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Schindler's List

Essay by review  •  November 6, 2010  •  Essay  •  1,725 Words (7 Pages)  •  958 Views

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PLOT SUMMARY

The movie "Schindler's list" is a compelling, real-life depiction of the events that occurred during the 1940's. It illustrates the persecution and horrific killings of the Jewish people. It also exemplifies the hope and will of the Jewish people, which undoubtedly is a factor in the survival of their race. The most important factor however is because of the willingness of one man, Oskar Schindler, to stand out and make a difference.

The movie starts out in a Jewish home, where a Jewish family is celebrating the Sabbath. Candles are lit while songs are sung, and when the Jews leave the house, the candles slowly burn out. The German forces have just defeated the Polish, and now the Jews are being forced out of their homes. They are reporting to the train station where they register their names, and then are shipped off to Krakow. In Krakow the Jews are gathered together in the ghetto where they are forced to live in overcrowded conditions. The Judenrat, a Jewish council, organizes the Jews into working groups according to their abilities. Oskar Schindler, a German business man, visits the ghetto to talk to Itzhak Stern, a Jew who owns a pot-making factory. Oskar and Itzhak make a deal in which Schindler will take over the factory but Stern will be the plant manager. The Jews are once again sorted according to their education and working ability, those who cannot work are sent to extermination camps while some of those who are able to, reported to Schindler's factory. The Nazi's decide that all of the Jews should be confined in forced labor camps. Schindler, who is now starting to feel some empathy and responsibility towards his workers, volunteers to confine his workers in his factory.

In the next part of the film, thousands of Jews are shipped off to concentration camps. Their luggage is stolen and sorted through for valuables. Stern is mistakenly put on one of those trains, but Schindler quickly comes to his rescue. Amon Goeth is now in charge of the new labor camp in Plaszow. The Jews not only build the camp, but Goeth's immense house as well.

In the second half of the film, it is now March 13th, 1943, and the liquidation of the ghetto is taking place. Many Jews are unjustly killed as they are pulled from their houses or did not co-operate. Those who tried to hide are found and killed. The few that lived are shipped off to Plaszow. The day after the horrendous massacre, Schindler visits Plaszow. He is upset because he has no workers to run his factory. He is allowed to take most of his workers, who had not been killed, back to his factory.

Days after everyone returns to work, the sick Jews are separated from the healthy ones. Women pricked their fingers and rubbed blood on their faces in order to be healthier looking. The weak and old Jews are killed to make room for new shipments of Jewish workers. The children are placed on trucks and sent away.

The next scene in the film is Schindler's birthday. A few workers from the factory bring Schindler a birthday present and in turn he kisses one of the young Jewish girls, which broke the Race and Resettlement Act. Goeth and Oskar discuss what happened at the party and Schindler apologizes.

In April 1944, Goeth receives orders to unearth and burn more than 10,000 Jews that were killed at Plaszow and Krakow. The living Jews are forced to do this. Another order is received to move all of the Jews to a new camp to avoid the Russians. Schindler creates a plan; he digs deep into his ever decreasing finances and builds a new factory. He bargains with Goeth, and "buys" all of the Jewish workers he needs to run his factory. He draws up a list, later to be known as "Schindler's List", which includes more than 1,100 men, women, and children. Despite a mix-up, in which the train transporting the women are delayed at Auschwitz rather then Schindler's factory, all of the people arrive safely.

Now that the war is over, Schindler must flee or face prosecution. He packs a car and says goodbye to his workers, at which time they present him with a letter explaining to everyone that he saved them and a gold ring with the quotation "Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire." He then breaks down, and realizes that the car that he has could have been used as a bribe to get more people, he realizes that if he was not so greedy in trying to gain more money then he could have saved many more peoples lives. The day after he finally departs, a Russian soldier arrives announcing to the Jews that they have been liberated by the Soviet Army.

The end of the film is at Oskar Schindler's grave, in modern time. The actors who portrayed the main characters in the film and the actual people they portrayed place stones on Schindler's grave. The final shot is of a man placing a flower on the grave and then standing their contemplating it.

CHARACTER SKETCH

At the beginning of the film Oskar Schindler is portrayed as a crafty, cold-hearted businessman simply coming to Poland to take advantage of the growing source of slave labor. He immediately seizes the opportunity to make a deal with Itzhak Stern to take over his pot-making factory. He uses his shrewdness to make very good impressions on the occupations authorities. He does this by being a member of the Nazi Party, and giving the army and SS officials gifts and bribes. He becomes friends with all of the important SS and army officials and quickly calls in favors to establish himself as a businessman. Schindler's business skills are not very good and he is not good at handling his finances. So he gets Itzhak Stern to manage his finances. Schindler tries to keep the Nazi's happy while Stern managers his factory.

Schindler is resourceful. He uses the Jews labor to its fullest potential and he has a job for everyone. No one is too old or young to work for him. He doesn't kill people just because he thinks that they are not essential. When the

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