Schindler's List

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Six million Jewish residents of Eastern Europe were exterminated during the Holocaust of the 1940’s. Families were taken out of their homes and put into ghettos, which were large prison type establishments that housed dozens of people in one small apartment. They were then separated from their families, “men to the left and women to the right”, and were placed in concentration camps, where most of them were killed and cremated. In 1993, Steven Spielberg directed a film, Schindler’s List, which depicted the life of one man who risked his life and money to save the few Jewish families he could.

In the movie Schindler's List, the story of the Holocaust is told from a dual point of view; that of the Jewish people who are downtrodden, rounded up and taken to camps, murdered and degraded by the Nazis, and that of the German industrialist who takes it upon himself to save a large number of Jewish people from their fate. The question raised is not as much why does he help, as why everyone else can seem to turn away. Some of the reasons have been given before--many of the most culpable, the Nazi bureaucrats who assisted directly in the deportation and murder of millions of people, argued that they were under orders and had no choice, and they pleaded during their trials that they had all acted under orders. The film tells the story of a man who did not leave it to others and who saw it as a personal need to do what he could to alleviate if not change the situation. Much of the critical response to the film has centered on issues related to this central character and to why he acted as he did.

Oskar Schindler is, in the beginning of the movie, not actually aware of the full extent of the killing of Jews and the powerful anti-Semitic outlook of his comrades. His ties relating to the affairs of the Nazi party and his loyalty to his country shield him from this knowledge. Thus, it can be concluded that in the beginning of the movie Schindler does not fully grasp the...
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