Oral History

Ludmilla Page describes a celebration of Oskar Schindler's birthday in Bruennlitz toward the end of the war

Ludmilla was born to an assimilated Jewish family in Kishinev, Romania. She and her mother, a physician, were living in Poland when the Germans invaded on September 1, 1939. They were taken to Krakow. Ludmilla was forced to live in the Krakow ghetto; her mother was sent to the Warsaw ghetto. Ludmilla worked in a factory at the Plaszow labor camp for a businessman who was a friend of the German industrialist Oskar Schindler. In October 1944, Schindler attempted to save some Jewish workers by relocating them to a munitions factory in Bruennlitz, in the Sudetenland. Ludmilla was among those on Schindler's list to be relocated. She and about 300 other women were detained briefly in Auschwitz before reaching Bruennlitz. There, some of the workers sought to sabotage the production of munitions. Ludmilla was liberated in early May 1945.


On April 28th, because May 8th was the, the end of the war, the liberation day, but April 28th was his [Schindler's] birthday, and we wanted to do something for him for his birthday. So each one of the, of us, of the prisoners, gave a little portion of their, our bread, and a little por...portion of our terrible jam or marmalade, whatever it was, and, and, and margarine. And someone who must have been very, very handy among us, I don't remember, I don't know who it was, made him a birthday cake. I mean, they didn't bake it, but just made it out of the bread, and the this. And we all gathered in the big hall, and Schindler spoke to us. He told us, and again, all the camp staff was there, all the woman SS, and the men SS, and the head, the commandant, the, the commandant of the camp, the new one, everybody was there. But he was absolutely not afraid of them, and he told us, "The end of the war is near. Please be, think good thoughts because you will survive the war. But as you survive the war, try to be human beings."


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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