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Schindler's List: Fact vs. Fiction

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May 12, 2009
by: aru
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Basic Information

    Director: Steven Spielberg
    Writers: Thomas Keneally (book), Steven Zaillian (screenplay)
    Release Date: December 15, 1993
    Genre: Biography/Drama/History/War
    Tagline: Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire

Plot Synopsis

This film is a biography of Oskar Schindler and is about his life during the Holocaust. He starts off as a womanizing, German businessman from the Nazi party who hopes to make money as a war profiteer. Not knowing much about the business, he employs a Jewish man, Itzak Stern, who has connections in the Jewish community to help him out. Because Jewish workers are cheap, Stern helps create false documents for Jewish workers to work at Schindler’s factory. This saves many Jews from having to enter deadly concentration camps. The list of the names of the people saved by Schindler is known as “Schindler’s List”.

Through bribery, Schindler is able to build a sub-camp for even more workers. Originally, creating the sub-camp to make more money, Schindler begins to order Stern to save as many lives possible. When an order to move all Jews in Krakow to Auschwitz comes, Schindler finds a way to move all his workers to a safe area away from the “final solution”. Many problems occur with the movement of the workers to Schindler’s new factory. This includes how the Jewish women and children workers were accidentally sent to the Auschwitz camp and how Nazi soldiers try to hold the children back. This is solved by Schindler’s bribery to release them and excuse of needing children’s small fingers to work with small parts in his factory. With his quick wit, he saves many lives from the horrors of Auschwitz.  

Just as the war in Europe ends, Oskar Schindler runs out of money. Nazi SS officers were given a final order to kill all of Schindler’s Jewish workers, but Schindler convinces them not to by saying, “return to your families as men and not murderers”. As a “profiteer of slave labor”, Schindler had to flee the advancing Red Army of. He leaves by car at night and bids farewell to his workers. He begins crying about all the things he could have sold to save more lives and feels ashamed. At the end of the film, they show present day, now elderly, Jews who were saved my Oskar Schindler’s efforts. They each set a stone by his grave as they pass. Oskar Schindler had saved the lives of over 1,100 Jews during the Holocaust and now over 6,000 Jews in Poland are descendants of his workers.

Fact vs. Fiction

This film is a true story of Oskar Schindler and is fairly accurate according to his life. It closely follows Oskar Schindler’s biography, “Schindler’s Ark”, by Thomas Keneally. The movie gives facts about other real characters such as Schindler’s accountant, Itzak Stern, and SS officer, Amon Goeth. Many present day descendants of Schindler’s workers and now elderly workers, contributed facts about Oskar Schindler that only they would know. This film gives an accurate portrayal of the cruelty and mistreatment of Jews during the Holocaust.