NY dealer offers "Schindler's List" for sale

Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:36pm EDT
 
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New York memorabilia dealer is selling what he claims is the last privately-owned copy of a World War Two manuscript of Jewish names known as "Schindler's list" and made famous in a 1993 movie of the same name.

The list was kept by German industrialist Oskar Schindler, who saved more than a 1000 Jewish lives from the Holocaust by employing them in his factory during World War Two.

New York memorabilia dealer Gary Zimet, who is seeking $2.2 million for his list, said three others are owned by museums, including the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington and the Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.

Zimet, who is representing the manuscript's seller, told Reuters it had been held for over 55 years by the family of Schindler's accountant, Itzhak Stern. The Stern family recently sold it to the current, unidentified owner, Zimet said.

David Crowe, a professor at Elon College in North Carolina and a Schindler expert, had seen a picture of the list and reckoned it could be one of many Schindler produced over the course of the war.

"The Nazis were fanatical about keeping records, new lists were constantly being made," said Crowe.

Dated April 18, 1945, typed on onion paper, the slightly frayed list being sold by Zimet contains 801 all-male names, and is 14-pages long. It is a carbon copy made at the time it was typed, and it details the names of the workers along with their birthdates and jobs.

Schindler saved lives during World War Two by employing Jews in munition and other factories he owned. The nine or 10 lists of employees he submitted to the Nazis became known collectively as "Schindler's list," said Crowe.

Thomas Keneally wrote a book, "Schindler's Ark," about the subject and it was the basis for a movie, "Schindler's List," that was directed by Steven Spielberg. It was a box office hit and won the best film Academy Award.

(Reporting by Basil Katz; editing by Christine Kearney and Bob Tourtellotte)