After an original copy of Schindler’s List hit the auction block via eBay, its seller says that interest in the sale of the historic document has “exceeded our wildest dreams.” California collector Gary Zimet, of MomentsInTime.com, listed the rare piece of history on Thursday night for $3 million, but now he hopes it will fetch more than $5 million.
The list at one point belonged to Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saved more than a thousand Jewish refugees from the Nazis during World War II by claiming they were essential workers for his enamel-works factories. The transfer of these workers was drawn up on multiple lists, collectively known as "Schindler's List."
Schindler’s story became widely known after Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning 1993 film, “Schindler’s List.”
While reports indicate that there are seven original versions of the list, only four are known to exist. Two are at Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust Memorial Museum, and one is at the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington. Zimet’s list is the first one to be sold on an open market.
The 14-page list is dated April 18, 1945 and lists the names of 801 men, written in pencil. According to the eBay listing, it emanates from the family of Itzhak Stern, Schindler’s accountant and right-hand man. Stern’s nephew sold it to the current owner three years ago. The current owner bought it as an investment and recently enlisted MomentsInTime.com to find a buyer.
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Zimet told Fox News that he has no expectation for what the buyer should do with the document, saying that it’s up to them. “It’s a tremendously important relic and any buyer should do with it what he/she sees fit. There’s no reason people should assume it should be donated.”
According to the Zimet, four potential buyers have been approved as serious bidders after being put through a strict vetting process.
“The qualification process to bid is very stringent. We have to chat with their bankers to make sure they have the money, “ Zimet told Fox News.
The seller said that he can't guarantee that the the final bid will come from the four known bidders. “It’s too early to determine what will happen, but publicity has been the key," he said. "We’ve had hundreds of thousands of viewers see the piece because we put it on eBay. We’re very pleased with the level of interest.”
Bidding will end 10 days from its open, on July 28.