Unique Schindler artefact donated to Holocaust museum

The model for the gold ring that Jewish workers gave to World War II hero Oskar Schindler has been donated to the Melbourne Holocaust museum.

Louis Gross, son of the late Jozef Gross, who made the ring and its lead prototype, has told how the item was almost thrown out after Jozef died.

In an emotional scene in the 1993 movie Schindler’s List, labourers in Schindler’s armaments factory hand him the ring as thanks for saving their lives.

In real life, before the labourers were liberated in early May, 1945, Jozef Gross had used an oxy-acetylene torch to make the ring prototype from a lead pipe at the factory in Brunnlitz, in today’s Czech Republic.

Mr Gross pressed the model into two pieces of cuttlefish. Fellow workers donated a gold tooth and jewellery but it was not enough, so Mr Gross added copper and a silver coin, then poured the melted alloy into the moulds to make the ring.

No one knows what became of the gold ring, but Mr Gross took the model when he migrated to Australia in 1949 with second wife, Janka (Joanna) and son Louis, 2.

Read more in the Sydney Morning Herald