Secretary Who Typed Schindler’s List Passes Away at 107

Secretary Who Typed
Krakow, Poland - Original office used by Oskar Schindler's secretary to write the Oskar Schindler's list. On display in Oskar Schindler's Enamel factory museum.

( – Many Americans know the story of Schindler’s List through the 1993 award-winning movie by the same name. Stephen Speilberg created the film and chronicled the story of industrialist businessman Oskar Schindler and his concern over the Jewish people’s fate in Nazi concentration camps. He ultimately becomes a humanitarian, convinces the Nazis to allow around 1,100 Jews to work in his factory, and provides them refuge until the end of the war.

There is so much more to the story than the movie reveals. After all, Speilberg could only say so much in a 3-hour film. Mimi Reinhard became one of the central players in the story, but the movie barely alludes to her role in helping save so many people. Mimi was Schindler’s secretary and was responsible for typing up the list of Jews he saved from gas chambers and firing squads. On Friday, April 8, Mimi Reinhard passed away at 107 years old.

Mimi Reinhard’s Incredible Story Is One for the Ages

Reinhard was born Carmen Koppel on January 15, 1915, in Wiener Neustadt, Austria. Her father would later nickname her Mimi, as she never cared for her name. As a young woman, Reinhard studied languages and literature. Although she never learned to type, she mastered stenography so she could take shorthand notes.

Before the outbreak of war in Europe, Mimi moved to Krakow, Poland. In 1939, the Nazis invaded the country and imprisoned Reinhard in a concentration camp in 1942. Because she was a master in shorthand, the Nazis ordered her to work in the concentration camp’s administrative office. It was there she met Oskar Schindler. Daily, he asked her to type a list of Jewish people to work in his ammunition plant. Mimi said Schindler wasn’t an angel, and he was a card-carrying member of the SS. Still, he didn’t agree with what the Nazis were doing to the Jews, and he became a humanitarian.

In 1944, the Germans planned to move the Jews to Auschwitz as they retreated from Poland. Schindler persuaded the Nazis he needed essential workers at his ammunition plant in Czechoslovakia. Mimi was among them. She chronicled 1,100 people who Schindler saved. Despite her role in Schindler’s List, Mimi said she didn’t have much direct contact with Schindler. Reinhard added she was grateful he never treated them like scum.

Mimi Passes Away in Israel as an Icon

At the age of 92, in 2007, Reinhard moved to Israel from New York City, where she lived after the war. Upon her arrival in Israel, the public hailed her as a celebrity. Her son said the adoring public contributed to her additional 15 years of life.

Mrs. Reinhard passed away at an assisted living facility north of Tel Aviv. Her son, three granddaughters, and two great-great-grandchildren survive her.

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