Vernier calipers used by a Jewish Polish worker in Oskar Schindler's armament factory

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Washington, United States

Vernier calipers, a measuring tool, used by Sam Klasner in Oskar Schindler's armament factory in Brünnlitz (Brnenec), in German occupied Czechoslovakia from October 1944-May 1945. The factory was a subcamp of Gross Rosen concentration camp. Schindler protected his workers from deportation, kept German camp personnel out of the camp, and did his best to provide food, although shortages were severe. In October 1944, when Schindler moved his factory from Plaszow to Brunnlitz, his workers were processed at Gross Rosen. Some were mistakenly sent to Auschwitz and had to be replaced. Sam had mechanical skills and was offered a spot on Schindler's list and sent to Brunnlitz. Sam was first imprisoned by the Germans in 1939 as a Polish soldier captured after the German invasion of Poland. When they realized he was Jewish, he was incarcerated in the Krakow ghetto. In June 1941, he was sent to Reichshof [Rzeszow] forced labor camp. In September 1942, he was transferred to the brutal Plaszow labor camp until his transfer to Gross Rosen in 1944. Schindler left the Brunnlitz camp on May 7, 1945, the day Germany surrendered. The camp was liberated May 9 by Soviet troops. Sam was sent to Poland to search for his family but found no survivors. He was nearly killed in a pogrom and left for the American zone of occupation in Germany. He learned that his family had been killed in Treblinka and Auschwitz. Sam stayed in Regensburg displaced persons camp and emigrated to the United States in 1949.


  • Title: Vernier calipers used by a Jewish Polish worker in Oskar Schindler's armament factory
  • Provenance: The calipers were donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2004 by Bruce Klasner, the son of Samuel Klasner.
  • Subject Keywords: Concentration camp inmates--Czech Republic--Brnenec--Biography. Concentration camp inmates--Poland--Plaszow--Biography. Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Poland--Personal narratives, Jewish. Jewish refugees--Germany--Biography. Righteous Gentiles in the Holocaust--Biography. World War, 1939-1945--Jews--Rescue--Personal narratives.
  • Type: Tools and Equipment
  • Rights: Permanent Collection
  • External Link: See the full record at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Medium: Brown rusted, iron L shaped, Vernier calipers. The short arm has the fixed upper part of a large and small jaw on each side. The lower jaws are attached to a thin, flat, rectangular, sliding Vernier scale with 5 incised short lines and 3 long lines. The left edge of the scale has curved finger depressions and a grooved semi-oval ridged retainer that presses downward. The scale slides along the long arm which is incised with a 160mm metric scale on the left and a 6 inch imperial scale on the right. The back of the long arm has a thin, rectangular, movable, metal probe, now rusted shut. There is a rivet in the bottom corner of the long arm.

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