A Czech foundation plans to convert a disused factory in the Czech Republic where German industrialist Oskar Schindler gave jobs to over a thousand Jews just to save them from Hitler’s gas chambers into a Holocaust memorial, a Guardian report said. It is scheduled to be opened in 2019 and will exhibit memorials of Schindler’s life.
Portions of the complex, which is close to Schindler’s birthplace in Svitavy (Zwittau), were given the status of cultural monument earlier this month, according to the Czech culture ministry.
Built in the 19th century, the laboratory, mill, chemical depot, front door and a square used for roll call “have close historical links… to the Gross-Rosen concentration camp in Brněnec”, the ministry’s spokeswoman, Simona Cigankova, said.
During the Second World War, Schindler (1908-1974) saved the lives of 1,200 Jews by employing them in his enamelware and munitions factories in Nazi-occupied Poland and Czechoslovakia.
His tale was enshrined in the bestselling 1982 Tom Keneally novel Schindler’s Ark and its 1993 Steven Spielberg film adaptation Schindler’s List.
“Our aim is to restore the building to its original condition, including the watchtower,” Jaroslav Novak, head of the Shoah and Oskar Schindler Foundation told journalists recently.