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 buried Sunday in Herzliya, near Tel Aviv, her son, Sasha Weitman, confirmed.
She was among 1,200 Jews rescued by German businessman Schindler after he bribed Nazi authorities to let them keep them as workers in his factories. The story 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 World War II. After Nazi Germany invaded Poland in 1939, she was confined to the Krakow ghetto before being sent to nearby Plaszow concentration camp in 1942.
“I didn’t know it was such an important thing”
Reinhard’s knowledge of shorthand led her to work in the camp’s administrative office, where, two years later, she was ordered to type up the handwritten list of Jews who were to be transferred to Schindler’s munitions factory.
“I didn’t know it was such an important thing, this list,” she told an interviewer for Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, in 2008. “First of all, I already got the list of those who were with Schindler 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.
At the Brunnlitz labor camp, where Schindler’s munitions factory was located, she was put to work in Schindler’s office.
She said that although she worked in Schindler’s office towards the end of the war, she had little personal contact with him.
“He was a very charming, very outgoing man,” she recalls, decades after the war. “He didn’t treat us like garbage.”
Schindler died in West Germany in 1974.
After the war, Reinhard moved 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 arriving in Israel she “became something of a celebrity” because of the Schindler’s list the film’s popularity, something he said “pumped another 15 years into his life”.