Schindler’s list is a film directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg, a popular American film producer, about the heroic act of a German businessman, Oskar Schindler, who saved the lives of more than a thousand Polish-Jews during the Nazi elimination of Jews in Europe during the Second World War. Oskar Schindler happened to be a member of the Nazi party and a greedy business man but when he saw the misery and needles destruction of the Jews in Europe his heart was moved and he dedicated his resources to saving as many as possible. Schindler’s act was as heroic and sacrificial as can ever be and the film by Steven Spielberg has been recognized as one of the greatest films ever made. Schindler’s list was released in 1993. It has won numerous awards including seven Oscars and seven BAFTAs. The film raked in over 320 million US dollars on a budget of about 22 million US dollars. Oskar Schindler saved more than a thousand Polish Jews by employing them in his factory.
The Plot of the Schindler’s List
The film had it plot set in Krakow, a city in Poland situated on the Vistula River. After the invasion of Poland the Nazis had forced the Polish Jews into the congested Krakow slum. Oskar Schindler arrived hoping to make brisk business only to be confronted with the gory experiences of Polish Jews being eliminated through being transported to concentration camps such as the one in nearby Auschwitz. He then decided to save as many as he could. When the Germans realized they were losing the war they decided on exterminating the remaining Jews in a hurry.
How Oskar Schindler used a Series of Bribes to save the Jews
When it became obvious that the Nazis were on the losing side and Germany will fall, an order was given to Second Lieutenant Amon Goeth, the military officer who was entrusted with constructing the Plaszow concentration camp, to transport the Polish Jews to Auschwitz concentration camp for extermination. Oskar Schindler then bribed Goeth to allow him to transport the Polish Jews in his employment to the new munitions factory he had built in his home town in Zwittau-Brinnlitz. That was how he created a list of the names of Polish-Jews which came to be known as the Schindler’s List. However, the unfortunate thing happened when the train conveying the Jews on Schindler’s List were mistakenly re-directed to Auschwitz-Birkenau and Schindler had to bribe Rudolf Hess with diamond to effect their transportation to the intended place.
Through a series of bribes, Schindler successfully protected these people but ran out of cash as Germany lost the war and surrendered in 1945. Schindler had to flee the advancing Red Army to avoid being taken prisoner deciding instead to head west and surrender to the Allied Forces. He successfully persuaded the SS Guards not to kill the Jews contrary to an order from above. The Jews gave him a signed document attesting to how he had saved them as well as a ring with a Jewish inscription which states that whoever saves one life, saves the entire world.
The theme of this film is the struggle and the contrast between good and evil. Goeth is depicted as evil while Schindler is a good person. The film Schindler’s List has been critically acclaimed by the academia, the media, other film makers, and the public as well as Holocaust survivors.