Stella Müller-Madej, Holocaust survivor of Schindler's List, dies

Stella Müller-Madej wrote about the effects of the concentration camps on her family after watching a war film that gave a "sanitized" depiction of what actually occurred.

Stella Müller-Madej, a Holocaust survivor and one of 1,100 Jews saved by Oskar Schindler, died Tuesday at the age of 83 in her hometown of Krawkow, Poland, according to the Global News Service of the Jewish People.   

Born in 1930, Müller-Madej was moved to the Krakow Ghetto in March 1941 after the Nazis occupied Poland. In 1942, she was moved to the Nazi camp in Plaszow, Poland.

She then entered Auschwitz, also in Poland, in October 1944, but thanks to the efforts of her uncle she and her family were placed on Schindler's list of 1,100 prisoners to be sent to the Brunnlitz factory in  Bohemia, where she spent the last nine months of the war.

When the war ended in 1945, she returned to Krakow. Nearly 50 years later in 1991, she published her book "A Girl From Schindler's List."

The Steven Spielberg film "Schindler’s List" would be released two years later.  

In 2001, she published the second part of her memoirs, "A Girl From Schindler's List: Postwar Years," recounting the impact World War II had on her and her family.

According to the German news site DW, Müller-Madej was inspired to write about her experiences shortly after the war, when she saw a film about World War II that depicted it in a manner she described as "unacceptable." 

"After what I went through, the bugs everywhere, the dirt, the muck, hunger and murder all around  yet this film was somehow so sanitized," she told DW in 2006. "There was, in the film, the prisoners in the striped prison garb and the terrible roar of the camp guards. For me, who was convinced every day that I would be destroyed, the film was unacceptable."

She also observed other members of the audience making comments suggesting that some of the scenes in the film “could never have happened,” the source said.

Müller-Madej was an ardent defender of Schindler, who was accused of being a war profiteerer due to his business ventures.  

"For my biological life, I thank my parents," she told DW. "But for my life I thank Oskar Schindler. Even the most devout Jews thank Schindler instead of God to this day."


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