Pelzl was born on October 22, 1907, in Alt Moletein,
a village in the German-populated border region of The Republic of Czechoslovakia. Emilie later recalled the local
pastor, an old family friend, who instructed her that
her friendship with a young Jew, Rita Reif, was not good. Emilie
defied the pastor and retained her friendship with Rita, until
Rita was murdered by the Nazis in front of her father's store in
Emilie Pelzl first saw the tall, handsome and outgoing Oscar
Schindler when he came to the door of her father's farmhouse in
Alt Moletein. It was in 1928 and Oscar Schindler was selling electric motors.
After a courtship of six weeks, they were married on March 6,
1928, in an inn on the outskirts of Zwittau, Oscar's hometown.
Emilie's father had given Oscar a dowry of 100.000 Czech crowns,
a considerable sum in those days, and he soon bought a luxury
car. In her A Memoir Where
Light And Shadow Meet Emilie recalls how she struggled
trying to understand him:
spite of his flaws, Oscar had a big heart and was always ready
to help whoever was in need. He was affable, kind, extremely
generous and charitable, but at the same time, not mature at
all. He constantly lied and deceived me, and later returned
feeling sorry, like a boy caught in mischief, asking to be
forgiven one more time - and then we would start all over again
Now without employment, Oscar joined the Nazi party,
as did many others at that time. Maybe because he had seen the possibilities which the war brought in its wake, he followed on
the heels of the SS when the Nazis invaded Poland.
He left his wife in Zwittau and moved to Crakow in Poland, where he took
over a Jewish family's apartment. Bribes in the shape of money
and illegal black market goods flowed copiously from Schindler
and gave him control of a Jewish-owned enameled-goods factory,
DEF - Deutsch Emailwaren Fabrik -, close to the Jewish ghetto, where he
principally employed Jewish workers. At this time presumably
because they were the cheapest labor ...