As the war drew to a close, Oskar Schindler saw to it that duffle bags be prepared for his workers with various supplies to help them begin their lives anew.
Oskar Schindler was a German businessman who saved many Jews during the Holocaust and was later recognized by Yad Vashem as a “Righteous among the Nations”. Schindler employed Jewish workers in his enamelware factory outside Krakow in spite of the fact that some were not fit for work. When his factory was transferred to Brünnlitz in the Sudetenland, he utilized his connections to take his Jewish workers with him to the new factory, thus saving them from certain death. His attitude and treatment of “Schindler’s Jews” as they were dubbed, was considerate and humane. All told Schindler saved approximately 1,100 Jews.
As the war was drawing to a close, Oskar Schindler prepared duffle bags for his 1,100 factory workers. These bags contained various items designed to help them begin their lives anew – blankets, thread, sewing equipment and bottles of vodka, amongst other things. The workers made clothes out of the blankets and bartered the vodka for food. One of these duffle bags was given to Genia Wohlfeiler. Genia and her family were uprooted from their home in Kracow, Poland and forced into the ghetto. Her brother Abraham met a childhood friend in the ghetto who had become a member of the Jewish ghetto police. He told Abraham that he might be able to help find him work in Schindler’s factory - work that could possibly save his life. The chance meeting resulted in Abraham working there and eventually he succeeded in bringing the rest of his family to Schindler’s factory.
Genia, her mother and brother spent the remainder of the war as part of Schindler’s factory staff, and were liberated in the Sudetenland. Her father, who had become ill before the factory’s transfer from Kracow to Brünnlitz, died in the Plaszow camp hospital. Genia’s future husband, Nahum Manor, was also one of Schindler’s Jews. They married in Israel after the war.
Yad Vashem Artifacts Collection
Gift of Genia (Wohlfeiler) Manor, Beer Sheva, Israel