944 - Schindler women are transferred from Auschwitz-Birkenau to Brunnlitz. Schindler greets them, "You're safe now; you're with me."

April 28, 1945 - Schindler's thirty-seventh birthday. He gives a speech.

May 8, 1945 - Schindlerjuden give Schindler gold ring. The gold is extracted from the bridge in a prisoner's mouth and engraved with the inscription: "He who saves a single life saves the entire world."

Schindler and his wife, Emilie, both dressed in prison uniforms, flee the Russians in a Mercedes. They are accompanied by eight Schindlerjuden who are there to protect them. A letter, written by the Jews, testifies to Schindler and Emilie's actions.

May 11, 1945 - Brunnlitz camp is liberated by lone Russian officer on a horse.

September 13, 1946 - After a trial, Amon Goeth is hanged in Krakow by Polish authorities. He dies unrepentant.

1949 - Schindler departs Germany for Argentina to try his hand at a nutria factory.

1957 - Schindler's nutria farm goes bankrupt.

B'nai B'rith purchases the Schindlers a house in San Vicente, a southern suburb of Buenos Aires.

1958 - Schindler returns to West Germany, leaving his wife and mistress behind. With funding from Joint Distribution Committee and "loans" from number of Schindler Jews, Schindler establishes a cement company.

1961 - Schindler's cement factory goes bankrupt. Schindlerjuden invite Schindler to Israel. Eichmann trial is underway.

April 28, 1962 - Schindler is awarded honor Righteous Gentile.

October 9, 1974 - Schindler dies in Frankfurt, West Germany. He is buried at the Latin cemetery on Mount Zion in Jerusalem.