Much as Schindler's famous list went up for auction last month, a New Hampshire auction house is now taking bids on the letter that allowed Oskar Schindler to move his factory to what was then Czechoslovakia—a move that ultimately allowed the German national to save his Jewish workers from the concentration camps.
The letter, dated August 22, 1944, and signed by Schindler himself, is just as important a document as Schindler's now-famous list. An expert told The Associated Press that if Schindler had "not gotten such permission to move, 'there would have been no Schindler's list'":
The letter, translated from German, gives permission to send Adam Dziedzic, a factory employee receiving a contract "for unloading and assembling war-necessary machinery," to Czechoslovakia under the order of the general military command in Krakow. The letter bears Schindler's factory stamp below the text and his signature in blue pencil
The online auction, which is currently at around $20,000, is being conducted by RR Auction and includes other Schindler-related documents. The house certainly seems to have learned from the sellers of the actual Schindler's List, which failed to attract the sought-after $3 million eBay bid.
The letter, which the auction house deems, with good cause, to be "of great historical importance," is not expected to attract nearly as much, with one expert estimating a price of $50,000 for all the documents. The auction closes next Tuesday.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.