Oskar Schindler was a German industrialist during World War II. As a greedy businessman, he was looking to profit from the times. He took over an enamelware factory in Krakow Poland, after Germany invaded Poland in 1939. He used cheap Jewish labor in his factory to manufacture and sell pots and pans to the German Army. By 1941, he had become very wealthy from his efforts. He had power, prestige, and wealth beyond compare – he had it all, and gave little thought to what (or whose) expense he had gained it.
In the height of the war, Oskar Schindler recognized that he could use his power and prestige to do more good by saving people’s lives rather than just by making money. As the persecution of the Jews increased, Schindler felt compelled to save lives by hiring the Jewish people to work for him in his factory. If a Jewish person was not considered skilled or useful, they were in danger of being sent off to death camps. Oskar Schindler would hire many Jews (skilled or unskilled) to prevent them from being sent to their death. Not only did he employ them, he also housed them in his own facility.
Schindler would use his networking skills and presentation with the Nazis to his advantage. In 1943, the Nazis moved Schindler’s workers to a concentration camp at Plaszow, near Krakow. To protect his workers from the violence and starvation at Plaszow, Schindler convinced the SS (the elite Nazi Party) to build a branch camp at his factory. Here his workers could be considered productive and useful to the Nazi Party because they were manufacturing military supplies. This was just one example of how he used his charisma to convince the Nazis to spare his Jewish workers’ lives.
Then in 1944, the Russian army was approaching and the SS planned to close Plaszow and the branch camp. The workers were to be sent to a death camp, but Schindler talked the SS into letting him open a new factory in Czechoslavakia. He made a list of 1,100 Jewish workers whom he wanted to work at this...