Schindler’s List Survivor Shares Holocaust Experience
Out of the most horrific human atrocities emerge stories of courage, faith and hope. Holocaust survivor Rena Finder’s inspirational story is one of those, epitomizing the power of the human spirit.
One of the last Holocaust survivors employed by Oskar Schindler during World War II, she will share her compelling story on Thursday, March 22 at the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort. Because corporate sponsors stepped in to cover all costs, the event is open to the public free of charge. Those sponsors include Aetos Holdings Ltd, Atlantis, Banque Privee Edmond de Rothschild Ltd, Bank of The Bahamas (BOB), Colina, DP&A and ICD.
The 7-time Academy Award winning film “Schindler’s List,” which immortalized stories such as Finder’s will be screened from 2pm – 5:15pm followed by her moving talk at 6:30pm.
A rare opportunity to hear Finder’s first-hand account of her experience as a Holocaust survivor, attendees will join her as she recounts her life as a child in Poland, the Krakow ghetto, life in the Nazi death camp Auschwitz and ultimately her story of survival as a child in Oskar Schindler’s factory.
“When I was 10 years old my wonderful childhood ended and I instantly became the enemy of the state because I was Jewish,” Finder said this week in a telephone interview leading up to the historic visit to The Bahamas. An only child, Finder remained with her mother and father for months in Krakow, a ghetto where Jews were tortured while concentration camps were being constructed. “My father was taken away from us after nine months and we never heard from him again,” recalled Finder.
Finder notes that her family, like many other Polish-Jews believed that they were being relocated from their homes to work on farms for the Nazi Germans. However she and many others soon realized that their fate would be far worse.
“As soon as the concentration camp was ready we were sent there to work as slaves – everyone except children under 12 and anyone over 55 who were deemed unfit to work and were killed,” she recalls. “We could not imagine that a country could engage in such legal murder of innocent people.”
The lives of Finder and her mother were spared because of Schindler, a wealthy German industrialist who used his influence to save the lives of 1,300 Jewish men, women and children. “If it wasn’t for Oskar Schindler I would not have survived, my mother would not have survived and the 700 men and 300 women he employed would not have survived.”
Driven by a desire to ensure that persons remain aware of what happened during the Holocaust and to be a voice against genocide, Finder has publicly shared her life story many times but this is the first time in The Bahamas. She is making the trip to keep the memories of the horrors and the heroes like Schindler alive.
“We as a people have not learned. The biggest crime is not so much hate but indifference,” she believes. “Every single one of us has the power to participate, the power to help another person, the power to intervene when we see an injustice done.”celebrities, history