Stephen Spielberg was born on December 18th 1946 in Cincinnati, Ohio in the USA. He started making home movies as a child, and completed his first movie with a story and actors in Phoenix, Arizona, when he was only 12 years old. He went to California State University in Long Beach, and when he was there, he completed 5 movies. Stephen became the youngest director ever to be signed to a long term deal with a major Hollywood studio at the age of 20. In 1994, Spielberg won two Academy Awards, for Best Director and Best Picture for Schindler’s List, which also recieved 7 Oscars. The story of Schindler’s List is about jews during the 2nd World War, and Spielberg is a jew himself. Some other well-known movies he has produced or directed are E.T the Extra Terrestial, Men in Black, Jurassic Park, Catch me if you can, Back to the future, Twister, Deep Impact, Shakespeare in love, A.I. and Minority Report.
The movie starts in Krakow, Polen, in September 1939. German forces has defeated the Polish army, and all the jews must register and move to bigger towns. Daily several thousand jews come to Krakow, where they have to register again.
We meet Oscar Schindler at a party for Nazis. He’s a member of the Nazi-party, and new in Krakow. Schindler is at the party because he wants to get to know the highest Nazi-leaders in the town. He brings much money and treat wine and good food to the Nazi-leaders, and they seem to like him.
Schindler want to become rich, and that’s why he came to Krakow. He buys a factory called “Deutche Emailwarenfabrik”, adjust the machines, and makes field-utensils. He needs a chief acountant, and goes to the Jewish Council, where he finds the factorys old chief acountant, Itzhak Stern. The Jewish Council consisted of 24 selected jews who took care of giving job commissions, food and residences, and many complaints. Schindler tells Stern what he needs himfor, and Stern accepts the offer.
Then the jews must transfer to a defined district south for the Vistula river. All the jews in Krakow must arrive in the ghetto within March 20th 1941. The ghetto wasn’t bigger than 600 x 400 meter, so the circumstances for the jews was just getting worse. When they came to the ghetto they had to register again, and they got new habitats, which were very small and bad. Their old houses became habitats for the Nazis. This way Schindler got himself a new luxury residence.
Schindler lacked workers, and he chose jews because he didn’t have to pay them anything. Then the listwriters were back. This time the Germans sorted the jews according to who was needed for war time labour and not.The important got “Blauschein”, which means important worker, and the other got their name erected on a list. The latter were then sentenced to a cruel death. Stern ran around and tried to give as many as possible false papers. This way he saved some of his friends.
Early in 1943 Unterstürmführer Amon Goeth arrived in Krakow. A hard labour-camp was built there. Then Goeth chose a Jewish girl named Helen Hirsch to be his personal maid. On March 13th 1943 Goeth decided that the camp should be annihilated. The jews in in good health should go to the hard labour-camp in Plazow. The old, weak and “worthless” were killed. The Ghetto was then destroyed. The SS-soldiers threw the families out of their homes, and many got killed. In these scenes we see a little girl in a red coat who runs confused around in the streets, and then hides under a bed.
The jews just got it even worse in the camp. Schindler was kind to the jews compared to to how the other Nazies treated them. Yet he was afraid to help them. A woman with the surname Perlman comes to his office and asks if her parents can work for him, because they’re treated really bad in the camp and she has heard that in his factory the workers are treated better. Schindler becomes afraid and mad, and the woman becomes afraid too, and runs away, crying. Schindler let her parents work for him after all, but he’s very careful with what he says or does.
On his birthday Schindler holds a party. Two jewish girls have made him a little cake, and he kisses them. He went to jail, because he broke the breed and placing-law. Goeth bribed the right people, and got him out after a little while.
Then the Nazis separated the healty workers from the sick. The sick ones left the camp on trains, and all the children were carried away in lorries. In these scenes we see a little boy, who tries to hide from the Nazis. He hides in the loo. Schindler tries to hose down all the carriages, so the jews on the train should get some water. The other Nazies laught at him, and say that he’s not kind when he gives them hope. Schindler did what he could, but I’m sure that was their last journey..
In April 1944 section D ordered Goeth to dig up and burn all the jews who were killed in Plazow and the ghetto massacre, over 10000 bodies. When we saw the bodies on a wheelbarrow, we discovered the little girl in red coat. She did obviously not survive.. All the bodies were burned, and it snowed ashes, which the children played in as if it was real snow.
The rest of the jews were going to Auschwitz, as soon as the conveyance was fixed. At this moment, Schindler and Stern thought it was over. Schindler wanted to save the jews, and he planned to move the factory to his hometown, Brinnlitz, in the country that today is the Czech Republic and Slovakia. He said he wanted to make artillery grenades there. Goeth wouldn’t give him the jews. Then Schindler wanted to pay for each one of them, and Amon accepted it. This costed a fortune for Schindler, but he wanted to save this innocent people.
Schindler and Stern started to make the list of the jews that should survive. They wrote for several hours, untill there were 1099 names on the list. Schindler also wanted Helen Hirsch, Goeth’s maid, but Goeth wouldn’t give her to him. Helen got on the list after that Goeth lost her to Schindler in a card-game. Then the list was complete. Stern called it among other things the absolute goodness and the life.
The jews were carried to Brinnlitz by trains. The men arrived first, and the women should arrive later. A terrible mistake happened, and the women ended in Auschwitz. Their hair were cut of, but they weren’t gassed to death. Schindler bribed an officer in the SS, and therefor the women were also saved.
In the 7 months the factory was in operations, it was exemplary in it’s total lack on production. In this period Schindler used millions to support the jews, and to bribe people..
Everyone in the factory became very happy when they heard that the war was over. Schindler was a member of the Nazi-party, an ammunition manufacturer and he had profitted on drudgery. This made him a criminal, and he had to run away.
The farewell was very moving. The workers had made him a farewell-present, a ring of gold, where it stood: Someone that saves a life, saves the whole world. Schindler started to cry, because he regretted that he didn’t save more people. When he left, the jews gave him a letter he should show if he got caught. There the jews had written what he’d done for them, and everyone had signed. The next morning the jews were liberated by the Soviet army.
The end of the movie is in colours. We see the real Schindler-jews that survived Holocaust, going together with the actors that plays themselves in the movie. They put a stone each on Schindler’s grave. This is a Jewish custom.
At the end this text-explanation appear on the screem: Amon Goeth got arrested on a sanatorium in Bad Tolz. He was hung in Krakow for infraction on the human rights. Oscar Schindler’s marriage and business failed after the war. In 1958 he was declared a upright man by the Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, and offered to plant a tree on The Uprights Avenue. The tree is still standing there...
It’s also standing in the end that the Schindler-jews have over 6000 descendants. This tells a bit of the great job Oscar Schindler did.
The main characters:
Schindler was a factory owner from a town named Brinnlitz. He worked untiring under the war to save Jews when he could. He saved ca. 1500 human lives, and the Schindler-jews have over 6000 descendants. He was a seldom exception from the other Nazies. Schindler was married with Emily Schindler, but the marriage failed when the war was over, just like his business. I think Schindler saved so many Jews because he was a good man.
Stern was a Jew. He was Schindlers chief acountant in the factory. I think Schindler was very fond of him, because Schindler gave him food when he was in the hard labour-camp, and Schindler also saved him from one of the trains with jews that left Krakow.
Amon Goeth was a German Unterstürmführer. He was the leader in the concentration camp in Plazow. Goeth seemed very cold and evil. He killed people when he wanted, and treated his maid, Helen Hirsch, really bad.
The 2nd World War and the Jews.
The persecution of Jews started as early as in the Middle Ages. Almost all the peoples in Europe were Christians, and the Jews was looked on as outsiders. In many towns the Jews were forced to live in ghettoes, and they were not allowed to do many sorts of work. Christians accused the Jews of Jesus’ crucifixion and for being the reason for that the Christian population got infected of diseases, and they also indicted them for killing Christian children. Even an example as Martin Luther were against the Jews. He called them poisonous, bitter worms, and wrote that they should be driven away from Germany for ever.
The Nazi-party got the power in Germany in 1933. Adolf Hitler, the leader, told the Germans that the Jews were the concealed enemy who caused all their problems. For example did he say that it was the Jews’ foult that the Germans failed in the 1st World War. Hitler also looked down on other races who he looked at as inferior, like mentally disabled people, homosexuals, slaves and everybody who weren’t able to work.
In September 1939 Germany attacked Poland, and with that started the 2nd World War. The Nazis got the power over 3 millon Polish Jews, and they congregated them in ghettoes. German Jews were also deported to these ghettoes. The Jews had to wear the yellow David-star to be visible.
In June 1941, Germany went to invasion of the Soviet Union. The Holocaust began, and the Nazis called it “the final solution”. The SS (a big organization on 250000 men with big military and political power) stood mainly behind these cruelty, but the German army, the police and the locals also took part in it.
The Jews were sent to concentration camp. The biggest camp was Auschwitz. The Jews were killed by shooting or gassing. 80 % of the Jews who came to Auschwitz were sendt straight to the gas chambers. The rest were sendt to the labour camp. The Jews in the labour camp were sent to a long death, instead of a short-lived. Almost all the workers died of illness or hunger, and the inhuman work they had to do also made them weaker. The workers that survived worked in the camp kitchen or in one of the stores where things from the dead got stored – clothes, valuables, glasses, shoes and hair. The only children that survived Auschwitz were twins. A doctor named Joseph Mengele did experiments with them, and many other Jews.
In the Autumn of 1943 it was obvious for the most that Germany would lose the war. The Nazies started to destroy the proof of Holocaust taking place. The camps in Treblinka, Sobibor and Belzec got evacuated, and the bodies that were buried were dug up and burned. The gas installations got destroyed, and all the survivers got killed. In Treblinka there was a farm built on the area where the camp were. The SS destroyed buildings and documents that could reveal them. The gassing in Auschwitz was in operation until November 1944. More than one million people got killed there.
The Nazis didn’t manage to hide or destroy all the evidence. In January 1945 Russians found 836255 women coats and dresses and 7 ton hair on the stocks in Auschwitz. Holocaust couldn’t be hid.
In April 1945 Hitler understood the defeat. He comitted suicide. Under the trials in Nürnberg in 1945-46, 24 of the most important Nazi-leaders got accused for crimes against the humanity. 12 of them were sentenced to death.
Today, over 50 years since the end of the war, the persecution of Jews isn’t forgotten. Memorials are raised all over Europe, so the dead Jews never will be forgotten.
Schindler’s List is a very good and moving movie. The actors plays very well and convincing. The movie gives an other impression than other movies where people get killed, because this has happened in the real world. I got really surprised when I saw that some of the people in the movie really exist. I can’t understand what the people who did this thought. I think that to take someones life is never the right thing to do.
I recommend this movie to everyone that is older than 14. It’s terrible to think of and to see this mass murder, so younger people should wait some years before they see it. I think everybody should know what really happened, and this movie gives us a good view.