'I Didn't Know It Was Such an Important Thing, That List'

Secretary Mimi Reinhard, who typed up Oskar Schindler's famous list of names, dies at 107
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 11, 2022 10:55 AM CDT
'I Didn't Know It Was Such an Important Thing, That List'
File photo of one of Oskar Schindler's famed compilations of names.   (AP Photo/New South Wales State Library, Bruce York, HO)

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 Friday and was laid to rest Sunday in Herzliya, near Tel Aviv, her son Sasha Weitman confirmed, per the AP. 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 acclaimed 1993 film Schindler's List by Steven Spielberg.

Reinhard was born Carmen Koppel in Vienna 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 the nearby Plaszow concentration camp in 1942. 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," she said. "I had to put them on the list." Later she put her own name, and the names of two friends. 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." After the war, she made her way to the United States, where she lived until immigrating to Israel in 2007 at the age of 92. (The girl in the famous "red coat" scene from the movie is helping Ukrainian refugees now.)

(More Schindler's List stories.)

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