eBay is auctioning off a powerful piece of history -- one of four surviving copies of the original Schindler's list. And that's the actual list we're talking about, not a copy of the movie about German industrialist Oskar Schindler's attempt to save Jews from the Nazis by employing them at his factory.
The date April 18, 1945 appears in pencil at the top of the 14-page document, which lists 801 male names. It was typed up by Itzhak Stern, Schindler's accountant and "right hand man," who was played in Steven Spielberg's 1993 film by Ben Kingsley.
Stern gave the list to his nephew, who sold it to a private collector in 2011. "Now this collector wishes to sell it," one of the list's sellers, California collector Gary Zimet, told the New York Post.
Zimet and his co-seller, Eric Gazin, say they decided to go the online route for its broad reach.
"We decided to sell the list on eBay because it has over 100 million worldwide members, and this is a global story," Gazin told the Post. "There are billionaires using the site, wealthy celebrities. We like the platform."
The auction opened Thursday night at a starting bid of $3 million; the sellers say they hope the list will go for as much as $5 million. The winning bidder will receive an affidavit from Stern's nephew confirming its validity, Gazin said.
"This exceedingly rare original Schindler's List is the only one ever on the market," notes the eBay auction page. Three other copies of the lists are known to be in institutional hands, two at an Israeli Holocaust memorial museum and one at the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington.
"Don't miss your chance to own a piece of history that has inspired many on the difference one person can make in the face of great danger," the auction page continues.
Schindler is credited with saving as many as 1,200 Jews from the Nazis. Of the "Righteous Gentiles" who took great personal risks to save Jews, he is probably the most well-known.