A Hero What is a hero? Is it a rock star or an athlete? A famous speaker or
activist? Or is it someone so ordinary that does extraordinary
things? A hero can be someone who loves and cares for you, or someone
you look up to. Someone that risks their life for others is
definitely a hero, that someone is Oskar Schindler. Oskar is a hero
to over 6,000 Jews currently living across the United States and
Europe. Schindler was an normal man with an unreal power that he used
to save 1200 human lives during the Holocaust of World War II. What
was his motivation for saving so many Jews? More importantly why is
Schindler considered one of the greatest heroes of this century?
Oskar Schindler was born on April 28, 1908 in Zwitlau, which is now
part of Czech Republic. His parents, Hans and Louisa Schindler, were
deeply religious. As a result Oskar and his sister Elfriede grew up
in a strong catholic household. The Schindler family was one of the
most richest and most prominent in Zwitlau, this was because of their
success of a family owned machinery business. Schindler himself was a
very tall and handsome man. Needless to say, he was adored by all the
young women. His fancy, though, fell for a beautiful young girl named
Emily. After only six weeks of being together, they were married.
Sadly, after only a few months of marriage, Schindler began to heavily
abuse alcohol. He also had several affairs resulting in two
children. In 1929, during the Great Depression, the Schindler family
business went bankrupt. At this time, Schindler’s father left his
mother, and she died soon after. Finding himself jobless, Schindler
sought work in nearby Poland as a machinery salesmen. What would
posses someone to use their power and money by risking their own
life? How did he do it? It wasn’t easy.
Schindler started saving Jews in 1939, when he came to Krakow during
the German invasion. Looking for his own power in Krakow he opened up
a small enamel shop near the Jewish ghetto. He employed mainly Jewish
workers, which saved them from being deported to Labour camps. In
1942 Schindler found out through some of his workers that many of the
local Jews were being sent to the brutal Plazow labour camp.
Schindler had connections with the German government, which came in
handy. He convinced...