1961, the year the war criminal Adolf Eichmann was brought to trial in
Jerusalem, a group of Jews invited Schindler to visit Israel. The visit
aroused great interest, coupled with the trial of Eichmann, and great
efforts were made to have Schindler honoured as "righteous". The
honour came the following year on the day of his birthday, when he was
invited to plant a tree in the Avenue of the Righteous.
Every spring from 1961 until his death in 1974, Schindler Jews invited him to Israel for a couple of months, where all imaginable and unimaginable expenses were paid. Every year there were tumultuous scenes when his Jews gathered together to bid him welcome. Here he rejoiced over life, accompanied by his mistress, sleeping late every day and holding court with his friends, enjoying vodka and double cognacs in a street cafe in Tel Aviv.
His friend Martin Gosch lovingly wrote to him: "I hope the fact that you have taken an apartment in Frankfurt does not mean that you are carrying on with too many women. (One is enough! Remember, dear friend, we are no longer as young as we used to be!)."
On the 28th of April
every year a large number of his Jews gathered together to celebrate his
birthday. He always waited until everyone was seated, after which he made
a magnificent entry and embraced the children. A Schindler Jew recounts
that he loved the children like his own family. "He asked every
one of us who had children to send photos with name, birth date, and how
much they weighed. He never asked for anything for himself - but always
asked about the children."