What Makes A Hero Essay

2700 words - 11 pages

What Makes a Hero

When most people think of a hero, they think of some extraordinary, not an ordinary person with a heart. Oskar Schindler was one such person. The movie Schindler's List, directed by Steven Spielberg, is the story of how one man, Schindler, saved over 1,000 lives, and is a cinematic masterpiece. Spielberg truly brings Schindler to life, with all his good and bad points intact; the movie is very true to life, and gives the viewer an excellent idea of what Schindler was like. What Schindler did by saving so many people has had consequences that far surpass the immediate impact. Doing an analysis if the true life of Oskar Schindler, a point-by-point comparison of the movie against what really happened, and the effects of Schindler's actions on society then and now, allows people to understand the lasting impact a person's actions can have on not only individual people, but society as a whole.
Oskar Schindler was born on April 28, 1908, an ethnic German, to a middle class Catholic family, in Moravia (now known as Svitavy) in the Czech Republic. His family belonged to the German-speaking community in the Sudetenland. While growing up, some of Schindler's schoolmates and childhood friends were Jewish, although he never formed lasting or close friendships with them. He attended German grammar school, and studied engineering, and his family expected him to follow in his father's footsteps and eventually take control of the family farm-machinery plant. Like most of the other German-speaking children in his area, Schindler was a member of Konrad Henlein's Sudeten German party. However, after Germany annexed the Sudetenland in 1938, he joined the Nazi party. ("German Rescuers...").
When Schindler was 18, he married Emilie Schindler, and although he loved her dearly, he was a shameless womanizer and cheated on her often. He was always looking for a way to make money, preferably the cheapest way possible, and he was also known for his heavy drinking. (Bulow "Why..."). After the war broke ou8t in September of 1939, Schindler, who was thirty-one at the time, showed up in occupied Krakow. Krakow was an ancient city, and home to some 60,000 Jews, and was also the seat of the German occupation administration, which was called the Generalgouvernement. In October of 1939, he took over a rundown enamelware factory that had previously belonged to a Jew. ("German Rescuers...") (Bulow "Oscar...").
By the end of 1942, Schindler's enamelware factory had become a mammoth enamel and ammunitions production plant. His plant occupied about 45, 000 square meters, and employed almost 800 men and women. Of the workers, 370 were Jews from the ghetto in Krakow, which the Germans had established after they occupied the city. Schindler never developed any ideologically motivated resistance to the Nazis ("German Rescuers..."), which made his future actions all the more noble.
At one point, Schindler was recruited by the German Intelligence...

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