Schindler's list, the historic document
that contains the names of thousands of Jewish Holocaust survivors, is for sale on eBay for an initial asking price of $3 million
Launched at 9 p.m. EST on Friday, the auction will run until July 28, ABC News reported
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The owner of the document is Gary Zimet, the curator of Moments in Time, a company that buys and sells original manuscripts, letters, and signed photographs, according to its website momentsintime.com.
The document is being auctioned by Gazin Auctions.
"Some real deep pockets shop on Ebay," Eric Gazin, who runs Gazin Auctions and is listed as the item's seller, told ABC News. "We feel this type of valuable needs to be exposed to a different type of auction."
According to Gazin, there have already been several inquiries about purchasing Schindler's List, though he refused to provide any details about those who asked.
The auction is closed to the general public, open only to pre-qualified bidders – those able to prove they have the means to make the multi-million dollar purchase.
"The qualification process to bid is very stringent," Zimet told FoxNews.com. "We have to chat with their bankers to make sure they have the money," Zimet told FoxNews.com
Hoping to fetch upwards of $5 million for Schindler's list, Zimet told Fox News that "it’s too early to determine what will happen, but publicity has been the key."
"We’ve had hundreds of thousands of viewers see the piece because we put it on eBay," Zimet added. "We’re very pleased with the level of interest."
A German industrialist and member of the Nazi party during World War II, Oskar Schindler saved the lives of more than 1,000 Jews who he employed at factories he owned in areas that are now situated in Poland and the Czech Republic.
The 14-page list was written in pencil and dated April 18, 1945. It contains the names of 801 men who Schindler saved.
The nephew of Itzhak Stern, the accountant and right-hand man of Schindler, sold the list to Zimet three years ago, according to the eBay listing.
The story behind Schindler's list was made famous through director Steven Spielberg's 1993 epic film based on Australian author Thomas Keneally's book "Schindler's Ark."
Spielberg's "Schindler's List," which starred Liam Neeson as Oskar Schindler and Ben Kingsley as Itzhak Stern, won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.
Zimet defended his decision to sell the document rather than donate it considering its historic significance, by saying "A letter written by George Washington was sold recently for $1.4 million. This is no different."
"I can understand some people feeling it should be donated and not for sale, but I disagree," the businessman added. "I’m in the business of selling historical documents and this happens to be extraordinary material and there’s no reason it shouldn’t be bought and sold."
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