Obit of the Day: Another Schindler
Berthold and Elise Beitz were not anti-Nazi. The German couple, who lived in Boryslaw, Poland as Mr. Beitz managed the Carpathian Oil Company, simply recognized the treatment of the Jews as horrific and wrong: “When you see a woman with her child in her arms being shot, and you yourself have a child, then your response is bound to be completely different.”
While serving as the manager of the oil company, Mr. Beitz used his influenced to protect 250 Jewish workers that he had classified as “professional workers” who were vital to the war effort. (Similar to the work of his more famous peer, Oskar Schindler.) This included men, women and children who were clearly unable to actually work.
The Beitz family would also hide Jewish residents in their home putting their own family, which included three daughters, in jeopardy.
After the war, Mr. Beitz was awarded Poland highest civil honor. In 1973 he was named “Righteous Among the Nations” by the Yad Vashem in Israel. (Mrs. Beitz was honored in the same way in 2006.)
Mr. Beitz, who was also a member of the International Olympic Committee served on the board of directors for the 1972 Munich Olympics*, died on July 30, 2013 at the age of 99.
(Image of Elsa and Berthold Beitz and their daughter Barbara, undated, is courtesy of Yad-Vashem.org)
* In a tragic irony, it was at the Munch Games that 11 Israeli athletes were murdered by Palestinian terrorists.
Other posts of interest:
Jerzy Bielicki - The man who escaped from Auschwitz
Jean Julich - Member of the resistance group known as the “Edelweiss Pirates”
Olga Nowak - She hid dozens of Jews in her home
Mitek Pemper - The man who typed up Schindler’s list
Tina Strobos - She and her mother Maria Schotte saved 100 Jews from the Nazis