Oscar Schindler at Plaszow
War 2, millions
of Jews died in the death camps, but Schindler's Jews
miraculously survived Hitler's genocide. Moshe Rosenberg was one of
In his great book The Boys - Triumph Over Adversity
Sir Martin Gilbert tells how Moshe Rosenberg, then 16
years old, was being whipped one day at the KZ camp
Plaszow by Nazi guards for daring to take a rest while
road-building. After twenty-five lashes the whipping
unexpectedly stopped. The boy looked up - and he saw Oscar
Schindler. "I'll take care of this one,"
Schindler told the guards, and proceeded to drag the boy
to a nearby stable.
Moshe Rosenberg later recalled: "Loud enough for the
Germans to hear, he shouted What's this shit? Then
he threw some food wrapped in paper and walked out. It was
his way of smuggling food to the Jews. Without him
stepping in, the guards would have beaten me until I was
A few months later, while he was working in Schindler's
factory DEF, Moshe Rosenberg sat down for a moment. At
that very moment Schindler came in to the factory,
followed by the SS Commandant Amon
Goeth. Rosenberg later
recalled how Schindler "raced ahead of Goeth, grabbed
my jacket and slapped my face, shouting, Get back to
work! It was an act. Schindler never hit anyone or
raised his voice. If Goeth had found me sitting down he
would have shot me on the spot."
On another occasion a young Schindler-worker Isak Pila
had made the mistake of falling asleep under a table at
the factory the same day that Amon
Goeth came by for an inspection. When Goeth saw the
sleeping young man, he told Oscar Schindler to kill him
instantly. Schindler desperately tried to find a way out
and hit the boy on one side of the face, then the other.
Finally he said to Goeth, 'He's had enough. I need him.
We've got a war to win. This can always be settled later
Schindler's usual technique but Amon Goeth complied - and
Isak Pila survived.
In his famous book Schindler's Ark Keneally tells
the story of the Danziger brothers, who cracked a
metal press one Friday. Oscar Schindler was away on a
business trip and someone denounced the brothers to Amon
Goeth. They were immediately arrested and their hanging
advertised in the next morning's roll call in Plaszow.
Oscar returned at three o'clock on Saturday afternoon,
three hours before the execution. News of the sentence was
waiting on his desk. He drove to the SS headquarter at
once, taking cognac with him and some fine kielbasa
sausage. He found Goeth in his office and no one knows the
extent of the deal that was struck that afternoon.
It is hard to believe that the SS Commandant was satisfied
simply with cognac and sausage. In any case, he was
soothed by Schindler, and at six o'clock, the hour of
their execution, the Danziger brothers returned to
Schindler's factory in the back seat of Oscar's plush
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