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Oscar Schindler

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  • April 2013
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Oskar Schindler, a unique and unlikely hero during the Holocaust, was able to save the lives of many innocent Jews by risking his own life. Oskar Schindler saved over 1,200 lives over the course of World War II. Through out his life, Oskar had failed multiple times in the business world, but in 1939 he finally found success. Schindler saved the thousands of Jews by getting involved with the German Nazis and risking his life.

Oskar Schindler was born on April 28, 1908 in Svitavy, Moravia into a middle class Catholic family. Oskar’s father, Hans Schindler, owned a farm-machinery company and his mother, Louisa Schindler, was a homemaker. He had a younger sister named Elfriede and was very close to her (“Schindler Biography”). Growing up in Zvitavy, Oskar had many friends outside of school, but in school he was not that well of a student. While growing up his closest friends were two Jewish boys.

After finishing grammar school, Oskar moved on to study engineering in numerous trade schools in Brno. He was expected to take over the family business from his father. However, after he married Emilie Pelzl in 1928 some tension was brought up between him and his father (“Schindler Biography”). Oskar eventually left the company and held many small jobs that he did not stay with long or they failed and he was shut down. These jobs included a driving school he started in Sumperk, he sold government property in Brno and he was a sales manager for a Moravian electric company.
Later he began to serve in the Czechoslovak army and earned the lance corporal rank in the reserves. After serving in the army, Schindler worked with the Auslands Amt / Abwehr (Office of the Military Foreign Intelligence) in 1936 for the German forces (“Oskar Schindler”). In February of 1939, Nazi Germany annexed Sudetenland and Oskar officially joined the Nazi Party. Oskar joined the Nazis because he felt that it would be a good business choice, not because he agreed with their...