Schindler’s List turns up at the NSW State Library – Jewish Museum disappointed

April 5, 2009 by J-Wire
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Sydney’s Jewish Museum is disappointed that best-selling author Thomas Keneally sold his copy of the original Schindler list to a document dealer.



The list, itself a carbon copy of the original, has been “discovered” amongst Keneally’s research papers at the State Library of NSW who bought the documents from the dealer with no inkling of what they contained.

Jake Selinger, whose late parents Peter and Syda, were on the List and consequently saved by Schindler, expressed bitter disappointment. He told J-Wire: “It’s hard to believe that he would sell this precious document without having any care or concern as to where it would end up.”

President of the Sydney Jewish Museum, John Landerer added: “I can only express disappointment that he chose to dispose of such a precious document this way.”

88-yr-old Anna Reich is the last remaining Schindler Jew in Sydney. She agreed with Landerer, saying “It should have gone to the Jewish Museum, but at least it has ended up in good hands.”

The State Library bought the documents in 1996  where they have lain in a vault until now. The List will go on display at the library on Tuesday.

Steven Spielberg won an Academy Award for the move “Schindler’s List” adapted from Keneally’s book “Schindler’s Ark” for which he won the 1982 Booker Prize.

It tells the story of a philandering Nazi industrialist who protected the Jews who worked for him and who is attributed of saving the more than 1000 on his list from certain death.

There are are only a handful of original carbon copies of the List in existence. A spokesperson for the State Library told J-Wire: “The document is the original copy given to the author by Leopold Pfefferberg who persuaded Keneally to write the story. When we bought Keneally’s papers, there was no list of contents. Privacy restrictions involving living authors preclude us from detailing the price we paid.”

J-Wire spoke to Leopold Pfferberg’s daughter Marie in Los Angeles. She said: “My late father made many copies of the List and my mother has the original copy still in her possession.”

Pfefferberg’s widow, Mila, told J-Wire: “Whatever Tom Kenneally did is OK with me. He is a wonderful man.”

Dr Olwen Pryke of the State Library said she was aware that it is a copy. “Our experts stated it was possibly from the 1940s but we have no way of accurately dating the copy.”

The Jewish Museum in Sydney was founded in 1992 by the late John Saunders.

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