Oskar Schindler’s Jewish secretary, who drew up his worker lists, dies at age 107

Mimi Reinhardt registered employees for German industrialist’s factories, helping save hundreds during Holocaust; spent her last years living in Israel

Mimi Reinhardt, the secretary of Oscar Schindler on April 24, 2008. (Yossi Zamir/Flash90)
Mimi Reinhardt, the secretary of Oscar Schindler on April 24, 2008. (Yossi Zamir/Flash90)

Mimi Reinhardt, who drew up lists for German industrialist Oskar Schindler that helped save hundreds of Jews during the Holocaust, has died aged 107, her family said Friday.

As Schindler’s secretary, Reinhardt was in charge of drawing up the lists of Jewish workers from the ghetto of the Polish city of Krakow who were recruited to work at his factory, saving them from deportation to Nazi death camps.

“My grandmother, so dear and so unique, passed away at the age of 107. Rest in peace,” Reinhardt’s granddaughter Nina wrote in a message to relatives seen by AFP.

Austrian-born Reinhardt, herself a Jew, was recruited by Schindler himself and worked for him until 1945.

After World War II, she moved to New York before deciding to move to Israel in 2007 to join her only son, Sacha Weitman, who was then a professor of sociology at Tel Aviv University.

“I feel at home,” she told reporters when she landed in Israel.

Visitors walk past a portrait of Oskar Schindler at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem, on March 4, 2015. (photo credit: AFP / GALI TIBBON)

Schindler, who died in 1974, was named by Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust museum as a member of the “Righteous Among the Nations” — an honor for non-Jews who tried to save Jews from Nazi extermination.

The lists which Reinhardt compiled for him helped save the lives of some 1,300 Jews at considerable risk to his own life.

Schindler’s initiative was recounted in the bestselling 1982 novel “Schindler’s Ark” and the award-winning film adaptation by Steven Spielberg, “Schindler’s List.”

Reinhardt, who spent her last years at a nursing home north of Tel Aviv, had said she once met Spielberg but found it hard to watch the movie.

Israeli photographer Gideon Markowicz, who met Reinhardt as part of a project dedicated to Holocaust survivors, spoke of an active woman.

“She took part in the activities of the nursing home and was a bridge champion. She surfed the net and monitored the stock exchange,” he told AFP on Friday.

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