posts 16 - 28 of 28
boston, massachusetts, US
Posts: 15

Schindler's List.

Unfortunately, my post glitched when posting it and I lost everything I had previously written, so I am going to try to encapsulate everything I said:

When Schindler was talking to Goeth, he used the word "pardoned". I believe that is a synonym for "spared". Schindler's dynamic character shows a range of motivations. He first believed power lay in assets, but that changed as the war became too important, more important than his money ever was. He first viewed his workers as simple worker bees, but as we saw he eventually did all he could to keep them safe- to spare them. I believe his view of power shifted from money to the ability to change lives and to help those in need. Goeth, however (what a disgusting individual) viewed power as the ability to make people do his literal bidding. He saw the Jews as objects, as literal animals. We even viewed him hunting them as such. Especially during the scene where he woke up and began shooting Jews within the concentration camp, he showed no remorse. It was almost like a game to him. It was terrible to watch, the way he woke up, did some stretches, and then began shooting people with no reaction whatsoever.

Closer to the beginning of the film, we see an interaction between the Jewish military men and the Jewish common folk. While the common folk called the man a slave, he called himself smart. In all honesty, I see the man's reasoning here. He was doing what he had to for confirmed survival (confirmed to an extent). If I were in their place, I would probably be one to join the force somehow to avoid the camps and my own death. However, I would draw the line at killing, or even beating others. That simply goes against my morals too much, and I rather die before I take another person's life.

I believe Schindler took the actions he took because he began to see how impactful his actions were. When we saw the scene between the woman who had come to save her parents and Schindler, at first he says "people die! what am I supposed to do about it?" However, I think a switch was flipped in that moment. He realized that saving those two lives, even only two, was two greater than nothing. Something was better than nothing. At the end of the film, we watch him break down, realizing that what he did could never be enough. Yet, he had so many people surrounding him, all of which were grateful to him to an immense amount. Those 1100 (about) were more than nothing, and that meant something to his workers. I believe his actions also shifted as he matured from a money-hungry capitalist.

My question for Rena: Although I imagine there is no way to go back to normal life after the war, I ask you, what did you do to create a sense of normalcy in your life again? Where did you move to? What kind of support was there for Jews post-war? Thank you.

Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 12

Oskar Schlinder’s view of power is the ability to forgive and have restraint. Amon Goeth believes that having the ability to control and harm is having power. In a scene in the movie, Goeth repeatedly fires a gun and even gets a different one to try to end the rabbi’s life. He becomes increasingly angry with every shot not fired. He ultimately strikes the rabbi. His reaction of getting angry is due to the fact that he was not able to get that high from having the power of taking someone else’s life. During the after party conversation with Schindler, Goeth directly says that control is power. Schindler disagrees and tells a story of an emperor and a thief. The emperor allows the thief to live, knowing that he could have killed him. Oskar Schindler relates that as power.

I don’t think there is a place where I can say that something the Jewish people did is ultimately “bad” or “good”. People did what they did to survive. Who am I to blame them? They were living in fear. There was no choice that could have been made that would 100% save them from death. They did whatever they thought gave them the best chance of survival. I personally could never sell anyone out. I would rather die than be the reason someone else dies. If I was ever in a situation where someone I know lives in exchange for knowledge of another person’s location, I don’t know what I would do then. I will feel guilt either way.

I believe that Schlinder starts to change because he starts working closely with Jewish people. Itzahak Stern was a crucial part to this. I think this change starts when the man with one arm was killed and the Nazis were discussing his death. When Schindler first encounters the man, he discovers that he only has one arm. He questions Stern and asks why he was in his workforce. Stern tells him that the man is very useful, but Schindler continues to ask why. We see a shift in his attitude when he was at the table with other Nazis. Instead of agreeing that the one-armed man was slowing down production, he exclaimed that he was an essential worker, something that Stern told him earlier. He was heroic. At any point in time he could have been caught. Later in the movie, it was said that his production of artillery shells was not passing quality control. He did not double down and punsih anyone or change anything, he said that production should continue as it is. The artillery shells were used to harm and/or kill anyone that did not side against the Jewish people. He knew that because there would be less production of those items, there is a chance that there will be a person saved.

How has your life been dealing with the trauma from the Holocaust? Do you find that there are still some things you are unable to do due to it?

Posts: 18

The film was both heartbreaking and eye opening. There were, at some points, gruesome, uncomfortable and hard to watch scenes but it was a good movie overall. I learned a lot about Oskar Schindler and what Jewish people endured in the Holocaust, although this is only the tip of the iceberg, as the film only focuses on a small group of the millions of Jews that were persecuted.

When Schindler talks about Amon Goeth, he says that true power is the ability to “pardon”. His view of power is having all justifications to kill yet still not going through with it. He means that power is the ability to let someone go without severe consequences. When Goeth hears this, he laughs at Schindler and doesn’t take it seriously at all. His view of power is the ability to kill, as shown when he was shooting Jews from his balcony like it was all a game. However, later in the film we see him pardon a Jewish boy who was cleaning a bathtub, showing that Schindler’s words might’ve actually instilled some meaning in him.

In the film, many moral and ethical lines were crossed in order to save lives, and it isn’t something to be judged upon, as lives were at stake. Personally, though, I would draw the line at putting other people in danger to save myself. In the film we saw a little boy trying to hide from the Nazis and everywhere he looked people would tell him that there’s no space for him. I can’t imagine the fear all of them must have felt but I think something that I wouldn’t do to save my own life was to harm someone else, put them in the face of death. I would want to protect others and I don’t think I’d be unwilling to work for the Nazis to save myself and others.

I think Schindler shifted from being a “bystander” to an “upstander” because of his close relationships to Jews like Isaak Stern and people like the little girl in the red coat, possibly symbolizing purity and innocence. I also think that it might’ve been because of his attraction to women, as implied by some other Nazi generals in the film. He’d confessed that he had kissed a Jew woman, and that might’ve also affected why he seemed to “change”. He claimed it was because of the profit, materials produced and the already trained workers, which might’ve been part of the reason but I don’t think it was a major impact.

Assuming you were considerably young during the time of Schindler’s List, how did you view all the atrocities seen and experienced as a kid compared to how you view them now? Do you have any memorable interactions with Oskar Schindler, and what were your opinions of him? Thank you so much, and I am sorry you weren’t able to join us yesterday!

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 20


Schindler believed that power was money towards the beginning of the film. Over the course of the plot however, his views on this change as he begins to see power as liberation. Throughout the film, despite his main motivation being on supplying his factor with workers, he actually begins to care for “his Jews.” I especially noticed how towards the end, he began listing things that would save more people and it showed he did it because he cared, not because it made him more money. His idea of pardoning was hiring them because everyone knew that they would be safer in Schindler’s factory compared to outside of the walls. On the complete other hand, Goeth saw power as control which was conveyed by his fear. He practically loved a Jewish women which as we all know was a wild thing to do at the time and because of that he didn’t trust himself. He thought that asserting his power would make the Jewish people scared of him and hopefully stay away so his incident with his live in maid wouldn’t happen again. He also used the Jewish people’s fear to gain power by shooting people at the concentration camp before breakfast (which was absolutely sicking by the way). Because of his own fear of these people and the mistrust of himself with them, he thought creating a power divide would gain him more control over them, and it did.

I think one of the biggest lines that should never be drawn should be the line of your family. It is completely reasonable for a parent of a family of five to take a job as a Judenrat if that meant that their family would be spared or given the help they needed. However, I don’t think it’s acceptable for a Judenrat to go out of their way to harm their own people. I could only understand if they absolutely had to, but moving someone to a bad line (example) just because you had personal issues with that person is not an excuse. During this time as shown in the movie, complete strangers were brought together due to the severity of the event and it’s only fair for people to rely on each other when that’s all they can do. Everyone has different motives and morals, but a general thing that shouldn’t be done is turning on your own community. A moment relating to community is how even if people weren’t related or have relationships they still looked out for each other, especially in close quarters when they’re being transported to other areas.

On a personal level, I think I wouldn’t kill anyone to save my own life unless that was my only option. It just goes against my own religion and beliefs so I think if I have tried everything or can clearly see it’s the only way then I would. Then again, we’re all answering these questions from our devices and no one would know what they would do in an actual high intensity life or death situation. I think also a lot of people became Judenrats because of fear. They thought that if the Nazis worked alongside them they would be saved, spared, or at least given benefits. The only problem with that would be that the Judenrats may have alined themselves with the Nazis so much that they may forget their own culture and roots, creating the same mindset and hurting more than helping. As a Judenrat, if I was in this situation, I would try to use as little violence as possible knowing that myself and these people have something in common. To each person, their morals may be different but some things I feel should be universally understood.

Schindler’s actions and emotion towards the Jewish community went from enslaving them for money to enslaving them so they’re spared. A huge turning moment for him would be when he studied the girl in the red, an excellent use of color in the film, and later saw her limp body. I think seeing that really put a face to the situation and demonstrated to him that these people need help and it’s not fair. An innocent girl was killed because of something she believed in. Another changing point for him was realizing that his coworker, Goeth, was just killing people for fun. At this point in the film, Schindler had a small connection with these people, though not strong, it was there. He saw them as essential workers and didn’t have any issues with them but at that point, he didn’t see them as equals, he just knew they didn’t deserve to killed. I thought he was heroic towards the end because he genuinely believed these people deserved to be liberated. He remembered every one of their last names, he remembered faces, he appreciated their work. As I mentioned, he went around naming things that would have saved more people and cried into Stern’s arms (which by the way, their relationship is everything, Stern was his right hand man).

All in all, the movie was amazing and I’m glad to have had the opportunity to watch it.


  • Hi there, I really appreciate what you’re doing for my community/school! I was wondering your thoughts on Judenrats and if you felt that their actions were justified. Did you know any? Thank you!
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 16

Thoughts on the actions of Oskar Schindler

When Schindler talks to Amon Goeth about being able to pardon people, he means giving the Jewish prisoners grace. Although he has the ability to kill all of them whenever he wants, pardoning them and not letting hatred fill his heart was a better way to express his power. Goeth’s view of power is instilling fear in people, asserting dominance as opposed to Schindler's view of power being the ability to have self control, be a safe haven and protector for people, people respecting rather than fearing you.

I think where I would draw the line would be killing your own people, but honestly it isn’t really my place to draw a line, because war brings out the worst in people.The guy that became part of the police force he ended up surviving, and even getting gifts, the man that smuggled and sold things things Illegally he also survived, with his wife. Isaka also survived and enabled more than a thousand other Jews to survive, even though he made some questionable decisions. Everyone is trying to survive and people’s worst can’t really be predicted so I don’t think there’s a certain line that I can draw. Drawing the line for what action I wouldn’t take is quite hard because I'm not sure what I would do until I'm in the moment. Similarly, to the lady who refused to hide in the sewers I definitely wouldn’t want to go in the sewers either, or like the kids who hid in toilets, I don’t think I would be able to hide in those places. I also think I wouldn’t become a Judenrat/Police officer because they barely did anything to help their own people.

After Schindler saw the liquidation of the Krakow ghetto, the amount of Jews that were massacred, the little girl in the red coat, he definitely became more empathetic and started trying to help as many Jews as he could. Also Isaka who was a Jew was very beneficial to him, he grew fond of him, and kept trying to save his life, and the lives of the people Isaka cared about. It’s difficult for me to call him a hero, because whether or not he was a hero should be left for the Holocaust survivours to decide, the Jewish people who worked at his factory. I remember the quote that Isaka said which was “He who saves one life saves the world entire”. Although, he helped as many as he could, he was still a Nazi, wore the pin everyday, he still employed slave labor, like he said he is a criminal. He definitely did heroic acts, even though he knew the risks if anyone found out,like going bankrupt so he could save his “workers”. But, it is not my place to decide whether or not he is a hero. He definitely shifted from a bystander to an upstander when Goeth locked the prisoners in the cages, preparing to be gassed and Schindler pretended that he was giving them false hope by having water sprayed on them when he was trying to help them not die of thirst, he also ordered that they should give drinks to the prisoners, that took a lot of guts because in the moment Goeth knew that he was helping them and he could easily have been imprisoned for it. He also allowed the Rabbi to hold a service for the sabbath.

First of all I hope you get well soon! What was life like after the holocaust, did you go back to Poland, did you ever find your other relatives? How old were you when the Holocaust happened, and when you started working for schindler? Is the movie's depictions of Schindler mostly accurate, if not what parts are false? Would you consider Schindler a hero?

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 13

Thoughts on the actions of Oskar Schindler

I think that he means that he saw himself as someone who was able to protect people. He was able to keep them away from death for a little longer. This fed his underlying view of power: having power over people. As he was “protecting” people he decided that he was important because of how he was affecting their lives. His wealth also played a part in this, being as he was able to do so much because of the money he had. It is hard to think that Schindler was really protecting people when he was using them to profit at the same time. In contrast, Geoth viewed power in the sense of hurting others. He took power in violent ways, whether it be murder, torture, or general abuse. Schindler was motivated solely by money, while Geoth was motivated by the fear of others.

This is an almost impossible question to answer, because I have never been in a situation like this, but it also depends on the external factors. Bystanders did nothing due to fear instilled by the government and military. Obviously I would try to do anything that I can, and I would help whenever I could. I probably would have found peace in giving people places to stay, and keeping the children out of harm. The line that cannot be crossed would probably be the murder of innocent children for me. It was heartbreaking to watch children get taken away and be so scared. I can’t imagine looking at a child and turning them away from safety. I think that depending on the situation there are certain lines that can be crossed to save your own life, but the murder of innocent people to save yourself is unforgivable. Personally I wouldn't be able to live with myself knowing that an action that I took killed any number of innocent people.

The only reason Schindler took the actions that he did, was because of his greed. He wanted money and money alone. He profited on every single person that was working for him. He “changed” because he began to notice how poorly these people were being treated. He created bonds with his accountant who was Jewish and he introduced him to people, and Schindler began to see them as people and not profits. I wouldn’t go as far to say that he was heroic. He still participated in slave labor and was an overall bad person, who did decent things but was driven by money. He shifted from being a bystander to an upstander when he started seeing his workers as people and started treating them as such. He tried to help them, and at the end of the movie we saw him break down because he realized he was too focused on money and profits the whole time, when he could have saved more people.

Do you think that “saving people” by having them participate in slave labor would have been more successful than going against the Nazi party directly?

Boston, Massachusetts , US
Posts: 18

Schindlers List

This film was incredibly impactful and I was truly moved by it, which not many movies have that effect on me. I want to talk about the girl in the red coat because that moment really stuck out to me. I felt as though she represented this sort of innocence which was then horrifically ripped away from her. Schindler saw her alive and lost and then dead and in that moment we saw him truly understand how terrible and unjust the treatment of the Jewish people was.

In response to the first question, I believe Schindler's view of power is having the ability to do something, but choosing not to. I'm not sure how to word this but he thinks that one can gain more respect and power if the person now feels “saved” by you.

The second question is difficult to answer because I don't think I could ever truly understand the situations people were placed in. I think a good answer would probably be that I would not take any action that I knew would directly harm or kill my people. I also would probably try to help them if I was in a position where I was better off. I think it would be very difficult for me to be a part of the Natzi effort if I was a Jewish person who would have to order my family around and if I'm being honest I probably wouldn't be able to do it.

I think Schindler was heroic. By working so closely with the people in his factory, he saw the Jewish people as human beings and when he saw in depth the injustices that they were facing, he felt an obligation as another human being to help. I think he started off just hoping to profit off the low wages but once he became committed to his role helping to save people, it wasn't about the money anymore. He actually spent all of his money working to protect the people he was trying so hard to save. The moment at the end when he breaks down about all of the people he wasn't able to save was an incredibly touching and sad moment where he did so much for them but he knows that there are so many others who lost their lives and he wasn't able to save everyone. This moment showed that he truly cared for his cause and when he is comforted by his workers, you see they all had gratitude and love for him.

For Rena; Did you have hope for your freedom or did it feel like a hopeless situation that was never going to end?

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 15

Thoughts on the actions of Oskar Schindler

  • The dialogue between Amon Goeth and Oskar Schindler regarding the ability to “pardon” people and how that relates to one's power, is very integral in understanding the core morality of the two characters and the core themes of the film. Amon reflects the opinions of the Nazi party, seeing power as a means to an end, a way of instilling fear, and synonymous with control. We see him “pardon” the Jewish boy that cleans his bathtub, only to be sniped seconds later by Amon, ironically showing Amon’s lack of control. Schindler, on the other hand, sees power from a more “humanitarian” viewpoint, even though he had just become a humanitarian-Nazi hybrid. He sees power as an extension of self-restraint, evident in his dialogue with Amon. Schindler also tells Amon how power is connected with the restraint present in refraining from killing someone when you “have every right to”. Being able to restrain oneself even if they are seen by everyone else as the wrongdoer. Schindler in this dialogue was clearly trying to change Amon’s mind, showing him that the extermination of the Jews was wrong, yet never directly stating that to Amon; rather showing him passively through his own views.
  • There is no true neutrality in times of conflict. Even if one remains neutral, that action impacts the conflict. Any action you choose to take or not to take impacts the outcome and livelihoods of people involved in a conflict. If you remain neutral, you are permitting the actions undertaken by the aggressors to continue, yet if one tries to take a stand and revolt against the conflict, you are putting your own life and potentially the lives of your family and friends at risk. Yet, in the case of the holocaust, the surrounding situations were so brutal and horrendous, and their aggressors were so barbaric, that their actions can’t really be judged on any scale. We can never truly get inside their heads and judge the quality of their actions. In a conflict on the scale of genocide or a large-scale war, such as World War II and subsequently the Holocaust, actions undertaken belong in a grey area. Schindler was a bystander for most of the film, witnessing the deportation and the liquidation of the ghetto. He greeted with a smiling face staunchly sympathetic members of the Nazi party. Yet, he saved the lives of 1,100 Jews and safeguarded them within his factory.
  • I think the moment when Schindler changed in the movie was when he witnessed the body of the little girl in the red dress being carried into the pile of burning bodies. The liquidation of the Płaszów concentration camp and the following scenes surrounding that event are some of the most horrific in the entire movie. Schindler arrives at the scene in complete shock, the viewers see his horrified facial expressions as to the sheer scale of the event. He had previously seen the girl in the red dress earlier, horseback riding with his mistress overlooking the liquidation of the Krakow ghetto. This was the first moment in the film where we see Schindler react quite viscerally to the actions undertaken by the Nazis, and thus is the moment in which his character underwent a phenomenal shift. Regarding his heroism, I believe that despite being a member of the Nazi party and engaging in other morally dubious endeavors, he was able to save 1,100 Jews from being exterminated, extricated his workers from Płaszów, and intervened when his workers were diverted to other concentration camps, ensuring their arrival at Brnĕnec. Whilst he may not have been a model hero, his actions were certainly noble and heroic, and will forever be remembered as an incredible humanitarian feat. I think Ben Kingsley[Itzhak Stern] puts it best when he says near the movie's end “there will be generations because of what you did.”

My two questions for Rena Finder:

1. Why do you think there are still holocaust deniers when it’s undeniable that the holocaust happened?

2. During your experience, how did you manage to keep going and not give up, given the horrific atrocities that you underwent and lived through?

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 21

Schindlers List

  • When Schindler talks to Amon Goeth, the commandant at Plaszow (played by Ralph Fiennes in the film), about being able to “pardon” people, what does he mean? What is Schindler’s underlying view of power, in your opinion? What is Goeth’s view of power?
    • Schindler tells Amon that he doesn't need to be so violent with the things he is doing to the Jewish people. Just because he can doesn't mean he should. The things that were shown that he had done to those people was barbaric. Schindler's view on power is again just because you can doesn't mean you should. He poured in so much money into saving as much people as he could. He put his own life and career on the line to save as much people as possible using the power that he had. Even though he could've he didn't harm those people instead he used his power for good. Goeth's view for power is the literal opposite. He had some much power that anything that he did was written off. He killed thousands of people just because he was told that he could with no consequences. Which makes me think about the morals that he had before the war. He was able to kill so many people without ever having to bat an eye.
  • What made Schindler take the actions he took? Why did he seem to “change”? Was he heroic? In other words, how and why did he shift from being a “bystander” to an “upstander”?
    • The point where Schindler changed was when he saw the child in the red coat. I felt a shift in the movie right after that happened, and a shift in Schindler as a person. He changed his goal of wanting this particular business to work out to saving as much people as possible. Yes he was heroic, although it seems crazy to even say, he put himself and the millions that he had accumulated on the line to save people from being massacred.
  • My opinion of the movie:
    • This has got to be one of the hardest movies I have ever had to watch, next to Fruitvale station, but it was such a spectacular movie that brought on so many perspectives on the Holocaust. Other than the scenes with the child in the red coat, the ending of the movie where he broke down, cried and reflected on how he could have 'save more'. He is such a selfless person and was thinking about how much money he wasted instead of saving more people. He did everything that he could and was still thinking about how he could've done better and done more for other people.
  • Questions for Rena Finder
    • What is a common misconception of the conditions of what happened during the holocaust or any general misconceptions?
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 13

Thoughts on the actions of Oskar Schindler

I think one of the things in the movie that shocked me the most was the death of the engineer girl. She suggests a change to the way they are building something and Amon Goeth orders for her to be killed, but immediately after, he orders they do as she had advised. She wasn’t killed because what she said was out of line or rude or anything like that, she was killed because she dared to speak out at all. The Nazis’ goal was to destroy any sense of self worth the Jews had, to break them down so that they believed they were less than human, because they themselves viewed the Jews as less than human. It was such a jarring scene to watch, where an innocent girl who even tried to help the Nazis gets killed by them.

Oskar Schindler describes power as the ability to pardon people, even if you think they shouldn’t be pardoned. I think this has to do with two things: the ability to choose and the insignificance of the pardoned party. The power of choice is so important because those with no power have no choice. In Schindler’s emperor example, the thief is the one on the floor begging for mercy, he has no choice what happens to his life right then, only the emperor does. By choosing to not take the thief’s life, the emperor demonstrates his control and thus, his power. Schindler also notes that in pardoning the thief, the emperor shows everyone that the thief is so inconsequential that even though he stole from the emperor, it means nothing to the emperor. The thief is worthless and by contrast the emperor is just that much more powerful. Goeth seems to have a much more simplistic view of power. He wants to have control of everyone and everything, to strike fear in everyone’s hearts so they know he’s in charge. Schindler is able to use his actual power to try and talk reason into Goeth, even if it only works for a few minutes, which I think very few other people would have been able to do.

I personally have no clue where I would draw the line. I can say all I want about my ethics in the safety of my own home, but I have no clue what I would actually do in the face of danger. I would like to think I wouldn’t drastically harm anyone else for my own sake but who knows what would happen if my adrenaline and fear were pumped ridiculously high. For that reason, I also do not think we can pass judgment on anyone who chooses to do something unethical when their own life is at risk.

In the movie, Schindler appears to change because he gets to know his workers, he starts truly seeing them as people. He is also able to see how individuals like the little girl in the red coat and Helen are directly affected by Nazis like him. While he did not start out this way, what he did definitely was heroic, he saved over 1000 people at the cost of almost everything he had. I really think the first-hand experience is what changed him the most. Watching the chaos of the ghetto while it was being liquidated and that one little girl, who clearly had done nothing wrong, die, I think that was what made him realize the horror of what was going on.

For Rena: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions.

  1. How was your faith affected by your experience in the Holocaust?
  2. If you could say anything to Oskar Schindler now, what would you say?
South Boston, Massachusetts , US
Posts: 11

Oskar Schindler

Schindler's ability to pardon people simply means to give them an opportunity to survive the holocost, as well as a place to work. This was the ability to pardon jewish people from their mistreatment and execution within concentration camps. This underlying power of Schindler solely comes from his belief in forgiveness, respect, and trust. This changed view of Schindler seems to come from an internal realization which shifted his priorities from money to becoming a more noble, respectable person. Goeth on the other hand found power to be the ability to hurt and kill people, stemming from his correlation of power to fear and violence.

Personally, I strictly draw the line at putting others' lives in danger in any sort of way. Within the chaos of the film, there are things that must be done that you may not be comfortable with such as working for the Nazis or other illegal activities to survive and you must ask yourself how far you are willing to go for that survival. My moral code would arise the questions of, “will my actions have consequences on someone else?” and “do I physically hurt anyone or put anyone at risk?”, etc.

Schindler changed throughout the film, seeming to undergo an internal realization of humanity which shifted his goals and character in general. Schindler started off helping the Jews using them as a labor force simply to make a profit. As the film goes on Schindler's accountant helps him make personal relationships with some of his workers which completely changes his view of Jewish people, moving him in such a way to go on and save over 1,000 Jewish people. The notion of being heroic is controversial as although Schindler was not an extremely moral man, he changed and committed an extremely heroic and selfless act of helping save so many people.

Question for Rena Finder: Did you trust Schindler throughout his plan? Further, did you ever speak or grow a personal relationship with him, if so what was he truly like?

Posts: 20
When Schindler references “pardoning” people when speaking to Goeth he literally means pardoning people’s lives by allowing them to live. When Goeth commends Schindler for having the power to not get drunk Schilndler responds that the real power is the ability to pardon people. I believe that he literally means saving their lives or saving them from harm. I also think that Schindler means the power to forgive and the power to see the real human, not just the generalization. Schindler and Goeth have very different views of power, Schindler believes that power is influence and money. Schindler goes to many parties because he wants everybody to know his name, he believes there is power in recognition. He is also only driven by money and the ability to profit off of others, this is because he knows that money almost always equals power. Goeth’s view of power is very different; he believes that it comes from having others fear you. Goeth is clearly a psychopath who enjoys sadistic activities such as randomly shooting and killing people off his balcony. Goeth believes that true power is being able to have control over people’s lives-choosing whether they live or die.

I am not exactly sure how to answer this question because I have no idea what I would do in such a horrific situation. That being said, I think I would draw the line at other people getting hurt but I still don’t even know if that is the truth. It is impossible to blame anyone that did whatever they could to survive. In the movie the “Judenrats” were looked down upon but in reality they were just trying to live. They also had authority that was used to help other people in their community. All “morals” and “ethics” are completely different when it comes to life or death.

I believe that Schindler acted only with profit in mind, I do not believe that he truly cared at all for any of Jewish people he was “saving”. I feel like the movie tried to portray him as a hero that tried all he could to save as many people as he could, but I just don't know if that is the truth. In the movie he seemed to start to realize the damage the nazi party was doing, especially when he watched the Jewish ghettos being liquidated from the hill. But he was still a member of the party, wearing the golden nazi pin until the very end. If there was ever a moment where he was an “upstander” ( if you even want to call him that) it would be when he went against his fellow nazi officials and sprayed the carts filled with humans with water. He offered the only relief he could in the moment, but he still could not save them from their inevitable death. I still think it is harmful to call a nazi a hero especially if his only motive was to make money.

With recent antisemitic behavior rising in the media following Donald Truimp's dinner with Nick Fuentes, and popular rap artist Kanye West’s tweets, how important is it for these “powerful” people to be held responsible either by the media or other celebrities/politicians?

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 7

Thoughts on the actions of Oskar Schindler

  1. When Schindler talks to Amon Goeth, the commandant at Plaszow, when he says he is able to “pardon” people he means that Amon has the power to be a decent human being and that sometimes violence isn’t the way to exert the sense that you have all the power. Previously, it was shown that Amon Goeth would use the Jewish prisoners as a target practice and shoot them down if they were being too slow in their work. What Schindler proposes is for him to pardon people which asserts that he is in power while keeping the prisoner alive to increase efficiency and production.
  2. There is no line to draw here, those that took pleasure in hurting others or felt as if they were superior and worth more than another human’s life are the ones who were morally wrong. Those who became “Judenrats” believed that if they worked for the Nazis they could save their lives and possibly the lives of their families. Most things done were done in a sense of self-preservation and thus most of their actions are to be expected from a human who was put in an absolutely impossible situation. The Black market smugglers were merely trying to get supplies and make the best of the situation and the compliant workers wanted to live to see another day under the oppressive regime of the Nazis. An action that you cannot take in order to save your life is to give up a group of innocent people in return for your life. I follow the philosophy that the worth of one’s life is not greater than another unless they committed an atrocity then the value is lessened in my eyes.
  3. The reason why Schindler took the actions he took and changed could have been for numerous reasons, some including that he could have had an epiphany on how terrible the Nazi life was. Another reason he could have done it was to feel better about himself after all the bad things he has done and it could have been a way for him to feel better about himself. He was not heroic, he was just being human. Doing less than what he did would have not been heroic, if you become a martyr for a good cause you usually become heroic.
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