Lot #305
Oskar Schindler

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Estimate: $0+

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Extraordinary collection of construction plans in German for Schindler's Krakau munitions factory, consisting of two bound folders full of planning material and a set of 12 large sheets of period carbon or printed engineering plans displayed in nine frames. One red folder is labeled on the front by contractor Siemens-Bauunion G.m.b.H., 9 x 12, February 2, 1943, 37 pages, and contains extremely detailed calculations regarding the construction of the building (primarily material weights and structural loads), as well as a few architectural drawings.

The other folder also contains calculations regarding area and costs, 8.75 x 12, 25 pages, October 1943, and features numerous ink notations in an unknown hand throughout. All engineering plans are labeled either "Halle Krakau [Krakau Hall]" or "Flugzeughalle [Hangar]," and are dated throughout November 1943. First sheet of plans shows an overview drawing of the hall, 45 x 18, and is framed to an overall size of 50.5 x 24. Second shows cross-sections of various points of a supporting wall and the roof, 40.5 x 20.75, and is framed to an overall size of 46.25 x 26.5.

Third shows the gradient slope of the roof with detailed measurements of its support beams, 44 x 23.5, and is framed to an overall size of 49.25 x 29.5. Fourth is the largest, and shows very detailed plans for a part of the roof and its key support points, also referencing wood extract, wood cut list, and iron output, 54 x 25, and is framed to an overall size of 59.5 x 31. Fifth and sixth sheets show cross-sections of the roof and a large table of figures regarding its load bearing capacities, each 28 x 11.75, and are framed together to an overall size of 32 x 30. Seventh further details the slope of the roof and its supports, 30 x 18, and is framed to an overall size of 35.5 x 23.75. Eighth and ninth diagrams contain more construction angles and load-bearing tables, each 19 x 11.5, and are framed together to an overall size of 29.5 x 25. Tenth and eleventh sheets are similar in their references to weight-bearing structures, each 16.75 x 11.5, and framed together to an overall size of 29.5 x 25. Final sheet shows a detailed cross-section of the roof with axis points and a table of calculations, 23 x 11.5, and is framed to an overall size of 29 x 17. In overall fine condition, with intersecting folds, and toning and filing holes to left edges.

Schindler's enamelware manufacturing company had been operating in his Krakau plant, called 'Emalia,' for four years when he contracted with Siemens-Bauunion (which was a major contributor to the Nazi Party and utilized Jewish slave labor) to construct a large, hangar-style building to be used as a stamping facility—the building referenced and depicted in these plans. After breaking ground in the fall of 1943, Siemens finished construction in the summer of 1944—although it was the largest building at Emalia, the hangar went essentially unused, as Schindler had to relocate to Brunnlitz that October.

Behind the new building were living quarters for the Jewish workers, a space where they were safe from the atrocities that went on at the nearby Plaszow concentration camp. Though driven initially by greed—Schindler wanted his workers to be as productive as possible—he had gone bankrupt by the end of the war, having spent his entire fortune on facilities, bribes, and supplies for his workers. Schindler went to great expense to ensure that they were as comfortable as possible—among the other things he built were health clinics, kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms, among other rooms and structures. His Krakau factory complex provided a haven for Jewish workers caught up the greatest horror of our time—a sanctuary that offered protection from the systematic genocide occurring outside its walls. As the plans used to build a portion of Schindler's quasi-fortress, this collection holds a truly remarkable place in history. RR Auction COA.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Rare Manuscript, Document & Autograph
  • Dates: July 26 - August 14