Schindler's Wrist
by dean adams

Oskar Schindler, the capitalist who saved several thousand Jewish WWII Holocaust victims from a certain death by purchasing their salvation from the Nazi war party, is enjoying a much deserved celebration of his life and deeds during the second world war, through the Academy Award winning film by Steven Spielberg and a best selling book by Thomas Kenealy. 

In addition to his esteemed work with Jewish workers in his factories, Schindler is believed to have been an auto and motorcycle racing buff and before his fire-sale to raise cash to finance the protection of his Jewish workers, Schindler had a fine automobile collection. 

A savior, and in many persons' eyes, a prospect for sainthood, Schindler is also a kindred soul to many racing enthusiasts, as he roadraced motorcycles in his youth.

As detailed in the biography of Schindler's life by Keneally, Schindler's adolescence was filled with the joys of motorcycling in his native Czechoslovakia. The book states that Schindler "..was one of those boys for whom a motorcycle is the most compelling model of the universe." Schindler rode a variety of European machines including a red Galloni 500, one of only a few in Europe as very few were exported out of Italy. 

During 1928, just before Oskar Schindler would embark upon the circumstances that later would force him to choose between a pampered life of an aristocratic European businessman or to barter all of his earthly possessions and cash in exchange for the lives of his workers, Schindler spent a season racing in an early form of FIM roadracing. He rode a taut little Moto Guzzi 250, of which there were only four produced. 

Racing against factory teams in the mountains of Morovia and the Altvater circuit, Schindler nearly beat the reigning German champion Walfried Winkler in one contest: on what he thought was the final lap of their race Schindler crossed the finish line and let off the throttle, only to be passed by the pack as there remained one lap in the race. Keneally's book makes reference to the factory teams from Moto Guzzi and BMW perhaps being interested in Schindler as a member of their factory teams. 

Obviously Schindler was a talented racer, and that makes him even more remarkable to us all. 



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