Oskar Schindler Net Worth at Death – Salary, Income, Wife

Oskar Schindler Net Worth 

Oskar Schindler had an estimated net worth of $100 Thousand at death. Oskar Schindler was a German industrialist during World War II who sheltered approximately 1,100 Jews from the Nazis by employing them in his factories. Although he was initially concerned only with the profit of his ventures, he eventually spent all his earnings on saving the lives of the Jews employed in his factories.

By the end of the war, Schindler was penniless, having used his fortune to bribe the authorities and save his workers. For more than a decade, Schindler dabbled in farming until he filed for bankruptcy in 1957.

He left his wife and traveled to West Germany, where he made an unsuccessful attempt at the cement business. For the rest of his life, Schindler lived off donations from Schindler Jews.

To calculate the net worth of Oskar Schindler, subtract all his liabilities from his total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity he has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets.

All debts, such as personal loans and mortgages, are included in total liabilities.

Here’s the breakdown of his net worth:

Name: Oskar Schindler
Net Worth: $100 Thousand
Monthly Salary: $3 Thousand
Annual Income: $50 Thousand
Source of Wealth: Entrepreneur

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Early Years

Schindler was born on April 28, 1908, in Svitavy [Zwittau], Sudetenland, which is now part of the Czech Republic. Hans Schindler, the eldest of two children, was a farm-equipment manufacturer, and his mother, Louisa, was a housewife.

Oskar and his sister, Elfriede, went to a German-language school where he was popular but not outstanding. Instead of attending college, he attended trade school, taking courses in a variety of subjects.

Oskar Schindler dropped out of school in 1924, working odd jobs and trying to find his way in life. In 1928, he met and married Emilie Pelzl before being drafted into the army.

Following that, he worked for his father’s company until it failed during the 1930s economic depression. When he wasn’t working, Schindler excelled at drinking and philandering, a habit he kept for the rest of his life.

From Spy to Black Market Entrepreneur

With the rise of Adolf Hitler and the German Nazi Party in the 1930s, Europe’s political landscape changed dramatically. Schindler, sensing a shift in political momentum, joined a local pro-Nazi organization and began gathering intelligence for the German military.

He was arrested by Czech authorities in 1938, charged with spying, and sentenced to death before being released shortly after Germany annexed the Sudetenland. Schindler would seize this second opportunity.

Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, kicking off World War II. Schindler abandoned his wife and traveled to Krakow in the hope of profiting from the impending war. He quickly became involved in the black market while looking for business opportunities.

By October, Schindler had used his charm to bribe high-ranking German officers with “gifts of gratitude” (contraband goods). Schindler acquired a former Jewish enamelware factory to produce goods for the German military in order to diversify his business interests.

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The Enamelware Factory

Oskar Schindler renamed the factory Deutsche Emaillewaren-Fabrik (German Enamelware Factory) and began production with only a few employees.

Schindler secured numerous German army contracts for kitchenware due to his flair for business and influence peddling. He soon met Itzhak Stern, a Jewish accountant who helped Schindler find workers from Krakow’s Jewish community.

The company began with 45 employees and grew to over 1,700 at its peak in 1944. Schindler initially hired Jewish workers because they were less expensive than Polish workers. However, as Nazi atrocities against the Jewish community increased, Schindler’s perspective shifted. He found reasons to hire more Jewish workers, regardless of their abilities, with the help of Stern.

By 1942, nearly half of his employees were Jewish, giving rise to the term “Schindlerjuden” (Schindler Jews). Itzhak Stern and several hundred other employees were among those deported from Krakow to labor camps by the Nazis.

Schindler dashed to the train station and confronted an SS officer, claiming that his employees were critical to the war effort. Schindler was able to free his workers and return them to the factory after several tense minutes of yelling names and making veiled threats.

Schindler’s Life-Saving List

In early 1943, the Nazis liquidated the Jewish population of Krakow and established the Plaszow work camp, which was run by the notoriously sadistic commandant, Amon Göth. Schindler developed a relationship with Göth, and whenever any of his employees faced deportation to a concentration camp or execution, Schindler was able to provide a black-market gift or bribe to save their lives.

Plaszow was converted from a labor camp to a concentration camp in 1944, and all Jews were to be deported to Auschwitz. Schindler asked Göth for permission to relocate his factory to Brnec, Sudetenland, and produce war goods.

He was instructed to make a list of workers he wanted to bring with him. Schindler compiled a list of 1,100 Jewish names he deemed “essential” for the new factory with the assistance of Stern. The factory was relocated after permission was granted.

To avoid contributing to the German war effort, Schindler directed his employees to purposefully produce defective products that would fail inspection. The employees worked in the factory for the rest of the war.

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Later Life & Death

Emilie joined Oskar in Krakow during the war, and by the end of the war, the couple was penniless, having used his fortune to bribe authorities and save his workers.

Schindler and his wife fled to Argentina with the help of the Schindlerjuden the day after the war ended to avoid prosecution for his previous spying activities.

Schindler tried farming for more than a decade before declaring bankruptcy in 1957. He divorced his wife and moved to West Germany, where he tried and failed in the cement business. Schindler spent the rest of his life on the generosity of the Schindlerjuden.

Yad Vashem designated him a Righteous Gentile in 1962, and after his death in 1974, at the age of 66, Oskar Schindler was interred in the Catholic cemetery on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. Steven Spielberg’s film Schindler’s List, released in 1993, brought Oskar Schindler’s story to the big screen.

Further Reading

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