The Czech factory where German industrialist Oskar Schindler employed some 1,200 Jews in order to save them from the Holocaust, is to be converted into a Holocaust memorial, the Guardian has reported.
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Schindler relocated his enamelware factory from Krakow in Poland to the small Czech town of Brnnec in 1944, along with its 1,200 Jewish forced laborers. The move enabled the workers to avoid shipment to the death camps. They were liberated on May 10, 1945.
The Czech culture ministry gave the status of cultural monument to parts of the 19th century factory earlier this month.
Now, a Czech foundation plans to restore the dilapidated factory and convert it into a Holocaust memorial depicting Schindler’s life. The opening of the memorial is 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.
The main features of the now abandoned factory – the laboratory, mill, chemical depot, front door and the square used for roll call – have “close historical links... to the Gross-Rosen concentration camp in Brnnec,” the culture ministry’s spokeswoman, Simona Cigankova, said.
The story of Schindler, who died in 1974, became public knowledge with the publication in 1982 of the best-selling novel "Schindler’s Ark," written by Tom Keneally, and Steven Spielberg's 1993 film adaptation, "Schindler’s List."