A list of 801 Jews saved during the Holocaust by German businessman Oskar Schindler has been recovered from a Sydney library, News Agencies reported on Monday.
The story inspired the novel and Oscar-winning film "Schindler's list," and led to his being named a Righteous Gentile by the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem.
Employees at the New South Wales State Library found the list in boxes containing German news clippings and manuscripts by the Australian author Thomas Keneally, who wrote the bestselling novel Schindler's Ark,
The library's co-curator, Olwen Pyke, described the 13-page yellowing document as "one of the most powerful documents of the 20th Century" and said that the library was stunned to find it among the six boxes containing Kneally's material.
Pryke described the 13-page list - a typescript copy of the original - as "one of the most powerful documents of the 20th Century" and was stunned to find it in the library's collection. She told the AFP that she did not know how much such a finding would be worth financially.
"This list was hurriedly typed on April 18, 1945, in the closing days of WWII, and it saved 801 men from the gas chambers," she told the AFP. "It's an incredibly moving piece of history."
Kneneally's 1982 novel, which won a Booker Prize, told the story of how Schindler risked his life to save more than 1,000 Jews from the Nazis.
Hollywood director Steven Spielberg adapted the story into a film in 1993, starring Liam Neeson as Schindler and Ralph Fiennes as the head of an SS-run camp.
According to Pryke, Schindler had actually compiled more than the one list implied in the film and the book.
She said that Holocaust survivor Leopold Pfefferberg, number 173 on the list, gave the document to Keneally in an attempt to persuade him to write the story. Pryke said that Kneally found the list so inspiring, that he acquiesced to the request.
Schindler was born in a German-speaking part of Austria-Hungary in 1908.
At the start of the war, he was a card-carrying Nazi who used those connections to take over a Polish factory following Hitler's invasion.Over the course of the war, his conscience got the better of him and he persuaded Nazi official that his Jewish laborers were vital to the war effort and should not be deported to death camps.
He died in 1974, but his acts were only recognized years later with the release of the book and the film.
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