17. Schindler after the war failed to find success
During the war, Schindler became a successful businessman through the act of war profiteering and the use of forced labor. After the war, he was unsuccessful in virtually everything he set his hand to, often unable to make a living. In 1949 he traveled to Argentina, where he failed as a chicken producer and later in an attempt to raise coypu, a large rodent which at the time was valued for its fur. Having failed in Argentina and still beset with his lifelong habit of excessive alcohol consumption, he abandoned his wife Emilie and returned to Germany in 1958. There further business enterprises ended in failure, including a cement factory which went bankrupt despite the ongoing construction boom in post-war Europe. By 1963 he was reduced to living on contributions given him by surviving Schindlerjuden and other charitable groups. He died in 1974.
His wife remained in Argentina for most of the rest of her life, occasionally visiting Germany and other places. She survived on pensions paid to her by Israel and West Germany. In Argentina, she was given 24-hour police protection due to threats from anti-Semitic groups. Many survivors credited her with being the true impetus behind Oskar Schindler’s protection of his workers, with one, Maurice Markheim, going so far as to say, “Behind the man, there is the woman, and I believe she was the great human being”. In the summer of 2001, she visited Berlin, dying there in October after suffering a stroke. She was buried in Germany, her husband had been buried in Israel. In 1999 Emilie told an interviewer on German television, “I saved many Jews too. More than he did”, in reference to her husband.