Oskar Schindler And Schindler's List Essay

1637 words - 7 pages

The Jewish Holocaust was a tragic event in world history. The containment and extermination of the Jews and other minority groups began on January 30, 1933 and lasted until May 8, 1945. During this horrific period in time millions of lives were lost. The Jewish community alone lost nearly a million people per year. In total throughout all of Europe sixty-three percent of the Jewish population was estimated to have been killed (Rutgers University). That's a total of 5,962,129 Jews. Only 3,546,211 Jewish people survived the Holocaust. 1600 of those 3,546,211 Jews lived to share their stories of horror and survival because of a greedy businessman who needed workers to make him money. That man was Oskar Schindler. Oskar was a drinker, a gambler, a cheater, a liar, and a money hungry egoist with a taste for the luxuries that life had to offer. And he was a Nazi, go figure. But according to Steven Spielberg, director of Schindler's List, Oskar Schindler was a decent man, not a saint, just a decent man.
Oskar Schindler was born on April 28, 1908, in Svitavy (Zwittau), Moravia, it is located on the Czechoslovakian side of the German border, with the border running through the town (United Holocaust Memorial Museum). He spent his youth working in various factories and other business ventures like opening a driving school and selling government property in Brno (UHMM). He married Emilie Pelzl in 1928 before joining the Czechoslovakian army at the beginning of WWII where he rose to the rank of lance corporal in the reserves. A year later he joined the Nazi party. It was only after the invasion and occupation of Poland that he moved to Krakow. In the film he made this decision to take advantage of the new business opportunities that would become available. But in reality Oskar was transferred there with another Abwehr agent named Josef “Sepp” Aue to open businesses to serve as Abwehr fronts (Crowe 88). The apartment that Oskar Schindler lived in was the same which was accurately showed in the film, but according to Thomas Keneally and Robin O' Neil it was not the first apartment he would have acquired in Krakow. He used his connections with the Nazis and with the black market to get what he wanted. His intention was not to save the Jews but to make money. But to make money he needed his workers to be healthy, so he treated them better then other factories to keep them stronger and able to produce more goods. At least that's how it all began for Mr. Schindler.
The horrifying and heart wrenching landscape of the Jewish concentration camps have very little documentation outside of countless survivor stories (Marrus 126). Across the world the idea of the Holocaust was denied from the Americas, to Japan, to parts of Europe like Germany and Poland. In Poland, where one of the most active concentration camps was held, they only recognized that the Nazis were the “villains” but there is no mention that the Jewish were the victims of the Nazi...

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