Mietek Pemper, the man responsible for typing Oskar Schindler’s famous list that saved more than 1,000 Jews during the Holocaust, died Tuesday in Augsburg, Germany, at age 91.
Pemper is to be buried in the city’s Jewish cemetery, and local officials plan to order flags to be lowered to halfmast, the Agence France-Presse reported.
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During his imprisonment in the Plaszow concentration camp, Pemper served as the personal typist of Nazi commandant Amon Goeth, from 1943 to 1944.
At one point, he secretly read a letter sent to Goeth from Berlin
announcing that all factories not producing goods for the Nazi-war
effort would be closed down. Pemper was subsequently able to convince
Schindler, a Nazi-party member – who initially hoped to profit from the
Germany’s invasion of Poland – to switch his plant’s focus from enamel
production to anti-tank grenade rifles.
Pemper then, at great personal risk, gave Schindler a typed list of more
than 1,000 fellow prisoners who could work in the plant.
Schindler famously saved more than 1,200 lives through a mixture of work opportunities and bribes to Nazi officers.
Though he died in anonymity in 1974, Schindler’s story was famously
adapted by director Steven Spielberg in the 1993 film Schindler’s List,
which won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best
Pemper served as a consultant on the film, and in 2005 published his
memoir, The Road to Rescue: The Untold Story of Schindler's List.
In the book, Pemper pondered what the world would have been like if there had been no war, or Nazi extermination effort.
“Goeth would probably not have been a mass murderer, nor Schindler a
saver of lives. It was only the extraordinary circumstances of war and
the immense power granted to individual men that revealed the nature of
these men to such an impressive and terrifying degree,” he wrote. “Fate
had placed me between the two of them, and it was like having an angel
on one side and a demon on the other.”