2. Oskar Schindler, named Righteous in 1963
On April 18, 1945, factory owner Oskar Schindler wrote what was arguably the most important list of his life.
The German entrepreneur was known for his business savvy and persuasive tongue, skills he put to the test in convincing Nazi authorities to resist deportation of more than 1,200 Jews, individuals who would go down in history as the “Schindlerjuden.” The actual list was filled with individuals who could not have actually been necessary to factory work—children, elderly women, unskilled workers. Wherever possible Schindler tried to keep whole families together, paying costly sums for each person. But
Following the war, Schindler was a poor man, having spent and sold virtually everything he owned to hold onto his workers. He and his wife fled to Austria to escape prosecution, eventually immigrating to Argentina. In the late 50’s he returned to Germany where he would live out the rest of his life.
Schindler died October 9, 1974. He is buried on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. A book about his story, “Schindler’s Ark,” led to the creation of the Academy Award winning film, “Schindler’s List.”