You remember Oskar Schindler, the German savior of 1,200 Jewish souls during World War Two.
Well, Schindler the Righteous Soul had co-conspirators. Yitzchak Stern we already know from the movie, in which he was ably portrayed by Ben Kingsley. Another was Mietek Pemper who, per the Czech news site iDNES, died today in Augsburg, Germany at the age of 91. It was Pemper who had supplied Schindler and Stern with lists of names of people who could be saved. He had access to inmate names because he worked as scribe for the infamous camp commandant Amon Göth (portrayed by Ralph Fiennes) in the Krakow-Plaszów concentration camp. Pemper also managed to get access to secret Nazi documents that included an order to destroy all camps that weren’t involved in war production and to exterminate all their inmates. He passed this information to Schindler as well.
Thanks to Pemper’s timely warning, Schindler was able to switch production from enamelware to munitions, thereby saving “his Jews” from certain death. When Amon Göth was arrested by the Nazis in 1944 for profiteering, Schindler was able to add Pemper’s name to his list, saving him as well.
After the war, Pemper remained in Poland, where he studied industrial psychology. He emigrated to West Germany in 1958, settling in Augsburg. Six years ago, Augsburg honored him with the title Honorary Citizen.
Pemper doesn’t figure in the movie Schindler’s List. Instead, he and Stern are combined into one person, namely the Yitzchak Stern (Ben Kingsley) character. In real life, Stern was just Schindler’s accountant without any access to secret documents.
Of note, iDNES also reports that the Brněnec munitions factory to which Schindler had relocated his enterprise from Krakow may be renovated and turned into a museum on the initiative of the Olomouc-based company Blue Fields. Blue Fields is reportedly seeking donations.