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Schindler’s Brněnec factory may become Holocaust museum

Oskar Schindler's factory at Brněnec as seen in summer 2004. Photo: Wikicommons

PRAGUE – The textile factory in Brněnec once used by Oskar Schindler, a businessman known for his solidarity with the Jews in World War II, could be made into a Holocaust memorial, local media reported yesterday.

According to the report by Novinky.cz, the now dilapidated factory has been purchased by the Endowment Fund Memorial of Shoah and Oskar Schindler with the intentions of converting the space, though the project will have to overcome a shortfall of tens of millions of koruna, according to the report.

“Our main goal is to restore the building and the surrounding area back to its original historical condition, including the watch towers and the hospital,” Jaroslav Novak, the head of the foundation, was quoted as saying, adding that he hoped the renovated building would become a tourist attraction for the area.

The idea to transform the factory into a museum is not a new one. The foundation has been lobbying the renovation for years with property rights issues getting in the way. Now the project is facing a new challenge.

“At the moment there is no money,” Novak said.

“We are the owners of an endowment fund and can officially negotiate with those who are willing to give money. On Thursday, the governor of the Pardubice region, for example, promised at least remediation of environmental damage and further cooperation.”

Oskar Schindler was a German industrialist who famously saved the lives of more than 1,000 Jews by convincing the Nazis they as forced laborers working for him were imperative to the war effort — thus sparing them from being deported and killed in concentration camps. They were moved from the Polish city of Krakow to the Czech site in 1944.

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