Schindler’s List: Between Fiction and Historical Reality

Released in the late 20th century, in 1993, Schindler’s List is a film based on the book of the same name by Australian author Thomas Keneally. The theme of the book and film centers on Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saved at least 1,000 Jews from death by employing them in his factory. This number is certainly approximate, as we cannot know the exact number of Jewish survivors in his factory. However, one thing is certain: the existence and character of the main character is undeniable, and the historical fact is that he existed and even saved the lives of Israelis.

The film’s director, Steven Spielberg, was a somewhat controversial figure in the world of cinema. Even the film’s origin is still debated, and this is an important feature of the film: the way the situation of Jews in Nazi Germany is depicted, the way they were treated, and the illustration of the torture they were subjected to. As for the beginning of the film, the contrast is stark. If the Jewish family in celebration of Shabbat as well as the torch of enlightenment that seems to sense the tragic fate of the Jews is colourful, then the continuation of the film takes place against a non-colored background. It’s a matter we can believe, given that the fate of the Jews is linked to the smoke of cremation from Hitler’s ovens. This decision by the director aims to wrap the film in a historical documentary. The only thing that comes alive is the girl’s red coat, a character from the memoirs of Zelig Burkhut, a survivor of the Plaszow camp.

The film is a spin-off, beginning with flames raging and anticipating the massacre of Jews at Auschwitz and beyond. In the end, the film’s humanity appears again when Schindler allows Jews in his factory to celebrate Shabbat. Thus we can say that the fate of the Jews, no longer confined to gas chambers with Hurricane B or concentration camps, became to some extent the fate of a German industrialist who freed them and saved his fate. As for historical truth in this context, things are trustworthy, given that the last survivors of Nazi Germany, the refugees in his factory, gave him their full appreciation. As the film’s leitmotif, we’re dealing with dehumanization and dehumanization.

Oskar Schindler's tomb jpg jpeg

The movie starts from a completely real fact. In addition to the character of Oskar Schindler, the director in the film mentions Germany’s invasion of Poland and its rapid conquest as it happened. The immediate effect was the arrival of a huge number of Jews in Krakow. At the same time, the film takes place on two levels: depicting the miserable and living life of Jews who came only with hand luggage, a few relatives/friends, and dance evenings from the major SS offices. . Thus, an enormous difference emerges between what was happening within Germany, with the exodus of many of the population, and what was happening at the front. Schindler was left alone in an earthly hell.

The situation of the Jews is mentioned extensively in a few key moments of the film: the mockery of Jews in broad daylight, the slander and insults they are subjected to when SS generals force them to leave their homes, etc. German propaganda is also described at a high level: in the evening there was talk of the Roman Empire as a nation and people returning to Germany, in terms of parades, children appeared on the front lines, etc. Nazi Germany’s cruelty to the Jews was not limited to physical or verbal violence, but also cultural violence. An incident was remembered in which a Jew stood upright in front of a SS man and said to him: “I am studying history and literature. Since when did you become superfluous?” Some said they were writers, but this profession was not on the list of German interests, so the occupation of the tank industry ended. If they are followers or have studied the humanities, they will not get a handyman card or stamp on it. Those who passed this interrogation got a profession at random. All this was happening under the dismissive eyes of O. Schindler, who realized that Nazi Germany needed factories and industries. Thus he found a way to employ them in his enamel project and save them from death. Nazi Germany did not care about culture, it preferred only their culture. Proof of this is a conversation between a general and a Jew: “How long are schools closed?” He said: I don’t know! It’s not necessary.”

Initially, this factory wanted to produce money and capital for Schindler to get rich. Later, his personal interest was set aside because he knew how to work with the Jews. In the end, he gave all his accumulated wealth to save his life. The Jews, in turn, compiled a list honoring his memory and deeds. After all, the title of the movie is pathetic. It didn’t list, though he initially put together a 13-page page with names of Jews to be employed in his factory, but rather a movie of destinies that takes an unexpected turn. At the end of the film, Schindler receives a gold ring engraved by the Jews he saved, and we are told that the inscription is from the Talmud – “He who saves one life saves the whole world.” The quote is indeed impressive, but it does not seem to be what is stipulated in the Talmud. The original verse says: “He who has preserved the spirit of Israel, the Bible gives it to him, as if he had preserved a whole world.” The Talmud only praises the preservation of Jewish life.

Library staff in Sydney have found a list of the names of more than 800 Jews rescued by businessman Oskar Schindler, among the manuscripts of Australian writer Thomas Keneally. The 13-page list is a copy of the original, and was written on April 18, 1945, in one of the last days of World War II.

Leave a Comment