The film did not depict Mrs. Reinhard directly; rather, it showed Schindler hiring every person who auditioned for him, with his business manager, Itzhak Stern, portrayed by Ben Kingsley, performing many secretarial functions.
Mrs. Reinhard was never secretive about her role, but it did not come to light publicly until 2007, when she was 92 and moving to Israel from New York, where she had settled after the war. She told of her Schindler connection to the Jewish Agency for Israel, a nonprofit Israeli group that was helping her resettle. When she landed in Israel, she was mobbed by the news media and became an instant celebrity.
She was born Carmen Koppel on Jan. 15, 1915, in Wiener Neustadt, Austria. Her mother, Frieda (Klein) was a homemaker and her father, Emil Koppel, was a businessman. He was also an opera fan and named her for Bizet’s “Carmen,” but she never liked it. Her father later agreed to change it to Mimi, the heroine of Puccini’s opera “La Bohème.”
Before enrolling at the University of Vienna to study languages and literature, she took stenography so that she could take lecture notes in shorthand.
“I never learned to type,” she told The New York Times in 2007, though on Schindler’s list she categorized herself as a “schreibkraft,” or typist.
By 1936 she had married Joseph Weitmann (the original spelling of his surname) and lived in Krakow, where they had their son, Sasha, who was originally named Alexander. In 1939, when Hitler invaded Poland, they smuggled the toddler to Hungary to live with relatives. She and her husband were confined to Krakow’s Jewish ghetto. Mr. Weitmann was shot to death when he tried to escape, and she was sent to the Plaszow forced-labor camp in 1942.
With the Red Army bearing down on Krakow in 1944, the Germans were in retreat and planned to send many of the remaining Jews to Auschwitz, where they almost certainly faced liquidation. At this point, Schindler stepped in and persuaded the Nazis that his essential workers — of whom Ms. Reinhard was one — should be moved instead to a camp in Czechoslovakia, where they could produce munitions for the German war machine.
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