During a very dark time in history, during World War II, Oskar Schindler saved
the lives of thousands of Jews by employing them in his factories, he had little to gain
and everything to lose by saving these Jews but he was a courageous individual who did
the right thing when others wouldn’t.
Oskar Schindler was and opportunist and a businessman. He was one of many
who sought to make a profit from the German invasion of Poland. He gained ownership
of an enamelware factory and he employed around 1,000 Jews, At first he was only
motivated by money, Jewish labor was extremely cheap, but it later turned into him
helping and shielding his workers without regards of the cost. Oskar would claim to SS
officers that unskilled workers were essential to his factory even though they were not.
Under his employment his workers were treated with somewhat respect and were never
beaten, let alone killed. The special status of his factory also became a big factor in his
efforts to help save his workers from the work and death camps. When his workers were
threatened with deportation to these camps, he would simply claim exemptions for them,
stating that even women, children and handicapped persons were necessary for his
Schindler’s Jewish workers weren’t just things to him, they were human beings
and he used all his skills to help protect them. He called them his Schindlerjuden,
(Schindler’s Jews) and he often got them out of very difficult situations. After he
witnessed the 1942 raid on the Krakow Ghetto, where he was appalled to see many of his
Jewish workers being murdered, he began to work increasingly hard to help protect his
workers. One-account states that two Gestapo men came to Schindler demanding he give
up a family who he had forged identify papers for. After three hours, some drinking and
his charm the two Gestapo men left without the family or the...