Almost everyone has heard of Oskar Schindler, made famous by Steven Spielberg’s film, “Schindler’s List.” This, however sheds new light on his life, for it is written by his wife, Emilie Schindler, and it is her story.
Born in 1907, Emilie Schindler and her husband Oskar helped rescue thousands of Jews from the hands of the Nazis during WWII, but according to Emilie, it was her idea and she who set it in motion.She begins the prologue, thus: “Some of you will generously forgive me if this story is not precisely what you expected, but I trust that, in the end, you will thank me for not lying to you…the facts depict my husband as a hero for the century. This is not true. He was not a hero and neither was I. We only did what we had to do.”
Written at the end of 1994, the book at first seemed a rant against her dead husband. According to this memoir, the marriage was not a happy one. Oskar Schindler was a womanizer, and yet the love of Emilie’s life. Their marriage was full of passion and betrayal, and it was a hard life for her once Oskar had settled her on farmland in Argentina while he was luxuriously wining and dining contacts in Germany and Europe. Emilie states that it was she who kept them going and did so by the hardest work and most sacrifice of the couple.
No, the story was not “precisely what [I] expected,” but it was a fascinating read.