KRAKOW, Poland - The factory where Oskar Schindler shielded more than 1,000 Jews from the Holocaust is to be turned into a museum commemorating the German industrialist, whose life was made famous in Stephen Spielberg's film, officials said Friday.
Since the 1993 release of the Academy Award-winning "Schindler's List," tourists to Krakow have sought out the factory where Schindler kept the emaciated Jews, claiming their work was essential to the survival of his metal works factory. The prisoners produced enameled pots and pans, and later munitions for the German army.
The Ministry of Culture and city of Krakow have earmarked USD 1.2 million for the museum project, which is to be completed by the end of the year, ministry spokeswoman Halina Pijanowska said.
"This is a story which needs to be documented; it's part of Krakow history," Aleksander Janicki, a local artist designing the project, said.
"Everyone has seen 'Schindler's List,' and they want to come and see the place," he said. "It's a natural place for such a museum."
Spent his fortune feeding saved Jews
Parts of the Emalia factory, including the office where Schindler worked, are already open to tourists. Inside, visitors can view models of the museum project plus wartime photographs and stills from Spielberg's film.
A commemorative plaque now marks the beige, plaster building as the site of Schindler's factory.
The museum will have multimedia rooms telling the story of Schindler's complex life and the stories of those Jews he saved, Janicki said.
Planning is so far in the preliminary stages, Janicki said, but they plan to contact Spielberg's Shoah Foundation and Yad Vashem and various Jewish communities for assistance in compiling information on Schindler's life.
Schindler spent his fortune feeding the Jews he saved from the Nazi death camps. He emigrated to Argentina with his wife, Emilie, after World War II, but returned to Germany in 1958, where he died in 1974. He was buried in Jerusalem at his own request. Emilie died in 2001.