Filmed by Steven Spielberg in 1993, Schindler’s List touches the depths of the soul with a compelling story. As one of the most powerful and morally difficult films in modern cinematography, it received many awards and recognition from critics. This masterpiece has become significant not only for Jewish people but for all mankind. It is based on the biographic novel by Thomas Keneally and depicts the truth about the cruelty and antihumanism of the war period for the twentieth century and the future generation. The film describes the events of the Second World War, particularly the Holocaust, giving a significant emphasis on the Jewish tragedy of exterminating the nation. The protagonist of the film is Oskar Schindler who determines the course of events in the movie. It begins with the Second World War when the German Nazis begin a large resettlement of Polish Jews from their homes to the ghetto of Krakow. At the same time, Oskar Schindler arrives in the city, having an intention to increase his profits for the needs that have risen during the war. At the beginning of the Second World, Oskar Schindler, the German industrialist, organizes a factory in Krakow. The cheapest labor is the Jews from the ghetto. However, those of them who end up this factory are lucky. The film is about the terrible power of the war, the invincible human spirit, and a fearless man and hero, who, despite his membership in a Nazi Party, shows compassion for the victims of genocide and saves more than a thousand lives.
The History of Oskar Schindler’s Humanity
The history of humanity of Oskar Schindler has become the basis for many books and the film Schindler’s List. Oskar Schindler came from a middle-class family. At thirty, he was already wealthy and successful merchant, adventurer, cheerful player, and true German; he belonged to a righteous world that deprived more than a thousand Jews of life in gas chambers r (Lowery and Roberts). Oskar was a successful entrepreneur, but during the Great Depression, he became bankrupt. In 1939, Schindler joined the Nazi Party and began to garner useful contacts in the ruling elite of Nazi Germany (Crowe). In the film, the viewer sees the icon with a Nazi symbol which is always attached to his clothes, demonstrating his loyalty to the Nazi Party. At the beginning of the Second World War, he opened a factory for the production of metal utensils that were supplied to the front. He bought a plant in Krakow which, before the occupation of Poland by the Nazis, belonged to a Jew. Oskar Schindler’s workers, even in the hardest times, had decent working conditions and well-nourished. Oskar banned the use of violence against them and did not allow the Gestapo to come with verifications, referring to the inadmissibility of interrupting the working process. While working for Schindler, the Jews felt safe and happy. At the end of 1944, Schindler moved more than a thousand of his workers to Brünnlitz, Moravia (Crowe). The list of the workers’ names was created for the export, which began to be called the Schindler’s list. It saved the lives of those people; otherwise, they would have gone to the camps of death. After the end of World War Second, Germany, Poland, and other occupied territories were under the power of Soviet troops, and the saved Jews received the freedom. In the postwar years, Oskar Schindler immigrated to Argentina (Lowery and Roberts). Jews who escaped with his support traveled around the world and often met with him. Oskar Schindler and his wife Emily were honored by the State of Israel as a Righteous Among the Nations (Fensch). The Jews, who survived the Nazis, attended and thanked Oskar (Lowery and Roberts). At the insistence of the survivors, he was buried in the holy place.
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Oskar Schindler and His List
The true story of the mysterious German businessman Oskar Schindler, who became an unlikely savior of more than a thousand Jews during the barbarian Nazi reign, is the basis of the film’s plot. Oskar appears in the movie as a strange and rich person, who immediately gains the attention of spectators. He moves to Poland because he wants to open a factory that produces pots with enamel coatings for the Nazi army and once belonged to Jew. Oskar is a representative business manager, and his faithful servant and accountant is extremely intelligent and knowledgeable Jew Itzhak Stern (Schindler’s List). The flourishing and the high-yielding of the factory depend on Stern despite Oskar’s contacts with fascist officials and their local representatives, as well as the power in the black market. Schindler loves luxury, pleasure, parties, games, music, dancing, elite alcohol, and gorgeous women. Every night, he has a noisy celebration, plays with high-ranking SS officials, and dances with beautiful Polish women (Schindler’s List). On the one hand, he resembles all officials of the occupation administration and their employees. On the other hand, he has a good heart, a bright mind, and a humane attitude towards his workers, especially Jews. Schindler does not have grounds and no right to oppose the Nazi regime. However, his consciousness, soul, and heart transform from a businessman to a savior because he becomes an observer of the senseless cruelty of the Nazi persecution of weak and defenseless Jews. Moreover, his main goal of arriving in Poland and making big money for whole his life becomes less important since he wants to protect as many people from the hands of the Nazis as he and his money could. Finally, in his attempts to save the lives of Jewish workers, he is not only ready to leave all the money and value possessions but also ready to sacrifice his own life.
The symbolic list is a manifestation of the change in the nature of Schindler and displays his growing compassion for people. The Schindler’s list was compiled and dated April 18, 1945, and consisted of 14 pages (Fensch). Itzhak Stern, Schindler’s accountant assisted in writing the list that was obtained from Stern’s nephew. It contains a list of names of Jewish workers of the Schindler’s factory in occupied Czechoslovakia; there were only 801 names in it. They were taken from the Nazi concentration camp Plaszow, located in occupied Poland (Fensch). The first list was made in the fall of 1944 by Schindler, Stern, and the prisoner Mietek Pemper, who was appointed as personal secretary of the commandant of the concentration camp Amon Göth (Fensch). The list was a document of salvation and protection of the workers, who were relocated from the ghetto where the Nazi army killed or redirected to the death camps to the country of Schindler’s homeland. Unfortunately, those Jews who were not included in the list died Auschwitz (Fensch). Schindler, who had already given a bribe to protect the Jews who worked at his factory, persuaded Geta to allow him to transport his labor force to Judah where he had moved his factory. It saved the prisoners from death. A humane act in the form of a list saved the victims of the Nazi massacre and the descendants of Jews rescued through the efforts of Schindler.
Jews and World War II
The events that took place during the Second World War are one of the most significant historical events for Europeans and Americans. World War II is viewed mainly through the prism of the Jewish tragedy. The film depicts the lives of Jews in occupied Poland during the war period. Jews who lived in the Polish state had political parties, schools, theaters, newspapers, scientific institutes and publishing houses. The representatives of Judaism were mostly traders and handicraftsmen. They also owned factories where the Jewish employees worked. After the Germany invasion, Jews suffered from repression, persecution, torture, and killing (Nagorski). The elimination of Jews was the goal of the Germans during the Second World War, but the way of solving the Jewish question transformed gradually. The destruction of millions of Jews in death camps and the fatal execution of hundreds of thousands of Jews in German forced labor camps signified the Holocaust period (Nagorski). German occupiers tortured and oppressed the local population of Krakow, persecuted or expelled 70,000 Jewish residents, and eventually forced more than 15,000 to live in a ghetto. Every day, the Nazis received orders to kill the Jews. Thousands of them were sent to the camps of Auschwitz and Belzec or to the forced labor camp of Plaszow, which was built on two Jewish cemeteries (Gruber). The first crimes against Polish Jews were committed during the hostilities against believers in Judaism. Another attack against the Jews was to the application of the racist law against them. The film vividly depicts those ordered to wear the bandages with the Star of David (Schindler’s List). They were obliged to work in the forced labor camps. After, they were forced to move to the ghetto without the permission to leave. Moreover, the movie shows that the process of isolating the Jewish population in ghettos was accompanied by nationalization: personal belongings, gold, jewelry, paintings, valuables of everyday life, flats, or businesses were allocated to the Germans (Schindler’s List). The authorities in the ghetto belonged to the Germans and were carried out through the Jewish councils and the Jewish police. The inhabitants of the ghetto suffered from hunger, overpopulation, and illness. The streets were buried with corpses or people dying from hunger and exhaustion. In the ghetto, there was a huge social inequality. The elite belonged to the rich who sold their pre-war property or collaborated with the Germans, smugglers, and owners of expensive restaurants. The Second World War dramatically changed the lives of the Jewish people, forcing them to leave their homes, to give their property to the Germans, to live in the ghetto, and to obey the Nazi authorities. The film as an epic historical picture vividly displays the moments of life and the enslavement of Jews during the war period.
Schindler’s List (1993) is a heartbreaking picture that focuses on the true story about the extermination of the Jews during the Second World War and the human act of the German entrepreneur Oskar Schindler. Schindler had the qualities that helped him to understand the suffering of others. He managed to evacuate more than a thousand Jews from the death camps. The film shows cunning, enterprising, corrupted, permissive, and obsessive mania for killing the Jews. Oskar Schindler managed to change his attitude towards Jews, saving many of them from the grasp of the Nazi Party. Undoubtedly, his collaboration with the Nazis could be condemned. People can find dozens of motives to consider Oskar Schindler a villain, but the Jews rescued by him are still grateful for his actions. Their lives and the lives of their children and grandchildren are worth justifying every step that he made. The film reflects the opposition between the will of force, tolerance, desperation, humanity, and goodness of the people and the notion of cruelty, torture, murder, fanaticism, and evil of the Nazis.