The Story of Schindler
Relying on his legendary panache as well as his willingness to bribe the right people, Schindler secured numerous German army contracts for his pots and pans. To staff his factory, he turned to Krakow's Jewish community, which, Stern told him, was a good source of cheap, reliable labor. At the time, some 56, 000 Jews lived in the city, most in the ghetto (a neighborhood that was traditionally reserved for Jews). By the spring of 1940, however, the Nazi crack-down against Jews had begun. Schindler was ordered to pay his Jewish employees' wages directly to the SS rather than to the workers themselves. In August, Nazi authorities issued a new regulation ordering all but "work-essential" Jews to leave the city. This touched off a panic that sent Jews scrambling for work deemed "essential." (At Stern's urging, Schindler hired about 150 of them to work in his factory.) And by the end of the year, all of Krakow's Jews were ordered to wear a four-inch wide white armband emblazoned with the Star of David.