BOSTON – A remarkable collection of Oskar Schindler’s personal possessions will be auctioned by Boston-based RR Auction on March 6. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.
Schindler was a German industrialist credited with saving almost 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust by employing them in his enamelware and ammunitions factories. Schindler’s story was recounted in the 1982 novel Schindler’s Ark by Australian author Thomas Keneally and became the basis of Steven Spielberg’s highly successful film Schindler’s List in 1993 that won seven Academy Awards.
Among the Schindler items included in the single lot: his Longines wristwatch (above), a compass (below), a 1938 Sudetenland Medal, two fountain pens and a wood veneer business card.
“It’s an amazing archive of Schindler’s personal belongings,” said Bobby Livingston, executive vice president at RR Auction. “Schindler continues to be highly sought-after among collectors.”
Also up for auction is a Raoul Wallenberg Blue and Gold Schutz-Pass issued to Emil Tanzer. The scarce one-page signed document in German and Hungarian, is dated Sept. 15, 1944.
Wallenberg arrived in Hungary in July 1944 as the country’s Jewish population was under siege. Nearly every other major Jewish community in Europe had already been decimated, and the Nazis were dispatching more than 10,000 Hungarian Jews to the gas chambers daily. With time of the essence, he devised and distributed thousands of these “Schutz-Passes” — official-looking, but essentially invalid, Swedish passports granting the Hungarian bearer immunity from deportation. Nazi officials readily accepted the paperwork.
Thus, with his simple, nondescript scribble on this offered page, Wallenberg saved the life of Emil Tanzer — just as he had done with thousands of other Jews in Hungary. An announcement that any Jew, even those holding foreign citizenship, would be interred led to the urgency of Wallenberg’s plan to save as many lives as he could. An important reminder of one heroic man’s tireless efforts to outwit the Nazis and save countless lives.
Among the U.S. presidential memorabilia in the auction is John F. Kennedy’s leather golf club cover for a No. 1 driver. It is accompanied by an original color glossy 7 x 5 photo of President Kennedy walking a golf course with friends, taken by official White House photographer Cecil Stoughton and kept as his personal file copy. The reverse bears “A Kodak Paper” watermarks and is stamped by Stoughton with a negative number and date of July 28, 1963.