Oskar Schindler’s Abandoned Factory Will Become A Holocaust Memorial

The property was used to employ 1,200 Jews during World War II.

A dilapidated factory that Oskar Schindler once used to save more than 1,000 Jews from Nazi death camps during World War II will be restored into a Holocaust memorial, Czech officials have announced.

The story of Schindler and the Jews he saved was immortalized in Tom Keneally’s bestselling novel Schindler’s Ark, and adapted into Steven Spielberg’s movie “Schindler’s List.” The unlikely hero was a Nazi party member who used his close connections to the German army and SS paramilitary force to set up a bogus munitions factory that sheltered Jewish people toward the end of the Second World War.

One of the enamel factories he ran in Krakow ,Poland, is already a museum, but the site in Brněnec, formerly called Brünnlitz, in Czechia will now be memorialized as the location where Schindler moved 1,200 Jewish workers to protect them from being sent to concentration camps.

The Czech culture ministry named parts of the complex a cultural monument earlier this month. It plans to turn the factory into a Holocaust memorial and exhibition on Schindler’s life will be completed by 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 the Guardian.

While the building’s status as a cultural monument is crucial, it comes at a time when anti-semitic acts in the area have been on the rise. In 2014, a report prepared by Prague’s Jewish community said that anti-semitic acts in the Ccountry had increased 200 percent from the year before, with 46
reported incidents compared to 14 in 2013. 

The factory was up for sale in 2014. The video below shows just how much work will need to go into the building’s restoration.