The Actual Schindler’s List Is For Sale on Ebay, Starting Bid $3,000,000


Click image above to enlarge

The sto­ry of Oskar Schindler, sav­ior of thou­sands of Pol­ish Jews, pro­duced an epic nov­el, Schindler’s Ark, which in turn pro­duced Steven Spielberg’s epic Schindler’s List. Like that of Anne Frank, Schindler’s sto­ry con­tains actions both unimag­in­ably coura­geous and relat­ably human, and so his dra­ma moves us past the stu­pe­fy­ing­ly bru­tal machin­ery of the Nazi death camps and into the lives of the real peo­ple under threat and those who helped them. But when we step out of the mem­oirs and fic­tion­al­iza­tions and back into the dry his­to­ry of doc­u­ments, mem­os, and orders, the inhu­man bureau­crat­ic cast of Nazi effi­cien­cy returns, even in the case of Oskar Schindler.

Take the actu­al list (page one above). A fea­ture­less busi­ness ledger, the list is indis­tin­guish­able from the many con­cen­tra­tion camp reg­is­ters and death records Schindler’s fel­low Nazis kept assid­u­ous­ly as they went about the busi­ness of erad­i­cat­ing a whole pop­u­la­tion. We know, of course, that Schindler played the part of a par­ty believ­er to save lives instead of take them, but it’s still quite eerie to look over this face­less list of names and con­tem­plate how close these men and women came to the hor­rors of the camps that took so many of their neigh­bors, friends, and rel­a­tives.

The list above is now on sale through an Ebay auc­tion, start­ing bid 3 mil­lion dol­lars. It is cer­ti­fied authen­tic as the actu­al list typed up by Shindler’s accoun­tant Itzhak Stern (played by Ben Kings­ley in the film). The auc­tion page pro­vides the fol­low­ing infor­ma­tion:

Itzhak Stern typed up the 14 page list on onion skin paper. Up for auc­tion is not a copy of that list, but the actu­al one. It was sold by Itzhak Stern’s nephew to the cur­rent own­er. It is dat­ed in pen­cil on the first page, April 18, 1945. The auc­tion will also include a copy of the affi­davit from Stern’s nephew, recount­ing more details and prove­nance on The List. There’s a com­plete his­to­ry of the com­po­si­tion of the list in David Crowe’s bril­liant bio, Oskar Schindler: The Untold Account of His Life, Wartime Activ­i­ties, and the True Sto­ry Behind the List.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Tri­al of Adolf Eich­mann at 50

Rare 1940 Audio: Thomas Mann Explains the Nazis’ Ulte­ri­or Motive for Spread­ing Anti-Semi­tism

Rudolf Braz­da, Last Man to Wear the Pink Tri­an­gle Dur­ing the Holo­caust, Tells His Sto­ry

Han­nah Arendt Dis­cuss­es Phi­los­o­phy, Pol­i­tics & Eich­mann in Rare 1964 TV Inter­view

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Wash­ing­ton, DC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness


by | Permalink | Comments (0) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.