Schindler’s List Being Sold On eBay, Bidding Starts At $3M
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – From clothes to cars and everything in between, eBay is known as the online auction site to buy just about anything and now you can buy Schindler’s List, but this is one pricey piece of history.
The list by Oskar Schindler, the German businessman credited with saving over a thousand Jews from the Nazi gas chambers during World War II, is being auctioned on eBay at a starting price of $3 million.
One of originally seven lists, only four are believed to exist today; the item up for auction is being sold by California brokers Gary Zimet and Eric Gazin on behalf of an unidentified owner.
At the Holocaust Memorial of Miami Beach, some were aghast to learn of the online pitch.
“It’s a list of people who managed to live through a horrible experience and I would not want to see it commercialized,” said Norman Reisman, visiting the memorial from Fort Lauderdale with his wife and son.
In 2010, the list was sold for $2.2 million by the nephew of Schindler’s confidant, Itzhak Stern, to its current owner.
It’s thought Stern typed up each of the versions of the list.
The eBay listing is titled “Original Schindler’s List from Family of Itzhak Stern Dated April 18, 1945.”
Schindler, played by Liam Neeson in the 1993 Oscar-winning film, saved over a thousand lives by opening a factory in Czechoslovakia and sending Jewish refugees to work there.
“This is a great thing that was done by one man,” said Jeff Reisman at the holocaust memorial. “He did a remarkable thing and I don’t think people should be profiting off it.”
Itzhak Stern, Schindler’s accountant and right hand man, was played by Ben Kingsley in the Academy Award-winning film. Stern, himself a refugee from a Nazi death camp, was among those Schindler included among his lists of those who would be saved.
The list up for sale now, of 801 Jewish men, dates back to April 18, 1945. It is 14 onion-skin pages long.
Sharon Horowitz, Executive Director of the Miami Beach memorial said Schindler’s list is evidence of one of the worst crimes against mankind in history.
“The documents are proof of what happened during the holocaust,” Horowitz said. “The best place for them would be in a museum.”
Some said profits from the sale of the Schindler’s list should go to help those who escaped the death camps, not into the pockets of a private investor.
“The survivors that are still alive, they’re getting elderly,” said memorial volunteer, Vicki Einhorn. “They could really use those funds.
Two of the other lists are in the Israeli Holocaust Museum and one is in the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington.
“It is extremely rare that a document of this historical significance is put on the market,” said Zimet, to the New York Post.
“Many of the survivors on this list and their descendants moved to the United States, and there are names on this list which will sound very familiar to New Yorkers,” he added.
Beverly Reisman said while the commercialization of what some consider a sacred document is offensive, she’s not surprised.
“Money talks,” Reisman sighed. “That’s about all I can say. Money talks.”
Matthew McCaskey, visiting from Seattle, said of the unidentified owner, “He owns it, he can do what he wants with it.”
The eBay listing states the list for sale is “guaranteed authentic” and the listing is restricted to pre-approved buyers only.