Gosch: Maybe there were more, but I am interested more in what happened. now, Oskar Schindler knew you were a Rabbi. Did Schindler come to you? Was it his idea?
Rabbi Levertov: He came to me. "Rabbi, we have these people from Gollinschau, etc. There are so and so many dead. Do everything your religion demands." I told him we need wooden boards (the Jewish law says the body has to be on a wooden board). And Schindler said from where will we get them - we would have to do many things that Leipold (the Commandant of the camp) won't...And we need a big place for the dead people - the Jewish law says.( There follows a discussion including Mrs. Levertov explaining the intricacies of Jewish law). Rabbi Levertov continues: And Schindler let me do everything that had to be done under Jewish law that you want to do. He was afraid that Leipold might find out about it.
Gosch: What he really said was "Never mind Leipold, we're going to do it anyway." Now, not only did you need his permission, you also needed a Minyan (10 people to help) and workers to help you physically with the service....
Rabbi Levertov: We didn't make it in one day. It took maybe two days, to prepare the burial.
Gosch: When the bodies were ready for burial, were they put into coffins.
Rabbi Levertov: No, no coffins. The graves were dug and then they were lined with wooden boards.
Gosch: Where was he able to find the ground for the burial? How did he arrange that?
Rabbi Levertov: Schindler went with me and we looked over several places (within the factory grounds, not in a cemetery).
Gosch: There was a great deal of ground within the camp itself. And so finally you selected the ground....
Rabbi Levertov: And he didn't want Leipold to know which place.
Gosch: This was very dangerous for Schindler to do, because if Leipold found out about it, everything would go right up in smoke (and he did find out a few days....) Now the ceremony was performed, the burial occurred, a proper Minyan of ten people was there.
Rabbi Levertov: But more important was to prepare the bodies - you can do without a Minyan. But I did all the prayers...everything... but the work was before, to keep everybody in place, not to break any bones... the entire Jewish Orthodox preparation and the actual ceremony. Schindler said, don't hurry, do everything, what you know, what you need. The burial service happened during the day. It was out in the open, where anybody could see it....
Gosch: I'm trying to find out where Leipold was, what Schindler did about Leipold.
Rabbi Levertov: Schindler got him drunk, made a party for him -
Gosch: Distracted him for two days so that you could do this.
Rabbi Levertov: He found out about it a few days after the burial.
Note: The Rabbi is leaving now and I am going to pick up the interview with him when I