SYDNEY — Australian researchers sifting papers belonging to the author of "Schindler's List" discovered a yellowing roll of 801 men saved from the Holocaust by the German industrialist — the very copy the writer used to bring the story to the world's attention, a curator said Monday.
The 13-page document is a copy of one of Oskar Schindler's famed compilations of names that eventually included 1,100 men and women he saved by employing them in his factories in World War II Germany.
"It's the list Tom used when writing 'Schindler's Ark' and that really brought Schindler's actions to the attention of the world," said State Library of New South Wales co-curator Olwen Pryke, referring to the book's author, Thomas Keneally.
"It is a copy of a copy, but it's a moving document, regardless," said Pryke, who stumbled upon the pages late last year. "When you look at it you think of the lives that were saved."
Keneally wrote the book "Schindler's Ark," also published as "Schindler's List," which was made into the Oscar-winning film by Steven Spielberg in 1993.
He sold his research, files and notes on the book to a manuscript dealer, and the library purchased those six boxes in 1996. The curators did not realize that they contained a copy of Schindler's list.
Keneally was given the copy of the list by Leopold Pfefferberg, No. 173 on Schindler's list, in a chance meeting in 1980, and was urged by the survivor to write about Schindler.
The author told the Sydney Morning Herald that he carried the list in his briefcase as he traveled the world researching the book — which won the Booker Prize in 1982 — before selling it along with all of his research.
"I'm very glad the list has ended up at the State Library," he was quoted as saying in Sunday's newspaper.
Pryke said they found the yellowing list — a copy of a carbon copy dating to 1944 or 1945 — amid German newspaper articles, photographs and Keneally's handwritten notes.
It includes the names, nationalities and skills of 801 men employed at Schindler's factory.
Pryke said several copies of the list were typed between 1944 and 1945 and carbon copies were made, as the originals would go to the German bureaucracy.
The list will be on display at the library and on its Web site beginning Tuesday.