Forty years after his death, authorities have decided to refurbish the burial site of Oskar Schindler, the German industrialist who helped save thousands of Jews during World War II. Schindler is buried in the Catholic cemetery on Mount Zion in Yerushalayim.
The Jerusalem Development Authority, the Custodia Terrae Sanctae, the Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Ministry, and the Jerusalem Municipality have launched a joint campaign to renovate and landscape Schindler’s grave site and erect a memorial there.
Part of the construction, which is expected to cost around $524,000, will include revamping pathways to the cemetery and Schindler’s grave, and building shaded seating areas nearby. Rooms near the burial site are also slated for renovation, and an indoor site commemorating Schindler will be constructed to preserve his memory.
Schindler was honored as Righteous Among the Nations by Israel for saving 1,200 Jews’ lives during the Holocaust, and for hampering the Nazi war effort while putting his own life in peril. Upon his death, the Jews whose lives he saved and his family members fulfilled his final wish to be buried in Israel.
The Custodian of the Holy Land, Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, who heads the Franciscan order in Israel, welcomed the decision.
“The Custodia Terrae Sanctae continues to honor his [Schindler’s] memory and sees the development of his grave site and memorial as an important project to Custodia and Jerusalem as a whole,” said Custodian of the Holy Land Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, who heads the Franciscan order in Israel.