Print
This Longines watch originally belonging to Oskar Schindler, the European industrialist and Nazi party member who saved over 1,000 Jews during World War II, is up for auction along with other personal effects.
Boston—RR Auction is currently offering a timepiece with fantastic historical provenance at auction.

The Boston auction house’s March sale features a single lot of personal possessions once belonging to Oskar Schindler (1908-1974), the industrialist born in Austria-Hungary (now Czech Republic) who is credited with saving the lives of nearly 1,200 Jewish people during World War II.

A European collector and longtime RR Auction client consigned the lot, the auction house said, and it has a solid chain of custody that can be traced back to the estate of Oskar’s wife, Emilie, who outlived her husband by nearly 30 years.

Schindler was a member of the Nazi party, and through wartime connections, obtained an enamelware and munitions factory in Poland that had been seized from its original Jewish owner.

Despite his Nazi party standing, Schindler became a secret advocate for the local Jews who were being forced into ghettos and concentration camps by employing them at this factory and repeatedly bribing Nazi officials to keep them from being deported.

20190305 Schindler 1According to RR Auction, Oskar Schindler and his wife Emilie used this compass as they fled to U.S.-occupied territory in Europe during World War II.

Schindler’s efforts were made known first by the 1982 Booker Prize-winning historical fiction novel “Schindler’s Ark,” and later, the Steven Spielberg-directed “Schindler’s List.”

Among the items selling in the Schindler lot is a stainless steel Longines watch with a white face and gold-tone hands and time markers with a black leather strap. The timepiece features a manual-wind mechanical movement (caliber 12.68Z).

Longines told National Jeweler that the watch was invoiced in December 1956 to Pérusset, which was the company’s agent in Argentina at that time. (Schindler and his wife lived in Argentina for a period following the war.)

Also featured in the lot is a compass by Bezard/Gotthilf Lufft with a built-in folding metal cover. RR Auction said that it is purported to have been used by Schindler and his wife Emilie in 1945 when they fled Russian troops for U.S.-occupied territory.

20190305 Schindler 2Schindler’s Sudetenland Medal

Another interesting piece is a Sudetenland Medal from 1938, commemorating Austria joining the Nazi Third Reich. It was given to German officials, including members of the Wehrmacht and SS who marched into Sudetenland, an area that had once belonged to Germany but been given to Czechoslovakia after World War I.

The medal was also given to German military who occupied Czechoslovakia during World War II. Schindler received the medal because he had participated in the annexation of Sudetenland as a spy for the German government.

The 32 mm medal depicts a man standing on a German podium, as another man, breaking free from shackles, joins him. The medal is suspended from a black and red ribbon.

20190305 Schindler 3Schindler’s fountain pens

Rounding out the lot are two fountain pens that belonged to Schindler and a circa 1957 wooden business card with Schindler’s German address.

Schindler and his wife fled to Argentina after World War II, though Schindler eventually returned to Europe in 1957, living between Germany and Israel—largely with the support of the people whom he had helped during the war—until his death in 1974. Emilie remained in Argentina.

20190305 Schindler 4A business card denoting Schindler’s German address when he returned to Europe from Argentinian exile in 1957.

The sale estimate for the items was listed at $25,000, though, as of press time, bids had reached over $30,000.

The sale, which is being held online, concludes today.


|Subscribe >



Copyright © 2019 National Jeweler. All Rights Reserved.