Schindler factory to host Holocaust memorial
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Schindler factory to host Holocaust memorial

With opening scheduled for 2019, Czech foundation to restore dilapidated Brnenec factory, set up memorial and exhibition

German industrialist Oskar Schindler waves after his arrival in Israel in 1962, to be honored for saving the lives of over 1,000 Jews during World War II. (Keystone/Getty Images via JTA)
German industrialist Oskar Schindler waves after his arrival in Israel in 1962, to be honored for saving the lives of over 1,000 Jews during World War II. (Keystone/Getty Images via JTA)

PRAGUE, Czech Republic — A disused factory in the Czech Republic where German industrialist Oskar Schindler employed more than a thousand Jews to save them from the gas chambers is to host a Holocaust memorial, officials said Tuesday.

Parts of the complex in Brnenec (Bruennlitz in German), 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 Brnenec,” the ministry’s spokeswoman, Simona Cigankova, told AFP.

During World War II, 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.

The lower part of the Schindler factory next to a demolished 19th-century building. (Eva Munk/JTA)
The lower part of the Schindler factory next to a demolished 19th-century building. (Eva Munk/JTA)

His tale was enshrined in the bestselling 1982 novel “Schindler’s Ark” and its 1993 Steven Spielberg film adaptation, “Schindler’s List.”

A Czech foundation plans to restore the dilapidated factory in Brnenec and create a Holocaust memorial and an exhibition depicting Schindler’s life there, with an opening scheduled for 2019.

“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.

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