Oskar Schindler was not a perfect man, but he will be remembered for his selfless service to the Jews he saved during the Nazi Holocaust. Before the war, Schindler was a womanizer and a poor businessman. He joined the Nazi party in Czechoslovakia before the Nazi invasion, and followed the Nazis into Poland, hoping to capitalize on the war. He took over an enamelware factory in Krakow, adjacent to the Jewish Ghetto, and there he employed Jews as a source of cheap labor. As time moved on, Schindler realized the horrific conditions in the Krakow ghetto and the massive deportations and killings going on. Through bribery and his connections, Schindler was able to preserve the lives of his Jewish workers. When the Plaszow concentration camp in Krakow was liquidated, he composed the “Schindler's List” with the names of his Jews that were to be transferred to a new factory in Bruennlitz. All of these Jews survived the war and honor Schindler as their savior during this dark time in history
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Ludmilla Page—Her personal account of arriving at Auschwitz and being transferred back to Schindler at Bruennlitz
"In, sometime in the beginning of November, my husband and I found out that we were on the list. The men, they, we were very happy, we didn't know what will await us, but we knew that we're going to go to something better than, than anything that we could conceive at the time. The men left a week before the woman did, and, later we found out that they did not go directly to, Bruen...Bruennlitz, they went to Gross-Rosen, which, they stayed there, I think, a few days, and, this was a very, very difficult camp, but they finally arrived in Bruennlitz. The woman, on the other hand, we left a week later, and we were on, in the cattle trains, of course, packed like sardines. And we were going, we didn't know where we going, we assumed we going to go, to Bruennlitz, directly. All of a sudden we landed at this very famous now platform, famed platform at, station in Auschwitz with SS running like mad people, with dogs barking all over. And they started to push us out of trains, and, run us to, to a selection, through a selection process, which was by itself terrible. We had to undress completely. I clutched, in those days I already wore glasses, and I clutched them in my hand because I knew if I don't have glasses, I wouldn't be able to do any work. I wouldn't be able to, to see very well. So I clutch, and thank God no one ever, discovered. Some woman had their heads shaven. I didn't, just cut short, so I don't know how they did it, probably, you know, just picked certain, certain people. Then, and of course the Germans were making, laughing and making, you know, dirty jokes, and it was just terrible. We were completely not prepared for this because we thought we going to Mr. Schindler, you know, to his camp.
So, finally, after about three weeks, I think we lost the count of time, over there, they told us, they, someone came, probably a Blockälteste [block elder], you know, or some German, I don't remember exactly, and started to call our names. Well, that was already good because we knew we are the 300 womans and, women, and she called us by name. We didn't know what she wants us for, but they led us to a side, a train station, like on the sideline, and they put us in the trains again, packed like sardines. Of course, no toilets. There was a, a pail in the middle. No food, we didn't get any food. I don't know if some of us had a little piece of bread from, from, from Birkenau, we had, and after a while, the train started to go. We were only guessing, we didn't know where we going because first of all, there are no windows in the, in, in the cattle cars. We stopped, I think, on the way. The German soldiers let us go out for a while, you know, to, and we had some snow that we took from the ground and kind of, in...instead of a drink. And finally we arrived in some very desolate station, and it said Bruennlitz. It said Bruennlitz, so of course we were terribly excited that finally we arrived at our destination, but in the background, we saw some very tall chimneys. And as we marched to Schindler's camp, which we assumed will be Schindler's camp, we marched by fives, and I was walking, among other friends, with a girl who come originally from Germany, but she was deported from Germany to Poland, and in Poland to camp in Plaszow, and with us to Birkenau, and to Schindler's camp. Her name was Margot, and she said to me, "Oh my God, now we're going to die. Do you see these chimneys?" And I said, I always get upset...and I said to her, "Margot, you know, we cannot die, because if we would be destined to die, we would die in Birkenau."
[When we arrived in Bruennlitz] We saw a building, which was a two-story building. The lower, floor, and then the upper was all, had balconies all through the width of the building, and the door was open, the, the gates, rather, were open, and we marched in. And as we marched in, I saw men in the striped suits, you know, which we, they didn't wear in Plaszow, because in Plaszow one still could wear, their own clothes, you know. But all, everybody was shaven, a group of men standing on the balcony with shaven heads, with the so-called "Lausenpromenade," which means, "Lice Promenade," you know a, a shaved strip of hair, of, uh, of skin, rather, completely shaved. And they were waving to us, and, and crying, and laughing. First they, they thought that we are in a terrible shape because wore those rags, first of all, in which they never saw us before, and before we left Birkenau, they painted us with paint, like red, yellow, whatever, in order so we would not escape during our, journey. And I saw among those men my husband. And, of course, my happiness had no, you know, no limits. And then, but downstairs, we saw a group of SS men, but in the middle of them, Mr. Schindler, with his little Tyrolean hat, with a little feather, you know, and completely ignoring the, the Lagerfuehrer, that means the head of our camp, and all the SS men and woman, he said, "I greet you. Don't worry. Now you going to be well taken care of. There is hot soup waiting for you, and don't worry, you are with me now." So then we proceeded to go to the big, the big halls of the factory itself. And of course, there was hot soup, and a pretty good hot soup, and, we, somehow, subconsciously, we are not afraid anymore. Our living quarters were not ready yet. There were no bunks. Everybody slept on, on straw, but nothing mattered anymore, you know, because we knew that he will not, he will do everything, it was not absolutely sure, but we believed that he will do everything in his power to let, to, to help us survive the war."