Oskar Schindler Grave
Oskar Schindler's Grave in Jerusalem
Here is the grave of Oskar Schindler, lionized in the Steven Spielberg film, The Schindler's List.
In the final scene of The Schindler's List, the Jews saved by Oskar Schindler place stones on his grave to create the shape of a cross. I was surprised to find stones still covering his grave in that shape, although I suspected they were stones placed by more recent visitors to his grave who wished to leave a mark of their visit and honor the man.
Oskar Schindler, of course, is the German industrialist and Nazi party member who made a fortune during the Second World War by employing unpaid Jewish laborers. Upon learning that his Jewish employees were going to be sent to Auschwitz to be exterminated, Oskar Schindler bought them and then spent his fortune protecting them until the end of the war. Spielberg's movie is a poignant portrayal of the transformation of a materialistic fiend into a humanitarian.
After the Second World War, the penniless Oskar Schindler moved to Argentina with his wife and tried to start over as a farmer. Having failed, he returned to Germany alone and lived out the rest of his life in poverty punctuated by annual visits to Israel, where he was treated like royalty by the Jews he had saved.
If you were touched by his story, you may be interested in his contemporaries, John Rabe and Chiune Sugihara. Another German industrialist and Nazi Party member, John Rabe is credited with saving 250,000 Chinese civilians from being raped and massacred by the Japanese army during its Rape of Nanking (the city has since been re-named, Nanjing) in eastern China, while Chiune Sugihara, the Japanese vice-consul to Lithuania, saved over 6,000 Jews from the Nazis by issuing them visas that allowed them to escape to Japan.
Like Schindler, Rabe and Sugihara lived and died in poverty after the war, but history honors them as symbols of courage and conscience in an otherwise dark period.
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