This photo identification card, bearing the official stamps of the Krakow labor office and the General Government, Krakow district, was issued on March 5, 1941 to the Polish Jew, Cyrla Rosenzweig.
In those years, millions of Jews died in Polish deathcamps like Auschwitz, but Cyrla Rosenzweig miraculously survived...
Her survival was due to her being assigned to a factory run by Oscar Schindler
, the German industrialist who at great personal risk saved twelve hundred Jews from extermination.
Schindler promised the Jews who worked for him that they would never starve, that he would protect them as best he could. And he did, building his own workers barracks on the factory grounds to help alleviate the sufferings of life in the nearby Plaszow labor camp. He gave safe haven to as many Jewish workers as possible, insisting to the occupying Nazis that they were "essential workers", a status that kept them away from harassment and killings.
At Schindler`s factory, nobody was hit, nobody murdered, nobody sent to death camps. But conditions at the factory were far from comfortable. Freezing, lice-ridden inmates still suffered typhus and dysentery.
One day 300 Schindler-women were routed on a train to Auschwitz by a mistake. Certain death awaited. One day the Schindler-women were being herded off toward the showers. They did not know whether this was going to be water or gas. Then they heard a voice:"What are you doing with these people ? These are my people."
Schindler! He had come to rescue them, bribing the Nazis to retrieve the women on his list
and bring them back. Oscar Schindler got them released - the only shipment out of Auschwitz during WW2.
When the women returned, weak, hungry, frostbitten, less than human, Schindler met them in the courtyard. They never forgot the sight of Schindler standing in the doorway. And they never forgot his raspy voice when he - surrounded by SS guards - gave them an unforgettable guarantee:"Now you are finally with me, you are safe now. Don't be afraid of anything. You don't have to worry anymore."
Oscar Schindler in Israel
Today Oscar Schindler`s name is known to millions as a household word for courage in a world of cowardice and brutality - the flawed hero who saved hundreds of Jews from Hitler's gas chambers.
Oscar Schindler was one of only a handful who surfaced from the chaos, and generations will remember him for what he did.