posts 1 - 15 of 22
Boston, US
Posts: 350

On Wednesday, assuming all goes well, you will have watched Schindler’s List. We will most likely not have heard from one of the few remaining survivors, Rena Finder (age 94), but on Thursday in class we will probably hear a bit from her on film. Rena is not well at the moment, but she is eager to receive and respond to your questions. So as part of this assignment, you are to pose at least one question for Rena.

A note: I have tremendous respect for the array of reactions that I anticipate you will have in response to the film. Some of you will be emotional while others among you will want to reflect and digest individually what you saw and heard. There is no "right" response, but I have complete respect for you and your peers as you respond to the film with maturity and sensitivity.

Now, I'd like to hear your overall reaction to the film. You are invited to take your remarks in whatever direction you wish. Know too that we will talk about the experience overall in class. Moreover, there is a boatload of literature on Oskar Schindler and the events described in the film; let me know if you would like to read some of that material.

That said, a few questions/issues I ask you to ponder and discuss in addition in a post:

  • 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?

  • The film depicts innumerable terrible events, placing people in desperate and horrific situations. Some people took on roles that saved their lives; others refused to do so. Still others avoided risk, while various individuals chose to take tremendous risks to save themselves and others. We see compliant workers in this film, black market smugglers, Jews turned “Judenrat”—a police force staffed by Jews but working for the Nazis within the ghetto that could move you from the “bad” line to the “good” line, etc. People crossed plenty of moral and ethical lines in the film. Where would you draw the line? What is the line that cannot be crossed? What action can you NOT take in order to save your own life?

  • 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”?

  • At the end of the post, in a separate paragraph, pose a question for Rena Finder. Know that I’ll be copying and pasting, combining similar questions/topics and getting her to respond.
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 15

Schindler's List feels like one of those films where everyone should watch it at least once, and it's not really about enjoying it but more "experiencing it". Almost never does it pull punches in violence, and it gives a much clearer view on the holocaust. The holocaust itself feels like one of those thing we know was awful and unimaginably terrifying, but only through *really* seeing its brutality can we understand the horror of it all. Almost every death is still burned into my memory, a good example being when Schindler goes to his car to see snow on it, only to scrape it off and realize it's not snow that's falling, but ash. That to me was the most poignant part of the film, with the clear shots of bodies being piled into a massive pyre. It is at that moment I believe Schindler decided to become an upstander. What's amazing to me is that it's incredibly powerful, the slow realization that something must be wrong, to the massive pile, to the bodies being carted up, all while nobody is shown to die through the whole scene. Schindler experienced something then that none of the soldiers surveying the Jews did, a moment of humanity.

To address the "Judenrat" and those who sacrificed others to save themselves, I don't think you can really blame them. It's incredibly heartbreaking to see but the first instinct of any human is to survive. I don't doubt many of us would do the same given the chance, and throw our peers under the bus for much less than life and death. It's hard to say what is "right" and "wrong" in a scenario like this, since so many ethical ideas have been discarded, I don't think it's right to judge anyone stuck in a scenario like it.

My question for Rena would be, what do you think caused Oscar Schindler to change his mind and risk his wealth, success, and status to save lives?

Posts: 15

I really enjoyed the film because of the personal experiences we saw, from both the Nazi and Jewish sides. At the end of the film when the real people from Schindler's list came to his grave made me realize just how recent the Holocaust was. 80 years might seem like a while, but when Schindler's List was released in the '90s, that's only 50 years after the Holocaust. It seems so unthinkable for this to happen in our current world, yet occurred less than a century ago. Although the film was graphic, it is 100% necessary to fully portray the horrors of the Holocaust. Whether it was the Nazi soldiers shooting prisoners in the head without a second thought, or the wives screaming over their husbands' dead bodies, it was eye-opening.

I think Schindler finally changed from a bystander to an upstander when he was horse riding with his wife and was able to look over the liquidation of the ghetto. Although he didn't immediately act upon it, by the look on his face he clearly saw how wrong it was, and that something needed to change.

The scene that stood out to me the most was when Goeth took his rifle on his porch and started shooting the Jews like it was target practice. It was horrific to watch these events, especially knowing they really happened. Goeth and Schindler were the perfect characters to contrast. Although they were both of large importance to the Nazi party, Schindler had a change in character and moved away from his previous actions. Goth did not, leading to his execution while Schindler was deemed a righteous person.

It's hard to say what course of action I'd take if I were one of the Jews in the Holocaust. If I turned "Judenrat", I am nearly guaranteeing life, yet I am joining the exact people that are trying to exterminate my race. Although it's the safest option, it is the worst possible betrayal, which goes against all morals. I also want to say that I would be compliant, but even those who worked their hardest and stayed out of trouble were killed by soldiers for their entertainment. There was nothing they could do. They were treated as rats in a maze, no way out, toyed with by the Nazis.

Question for Ms. Finder: In Schindlers List, we saw that Oskar Schindler was really the only Nazi who showed sympathy for the Jews. During your experiences did you interact with any Nazi soldiers who discreetly treated prisoners well/with respect?

Curious George
Boston, MA
Posts: 17

Schindler's List

The overall movie was very emotionally stirring and heartbreaking. Each character and death could be felt and understood through the screen.

From my understanding, Schindler spoke to Goeth about the kind pardoning his subjects who made mistakes in an attempt to manipulate Goeth’s hunger for power. Schindler’s view of power was first money, then the ability to kill only with justification. Goeth’s view of power was pure fear and superiority.

I honestly do not know where I would draw the (moral) line. It is easy to say you are more likely to take the high road, but none of us has been put in the same situation and hopefully the portrayal of danger in the movie shows how difficult it is to really say that. My brain can not even think of any lines the Nazis in the movie did not cross, let alone the ones they did.

I hope that I would not save myself over many others, but again, I have never been in that position before.

Schindler is money hungry. Even until the end of the movie, I believe, he cared most for monetary values. But he did come to the realization that his wealth could be used to help others after he experienced his own workers, who produced wealth for him, die and watched as the Nazis liquidated the ghetto. He did not attempt to destroy the Nazi party or join a resistance, but used his influence in the Party to save his workers.

It is strange because if men like him had, instead of maneuver the system to get what he wanted, attempted to completely uproot it, the Party may not have been as powerful or large; the war might've been able to end sooner and many more lives could have been saved. But that didn't happen, and at the end of the day, Schindler’s method saved >1000 Jewish people and allowed for generations to come.


How / when were children separated from their parents? Could they even be reunited if they were separated? How were you treated by nazi members? How difficult was it to resume life

swiss cheese yeezys
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8

I hesitate to describe this movie as simply “good” because that doesn’t do justice to what this movie is and what it does. This movie is brutal and difficult to watch, not because it has violence or gore never before seen, but because it is based on the true history of what happened in the Holocaust, it is impossible to remove yourself and remind yourself that the movie is just fiction, because it isn’t. Everything in this film happened in the real world, and when that is taken into consideration every death is tragic as it represents the millions who actually died in the real world.

The idea that Schindler describes to Goethe of power and the ability to pardon them being the absolute power. He seems to present that power of pardon to Goethe as the power to pardon the Jewish people in the camp for their perceived failure and crimes that warrants their death. He attempts to spin this action as the ultimate power, as in that situation the Jews around Goethe know that he can end their lives at any point at a whim with no drawbacks. Schindler seemed to try to lead Goethe to the idea that letting the Jews live while impressing on them how little power and importance they had in the situation in the true power. Knowing that their lives are held by a man with no regard for them who takes pleasure in tormenting them would be the ultimate power for a man like Goethe, who seems to want to see himself as a hero. And this does play into Goethe’s worldview of power being the ability to kill at any moment. Schindler's view on power seems to be more that of money and influence, as from the beginning of the movie Schindler is attempting to enrich himself by making connections within the SS and bureaucracy.

I find it difficult to condemn the Judenrat, as condemning someone for trying to survive is a position that we as people who have experienced nothing close to what the Jews did would be unfair. They also were fairly ignorant of what they were working towards. No one outside of the higher military circles would have known what was happening at the camps, and the Judenrat may well have seen themselves as mediators trying to mitigate damage. An action by a Jew in the ghetto that would get them shot by a German soldier may instead result in a less severe outcome should a Jew be the one to have to deal with it. The idea that I would have any idea of what ethical and moral boundaries I would abide by or cross. Put in a life or death scenario, I would like to believe that I would be righteous and sacrifice myself for others, but I have no way of truly knowing what would happen.

Schindler's change as a person from the beginning of the film to his actions at the end of the film. At the beginning of the movie he is simply a businessman trying to make a profit and deciding to take advantage of desperate Jews for cheap labor. Though perhaps not as far into the nazi propaganda machine as others, he still does not have any love for them as exemplified when a worker speaks to him in his office he explodes on Stern telling him never to do that again. He had no love or connection to the Jews, but as the movie went on he began to become attached to and care about them. And as abuse of the Jews became more prominent he found himself drifting further from his party. A large shift is seen when he hoses down the train cars, which he played off as cruelty and giving them hope but in reality was his attempt to help them in any way he could. The scene of the burning bodies also prompted him to move from simply sympathy for the Jews to actually acting in order to help them.

A question for Rena:

I’m basing this question partially on a statement from someone who grew up in an area that had had a heavy Nazi concentration. Did you see or meet any former nazi’s after the war, either a member of the party or a soldier, and were they openly hostile towards you and still very outspoken against Jewish people, or apologetic and broken down by their experiences. And if you try to resettle where you had lived before the Holocaust, what was the reaction of the people around you, especially those you knew from before the war?

Pinyon Jay
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 18

Thoughts on the actions of Oskar Schindler

This film has an especially profound impact on me because it shows the complexity of this historical event. Although the film was mainly in black and white, the issues presented were not always black and white. There were not simply two groups involved: the Nazis and the Jewish prisoners. I think it was important for the film to show that although at many times there were several options for Jews, each making their role distinct, ultimately none of the options were ideal. Additionally, I was not overwhelmed by the gore itself in the film, which I was not expecting to be. What heightened the gore and brutality was the sense that this mirrored a reality for everyone who experienced the Holocaust, and it was done in the most realistic way possible.

By explaining that pardoning people who one has every justification to kill is power, Schindler shows his view of power as the ability to show restraint and compassion. It is evidently much easier to brutally punish than to spare, and the extent of one’s power is realized when one chooses to spare. Goeth’s view of power is exercising the ability to punish rather than the ability to spare. His perspective seems to be that demonstrations of brutality affirm power to oneself and the people one is in control of. Through Goeth’s actions of killing Jewish prisoners at random, he also believes in exercising the ability to punish for no good reason or justification, simply for the reason that he can.

Because of the sheer scale of horror and destruction of the Holocaust, it is hard to draw a clear line under desperate circumstances. I would first recognize that I am not only taking action for my own life, but also the lives of my loved ones if I were not already separated. I would do anything to protect them, therefore I would not take any action that would endanger them. Besides this, there is not a clear ethical line I would draw. If the opportunity was presented, I would likely join Judenrat or other roles like the role Helena had to guarantee my safety.

Schindler underwent a significant change in his motivations, at first prioritizing the success of his business, but later prioritizing the lives of the Jewish employees. Earlier on, when his accountant had mentioned the scale of violence and murder committed against the Jews, Schindler had brushed it off by saying death is a part of life, and questioned what he wanted Schindler to do about it. Schindler quickly has a change in attitude when he fully realizes the capability he has to save lives, and the urgent need to. One of the scenes that mark this change of heart is the scene of the girl in the red coat, which seems to move Schindler and make him further realize the barbarity of the situation. After this point, Schindler shows many characteristics of a hero, taking many methodical and selfless actions to guarantee the safety of the Jewish employees.

My question for Ms. Finder is, in what ways did Jewish prisoners help each other and perhaps maintain a semblance of community?

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 14

Reflection on "Schindler's List"

Goeth believes that "control is power." This is reflected in his treatment of the Jews; he murders them for sport simply because Jewish lives mean so little to him. Schindler's definition of power juxtaposes that of Goeth, and he remarks that "power is when we have every justification to kill, and we don't." While Goeth finds power in fear and the right to kill arbitrarily, Schindler sees power as the ability to give mercy. Schindler brings up an example of "power," explaining how an emperor who, instead of killing a criminal, pardon's him. Schindler takes it into his hands to "pardon" his workers, by ensuring their "essential" employment and preventing their unjust murders.

While I consider becoming part of the "Judenrat" an extremely unethical decision, I think it's understandable. In such extreme situations as this, survival becomes a priority, and it becomes almost impossible to prioritize the lives of others. It's a betrayal of one's Jewish community members, but it was one of the only paths to survival. In my mind, the hard moral line, over which there is no gray area, are the arbitrary murders. This is seen particularly with the character of Amon Goeth, who shoots Jews for no discernible reason. No member of the Nazi party can be fully excused morally, but we must consider the power of propaganda and group think. Under a regime such as this, it becomes almost impossible to step out in protest, it is infinitely easier to just follow the crowd. There are no excuses, though, for the officers who thrived on and enjoyed the power trip of oppression.

I believe that Schindler "changed" when he began to fully comprehend what was happening. When genocide is occurring, it's easier to turn your head and ignore the extent of the injustice. We see a similar occurrence in Ukraine, where the world has largely turned its back on Ukrainian citizens. They are not alone, however, and we have seen this unawareness for decades, in Rwanda, Armenia, South Africa, Nigeria etc. When Schindler watched the Krakow liquidation, I think he was fully confronted with the injustice. It was after this that he could no longer ignore what was happening and had to follow his moral compass. At the end of the movie, it struck me that Schindler regretted not saving more people. No matter how much good he did, he realized that it would never be enough to right the wrongs of the Nazi party. I do believe Schindler was heroic because it's incredibly difficult to break from the crowd and endanger oneself to save strangers. This being said, while I think we should celebrate the actions of Oskar Schindler, we must also consider this part of the basic social expectation to combat wrong; it should be every individual's responsibility to recognize injustice and do everything in their power to right it. Unfortunately, this is an idealistic principle and is almost never followed in difficult times.

I would like to know whether Holocaust survivors were provided with assistance after their liberation, or if they were simply released back to their destroyed lives empty-handed and alone.

Posts: 12

I thought Schindler's List was one of if not the most impactful films I have ever watched. Watching the movie knowing that was reality for so many people was heartbreaking and made it very difficult to watch. For me, the scenes where the Nazi soldiers killed people were the most disturbing because you could feel the fear and emotion in them as they were realizing they were about to die and then the fact that the soldiers would just shoot them down like they were nothing was very difficult to watch. The other scene that stood out to me the most was the scene of the women being sent into the gas chambers/showers not knowing whether they were about to die or not. Much like the deaths in the film, the emotion of these women as they realized they were probably going to be gassed could be felt through the screen and was heartbreaking to watch.

I think it is hard to say what lines I would or wouldn't cross to survive because that's the kind of thing where you have to be in that life or death situation to truly know what you would do. I feel like it's difficult to draw moral lines for people like the Judenrat because they were victims of the Holocaust as well and were doing what they had to do to ensure their survival. I don't think anyone can truly understand that choice unless they were there and experiencing it.

I think that Schindler was definitely in it for the money for the majority of the film. I think he became an upstander after getting close with the Jewish people and seeing the abuse they faced with his own eyes. I think the scene where he watched the massacre from up on the hill was a turning point for him but his true realization of his role didn't come until the end when he was talking about how he could have saved more people. I think in that moment he realized that he could've done more and that was when his view on the Holocaust fully shifted. It definitely was heroic that he saved so many people but with that being said he was actively supporting the Nazis up until the end.

Question for Rena Finder: How did living through the Holocaust affect your life after the war?

Boston , MA, US
Posts: 14

Reactions to Schindler's List

This film is a beast and I have no doubt that I will come back to rewatch. It will stick with me forever. The horrors and the deaths and the unjustifiable evil...It's also hard to fathom the true extent of the Holocaust. The film is a snippet of the actually Holocaust yet already so heavy and taxing. If we were to try to show every death, every injustice it would far surpass 3 hours. I went into the film not knowing what to expect and was actually quite confused. Why is an industrialist slave owner of the Nazi Party being honored? Now after watching I would definitely like to learn more and am looking forward to hearing about Rena Finder and the stories of other survivors.

Goeth saw power as the ability to act without repercussions. Power to him was being able shoot Jews like deer. It was the pleasure of watching them tremble and plead before he pulled the trigger. Goeth did not need an explanation or a reason and in some aspects that is power. On the other hand, Schindler saw power as the strength to do what you don't want to do. It's pardoning, forgiving, letting go, even if it feels wrong. Power is defying the rules and Schindler implies that Goeth is a weak man, who folds under every urge to kill. If he was truly powerful, he would have the willpower to pardon despite being able to kill.

It is easy for outsiders, those of us who never had to experience such circumstances, to judge and say that they would cross such moral/ethical lines. I find that ignorant and it's unfair to judge individuals who were "Judenrat" or others who decided to put themselves first. It is simply human nature to survive. In all honesty, I too would fold, and probably one of the first to die because it takes an immense amount of courage to fight for yourself, and even more for others.

I can’t really explain why or specifically what made him “change.” But I think the moment on the hilltop when he witnessed the Ghetto massacre as a bystander, something shifted. Rather seeing the Jews as merely an efficient source of labor, they became people–mothers and fathers, daughters and sons. Schindler let himself feel that sense of humanity and connection that binds all humans together. He was taken aback by the violence, however rather than turning his head away or shielding his eyes from the horrors (like the women riding with him) he recognized it. Schindler wouldn't look away and in that moment, something changed.

Ms. Finder, I can only imagine the overwhelming amount of pain and injustice you and millions of others endured. Nothing can ever replace the lives lost and mend the scars left behind, but how can, or is it even possible, for future generations to properly recognize our past and ensure that the past never becomes reality again?

Posts: 14

Reactions to Schindler's List

This movie was so unbelievably eye opening. I feel like in this society people have become so desensitized talking about things like this. And I think that everyone needs to watch this movie at least once because of how impactful it is. I went into this movie with what I'd consider a good amount of knowledge on some of the things that occurred in the Holocaust, but I was wrong. I've learned so much about what really happened, stuff that we don't learn about in school. When learning about the Holocaust they don't talk much about how traumatic this was for the children who get killed, watch people die, or are taken away from their parents.

Goeth's view of power is being able to do whatever he wants to do without any consequences. He can shoot Jews as if they are not people, and he watches them beg for mercy when they have a gun pointed to their heads. I draw the line when it comes to my morals. I feel like when in that situation it would be easy for me to steer from the "high road", because I would be fearing for my life and I would ultimately do things I never thought I would do. Schindler started taking action when he started noticing just how many people were dying, this was when he saw the piles of people burning he decided there that he wanted to stop being such a bystander. Schindler was sort of heroic and I say this because he was watching hundreds if not thousands of people die right before him and did nothing and when the guilt hit that's when he started changing. But in the end he did do what he could to save some of the jews unlike other people around him, which could be considered heroic. His change from a bystander to an upstander was sort of late, but it's better late than never.

My questions for Ms.Finder: What was her initial reaction after watching this movie for the first time? And did she think that Schindler was heroic in what he did (becoming an upstander) ?

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 17

Thoughts on the actions of Oskar Schindler

Overall, this film was very emotional and powerful. For some reason, I had never really knew who Oskar Schindler was, and I didn't know that there was someone like that, that tried to save Jews from Auschwitz. Without him, there would hardly be any Jewish descendants in Poland. Also, I was curious about the little girl in the red coat. Who is she? What is her significance?

Schindler's view of power was having the "right" and justification to kill, but still not killing. This shows willpower and using his empathy towards Jewish people. Goeth's view of power is killing those who mean nothing to him. He kills innocent people, just walking on the street, minding their own business and going about their day. He doesn't think about the effect, the reasoning, or the repercussions.

Many people help each other out even when they're not supposed to, and cross lines in this movie. For example, the little boy that turned into a worker for the Nazis. When there was the liquidation in Warsaw, he was supposed to search all the buildings for Jewish stragglers. Instead, he saw some of the people he knew, and helped them hide under the stairs, and told the army that the building was ask clear. I honestly think that a line that cannot be crossed is Jews turning on each other, which to my knowledge, didn't seem to occur that often, for obvious reasons. They need to stick together when there is such horrific events happening. Even with Nazis bribing them with incentives if they give them tips on who committed certain "crimes" or actions.

I think Schindler was very heroic. I feel like there isn't that many stories on the "upstanders" in the Holocaust. In other words, the people who helped the Jews, despite the mass hysteria that was going around Nazi Germany. One example I can think of is The Book Thief, where the Hubermanns take in two children from Communist families, and a Jew that fled, hiding them, and providing for them. I think a big factor to Schindler's shift was Izaak Stern. Working with him, he learned more and more about the Jews' suffering. Also, the maid, Helen Hirsch, I also think played a big role. She told him her experience, and he saw how traumatized and anxious she was about Goeth.

Question for Rena Finder: When you were put on Schindler's List, were you also displaced to Auschwitz first, like the women in the movie, or did you go straight to Schindler's factory?

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 16

Thoughts on the actions of Oskar Schindler

After viewing the film, I was left speechless. Seeing just a piece of the reality of this major event that we hear about described in history books was both horrifying and eye opening. I think that the film not only lets people learn more about the Holocaust, but also sheds light on the immense amount of destruction and fear that humans are able to create. There was this feeling of hopelessness throughout the entire film, even when the war was over and the Jewish workers were free, that was a direct result of all that had been taken away from the millions of victims of the Holocaust.

Goeth sees power as a weapon, saying that “control is power”. He derives power from fear by killing Jewish people nonchalantly whenever he chooses, just because he can. In the scene where Goeth is on his balcony shooting workers, including women, he couldn’t care less about the lives that he had just ended. Schindler’s views on power completely contradict Goeth’s, as he believes that power is showing mercy to those that he is allowed, even encouraged, to kill. As a member of the Nazi party, Schindler is surrounded by senseless killing of countless numbers of people, though he still shows empathy and he sacrifices for the people that allowed him to gain his wealth. Schindler “pardons” people by saying that they are essential for work in his factory, which saves them from being killed like others around them.

When I learned about Jews joining the Judenrat, my first thought was that it’s morally wrong because they were essentially turning against their own community in the hardest of times. However after thinking about it, I can understand the reasoning behind it, as it’s just self preservation. I think that especially in such a scary and confusing time, the line of morals and ethics became so blurred that in that situation no lines are being crossed. If my life were at risk, I would definitely consider it as an option, especially if I were alone. I genuinely have no idea where I would draw the line, as I can’t even imagine how it would feel to be living in those conditions. I hope that I would draw the line when saving myself would hurt many others, but I don’t know how I would react in that kind of desperation.

In the beginning of the film, Schindler is just trying to get rich. He has no intention of being a “safe haven” for Jews, he simply wants them to work in his factory for cheap labor. I think he really began to change when his eyes were opened to the injustice and brutal reality that was occurring. I think that a key moment in Schindler’s shift of thinking was when he was riding his horse, looking down on the village full of people being murdered and pushed around, and when he saw the little girl in the red coat. Hearing about a genocide versus standing there and watching it happen have completely different effects on someone, and I felt the difference while watching the film. Schindler shifts from being a “bystander” to an “upstander” when he realizes that he is actually able to help a lot of people with his power and money that many people don’t have. I believe that this is heroic because so many people would not take the opportunity that Oskar Schindler had out of fear, which is honestly pretty understandable based on the consequences that they could face. Even after the war is over and the Jews that Schindler was able to save are free, Schindler breaks down because he feels guilty for not being able to save more people, thinking that if he had not kept his car or a gold pin that he would have been able to save just a few more people. As heartbreaking as this scene was, it really shows Schindler’s heroic characteristics, as he would give anything for a few more people to be alive.

My questions for Ms. Finder:

What was your experience starting your life again after the Holocaust? How did your experiences during the Holocaust affect your perspective of the world or your life?

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 17

This film was very impactful to me because it allows us to confront and visually grasp the reality of millions of Jews in Poland to a certain degree. Getting to see the transition of the events and how Jews were increasingly belittled and murdered was not only frustrating but a concept hard to grasp. I appreciate how they focused on the names of these individuals and highlighted the experience of the children because it allows us to notice their humaneness and innocence.

When Schindler talks to Amon Goeth about being able to pardon people he highlights the power of being able to spare the lives of others. He views this as more powerful than murder because taking the lives of others inflicts fear which does not necessarily show power but is a hubristic way of presenting yourself.

It is difficult to really draw the line because we would never truly know how it was for these individuals and what they went through to make that decision of crossing a moral or ethical line to save themselves or others. It is difficult to think about how Judenrats worked knowing that they are harming their own people.

Schindler was able to have a look at some of the brutalities and murders that occurred in the camps from a third person pov. This could have influenced his thinking especially due to the connection he formed with the accountant and other Jewish workers. Nearing the ending of the movie we could see more of his upstander behavior where he made the list of workers that were then able to avoid staying in Auschwitz and survive throughout the war in his factory.

My question for Finder: What was the biggest challenge you experienced while assimilating back to a liberated life after the war.

Boston, US
Posts: 15

Amon Goeth viewed power as having the ability to directly control the lives and actions of other people. He would never pardon anyone, and would just immediately punish them. Schindler, however, views power as more than that. He seems to understand Goeth's idea of absolute control being a part of power, but that true power was more than that. He thought that the real power is in being able to decide whether or not to control people. Instead of just punishing people like Goeth would, he knows when it is more advantageous to not do so. He knows when to pardon people.

I feel like many of the ways that people chose to survive during the film were acceptable. Things like smuggling are, in such a dire environment, acceptable in my opinion. I even understand the people working for the "Judenrat". Ultimately, these are all people trying to survive, with that being their primary goal. I think that the problems with putting yourself first start when you are directly harming other people. I think that taking actions that end up with the deaths of other people, especially when avoidable, do cross the line. There is definitely a certain point where your own life is not worth sacrificing what you must to survive.

The turning point for Schindler in the film is definitely when he goes to watch the liquidation of the ghetto. Before that, he was aware of what was happening, but I don't think it had ever truly registered to him until he saw it with his own eyes. I think that specifically seeing the girl in the red coat walking around while people around her were being shot was a particularly impactful moment for him. This is a completely innocent child, and seeing her in a situation like this definitely seems to strike a chord with him. I think that what Schindler did was ultimately heroic, especially relative to those around him. I think at the beginning, he is definitely driven more by monetary gain than a desire to help people, even after the Holocaust starts to ramp up. However, once he does actually start to do it to help people, especially when he continues even after losing money, that is closer to heroism. He is now going against direct orders from a very ruthless regime to save other people, which is definitely heroic and noble.

My question is: What happened directly after the war? Where did you end up going? Was there any support at all from anyone along the way?

Posts: 13

Although some scenes in the movie may have been exaggerated and dramaticized for the film, it effectively captures the emotional aspect of the Holocaust both from the perspective of the Germans and the Jews. A film can't recreate what it must feel like to be living in the moment, but Schindler's List tries its best to do so, which is why it's so important to watch it. There were seemingly outbursts of random and unwarranted violence. One scene that stood out to me was when there was a soldier playing the piano while the entire building was being shot up for Jews. The contrast of classical, peaceful music with the sounds of gunshots showed how desensitized killing has been for the soldiers, and the soldier picks up the piano perhaps even out of boredom. Additionally, it comes to show that the soldiers who were executing this genocide were well-educated men. It also hit close to home in the ending scene where we get to see the real survivors of the Holocaust who were saved by Schindler.

When Schindler talks to Goeth about "pardoning people," he's telling him to be more forgiving, and that although his job is to manage the concentration camp and to kill the Jews, it doesn't necessarily have to be that way. I think originally, Schindler's definition of power was to have money, but after his realization about what the Jews were going through, his underlying power is in following his morals despite not doing what he's supposed to do---run a factory. In contrast, Goeth's view of power is in control of people, and having the power to determine how long someone will live for, therefore playing into the hierarchy that Jews are below the Germans.

I don't think it would be fair to draw a moral code because I personally did not experience the Holocaust, therefore I can't say what I would do in the moment given my circumstances. Although, I feel that if I were a Jew, I would have heavily considered being a Judenrat despite it being a force against my own people because I might be able to get away with a couple things while also preserving my life. For me, I think I would draw the line when it starts to become violent and/or I would have to kill someone to continue living. But then again, if I were present in the Holocaust, I might have done it to save my life.

Schindler compiled a list to save his workers from being sent to death camps. He seemed to change from his original greedy character to a more sensitive philanthropist when he saw the shootings at the concentration camps and what the Jews had to go through. At first, he saw the Jews simply as a cheap workforce, but that experience seeing the concentration camps made him reflect on the workers he employed and that they lived a life too.

To Rena Finder: Where did you have to relocate when the Polish family refused to acknowledge your former house?

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