Mimi Reinhard, who helped organize Oskar Schindler’s life-saving list in WW II, dead at 107

Mimi Reinhard, a secretary in Oskar Schindler’s office who typed up the list of Jews he saved from extermination by Nazi Germany, has died in Israel at the age of 107.

Reinhard died early Friday and was laid to rest Sunday in Herzliya, near Tel Aviv, her son, Sasha Weitman, confirmed.

She was one of 1,200 Jews saved by German businessman Schindler after he bribed Nazi authorities to let him keep them as workers in his factories. The account was made into the Oscar-winning 1993 film Schindler’s List by director Steven Spielberg.

Reinhard was born Carmen Koppel in Vienna, Austria, in 1915, and moved to Krakow, Poland, before the outbreak of the Second World War. After Nazi Germany invaded Poland in 1939, she was confined to the Krakow ghetto before being sent to the nearby Plaszow concentration camp in 1942.

‘I didn’t know it was such an important thing’

Reinhard’s knowledge of shorthand got her work in the camp’s administrative office, where, two years later, she was ordered to type up the handwritten list of Jews that were to be transferred to Schindler’s ammunition factory.

“I didn’t know it was such an important thing, that list,” she told an interviewer with Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, in 2008. “First of all, I got the list of those who were with Schindler already in Krakow, in his factory. I had to put them on the list.”

Later she put her own name, and the names of two friends.

A suitcase belonging to Schindler with the original copy of a list of over 1,200 Polish Jews known as Schindler’s List is shown in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1999. The suitcase and documents are now at Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, in Jerusalem. (Reuters)

At the Brunnlitz labor camp, where Schindler’s ammunition factory was housed, she was put to work in Schindler’s office.

She said that although she worked in Schindler’s office toward the end of the war, she had little personal contact with him.

“He was a very charming man, very outgoing,” she recalled, decades after the war. “He didn’t treat us like scum.”

Schindler died in then-West Germany in 1974.

After the war, Reinhard made her way to the United States, where she lived until immigrating to Israel in 2007 at the age of 92.

Weitman, Reinhard’s son, said that after coming to Israel she “became a kind of a celebrity” because of the Schindler’s List film’s popularity, something he said “pumped another 15 years into her life.”

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