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Schindler\'s List // Beijing: China (ELIBRARY.ORG.CN). Updated: 01.07.2023 . URL: (date of access: 15.07.2024 )

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The film explores the theme of good and evil, using as its main protagonist a "good German", a popular characterization in American cinema. While Göth is characterized as an almost completely dark and evil person, Schindler gradually evolves from Nazi supporter to rescuer and hero. Thus a second theme of redemption is introduced as Schindler, a disreputable schemer on the edges of respectability, becomes a father figure responsible for saving the lives of more than a thousand people.

Opening Paragraph

The girl in red

Schindler sees a girl in red during the liquidation of the Kraków ghetto. The red coat is one of the few instances of color used in this predominantly black and white film.
While the film is shot primarily in black and white, a red coat is used to distinguish a little girl in the scene depicting the liquidation of the Kraków ghetto. Later in the film, Schindler sees her exhumed dead body, recognizable only by the red coat she is still wearing. Spielberg said the scene was intended to symbolize how members of the highest levels of government in the United States knew the Holocaust was occurring, yet did nothing to stop it. He said: "It was as obvious as a little girl wearing a red coat, walking down the street, and yet nothing was done to bomb the German rail lines. Nothing was being done to slow down ... the annihilation of European Jewry. So that was my message in letting that scene be in color." Andy Patrizio of IGN notes that the point at which Schindler sees the girl's dead body is the point at which he changes, no longer seeing "the ash and soot of burning corpses piling up on his car as just an annoyance". Professor André H. Caron of the Université de Montréal wonders if the red symbolizes "innocence, hope or the red blood of the Jewish people being sacrificed in the horror of the Holocaust".

The girl was portrayed by Oliwia Dąbrowska, three years old at the time of filming. Spielberg asked Dąbrowska not to watch the film until she was eighteen, but she watched it when she was eleven, and says she was "horrified".[60] Upon seeing the film again as an adult, she was proud of the role she played. Roma Ligocka, who says she was known in the Kraków Ghetto for her red coat, feels the character might have been based on her. Ligocka, unlike her fictional counterpart, survived the Holocaust. After the film was released, she wrote and published her own story, The Girl in the Red Coat: A Memoir (2002, in translation). Alternatively, according to her relatives who were interviewed in 2014, the girl may have been inspired by Kraków resident Genya Gitel Chil.

Quotes from the Book

In Kraków during World War II, the Nazis force local Polish Jews into the overcrowded Kraków Ghetto. Oskar Schindler, a German Nazi Party member from Czechoslovakia, arrives in the city, hoping to make his fortune. He bribes Wehrmacht (German armed forces) and SS officials, acquiring a factory to produce enamelware. Schindler hires Itzhak Stern, a Jewish official with contacts among black marketeers and the Jewish business community; he handles administration and helps Schindler arrange financing. Stern ensures that as many Jewish workers as possible are deemed essential to the German war effort to prevent them from being taken by the SS to concentration camps or killed. Meanwhile, Schindler maintains friendly relations with the Nazis and enjoys his new wealth and status as an industrialist.

SS-Untersturmführer (second lieutenant) Amon Göth arrives in Kraków to oversee construction of the Płaszów concentration camp. When the camp is ready, he orders the ghetto liquidated: two thousand Jews are transported to Płaszów, and two thousand others are killed in the streets by the SS. Schindler witnesses the massacre and is profoundly affected. He particularly notices a young girl in a red coat who hides from the Nazis and later sees her body on a wagonload of corpses. Schindler is careful to maintain his friendship with Göth and continues to enjoy SS support, mostly through bribery. Göth brutalizes his Jewish maid Helen Hirsch and randomly shoots people from the balcony of his villa; the prisoners are in constant fear for their lives. As time passes, Schindler's focus shifts from making money to trying to save as many lives as possible. To better protect his workers, Schindler bribes Göth into allowing him to build a sub-camp at his factory.

As the Germans begin losing the war, Göth is ordered to ship the remaining Jews at Płaszów to Auschwitz concentration camp. Schindler asks Göth for permission to move his workers to a munitions factory he plans to build in Brünnlitz near his hometown of Zwittau. Göth reluctantly agrees but charges a huge bribe. Schindler and Stern prepare a list of people to be transferred to Brünnlitz instead of Auschwitz. The list eventually includes 1,100 names.

As the Jewish workers are transported by train to Brünnlitz, the women and girls are mistakenly redirected to Auschwitz-Birkenau; Schindler bribes Rudolf Höss, the commandant of Auschwitz, for their release. At the new factory, Schindler forbids the SS guards from entering the production area without permission and encourages the Jews to observe the Sabbath. Over the next seven months, he spends his fortune bribing Nazi officials and buying shell casings from other companies. Due to Schindler's machinations, the factory does not produce any usable armaments. He runs out of money in 1945, just as Germany surrenders.

As a Nazi Party member and war profiteer, Schindler must flee the advancing Red Army to avoid capture. The SS guards at the factory have been ordered to kill the Jewish workforce, but Schindler persuades them not to do so. Bidding farewell to his workers, he prepares to head west, hoping to surrender to the Americans. The workers give him a signed statement attesting to his role in saving Jewish lives and present him with a ring engraved with a Talmudic quotation: "Whoever saves one life saves the world entire". Schindler breaks down in tears, feeling he should have done more, and is comforted by the workers before he and his wife leave in their car. When the Schindlerjuden awaken the next morning, a Soviet soldier announces that they have been liberated. The Jews then walk to a nearby town.

An epilogue reveals that Göth was convicted of crimes against humanity and executed via hanging, while Schindler's marriage and businesses failed following the war. In the present, many of the surviving Schindlerjuden and the actors portraying them visit Schindler's grave and place stones on its marker (a traditional Jewish sign of respect for the dead), after which Liam Neeson lays two roses.


Schindler's List is a 1993 American epic historical drama film directed and produced by Steven Spielberg and written by Steven Zaillian. It is based on the 1982 novel Schindler's Ark by Australian novelist Thomas Keneally. The film follows Oskar Schindler, a German industrialist who saved more than a thousand mostly Polish–Jewish refugees from the Holocaust by employing them in his factories during World War II. It stars Liam Neeson as Schindler, Ralph Fiennes as SS officer Amon Göth, and Ben Kingsley as Schindler's Jewish accountant Itzhak Stern.

Ideas for a film about the Schindlerjuden (Schindler Jews) were proposed as early as 1963. Poldek Pfefferberg, one of the Schindlerjuden, made it his life's mission to tell Schindler's story. Spielberg became interested when executive Sidney Sheinberg sent him a book review of Schindler's Ark. Universal Pictures bought the rights to the novel, but Spielberg, unsure if he was ready to make a film about the Holocaust, tried to pass the project to several directors before deciding to direct it.

Principal photography took place in Kraków, Poland, over 72 days in 1993. Spielberg shot in black and white and approached the film as a documentary. Cinematographer Janusz Kamiński wanted to create a sense of timelessness. John Williams composed the score, and violinist Itzhak Perlman performed the main theme.

Schindler's List premiered on November 30, 1993, in Washington, D.C., and was released on December 15, 1993, in the United States. Often listed among the greatest films ever made,[4][5][6][7] the film received universal acclaim for its tone, acting (particularly Neeson, Fiennes, and Kingsley), atmosphere, score, cinematography, and Spielberg's direction; it was also a box office success, earning $322 million worldwide on a $22 million budget. It was nominated for twelve Academy Awards, and won seven, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Score. The film won numerous other awards, including seven BAFTAs and three Golden Globe Awards. In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked Schindler's List 8th on its list of the 100 best American films of all time. The film was designated as "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress in 2004 and selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.

Awards Received

Major awards
Category Subject Result
Academy Awards[51]
Best Picture
Steven Spielberg
Gerald R. Molen
Branko Lustig
Best Director Steven Spielberg Won
Best Adapted Screenplay Steven Zaillian Won
Best Original Score John Williams Won[c]
Best Film Editing Michael Kahn Won
Best Cinematography Janusz Kamiński Won
Best Art Direction
Ewa Braun
Allan Starski
Best Actor Liam Neeson Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Ralph Fiennes Nominated
Best Makeup
Christina Smith
Matthew Mungle
Judy Alexander Cory
Best Sound
Andy Nelson
Steve Pederson
Scott Millan
Ron Judkins
Best Costume Design Anna B. Sheppard Nominated
ACE Eddie Award[132]
Best Editing Michael Kahn Won
BAFTA Awards[133]
Best Film
Steven Spielberg
Branko Lustig
Gerald R. Molen
Best Direction Steven Spielberg Won
Best Supporting Actor Ralph Fiennes Won
Best Adapted Screenplay Steven Zaillian Won
Best Music John Williams Won
Best Editing Michael Kahn Won
Best Cinematography Janusz Kamiński Won
Best Supporting Actor Ben Kingsley Nominated
Best Actor Liam Neeson Nominated
Best Makeup and Hair
Christina Smith
Matthew W. Mungle
Waldemar Pokromski
Pauline Heys
Best Production Design Allan Starski Nominated
Best Costume Design Anna B. Sheppard Nominated
Best Sound
Charles L. Campbell
Louis L Edemann
Robert Jackson
Ronald Judkins
Andy Nelson
Steve Pederson
Scott Millan
Chicago Film Critics Association Awards[134]
Best Film
Steven Spielberg
Gerald R. Molen
Branko Lustig
Best Director Steven Spielberg Won
Best Screenplay Steven Zaillian Won
Best Cinematography Janusz Kamiński Won
Best Actor Liam Neeson Won
Best Supporting Actor Ralph Fiennes Won
Golden Globe Awards[135]
Best Motion Picture – Drama
Steven Spielberg
Gerald R. Molen
Branko Lustig
Best Director Steven Spielberg Won
Best Screenplay Steven Zaillian Won
Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama Liam Neeson Nominated
Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture Ralph Fiennes Nominated
Best Original Score John Williams Nominated

Recommended to

All Real People

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The Place at Whitton. 1964.
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A River Town (1995)
Bettany's Book (2000)
An Angel in Australia (2000), also published as Office of Innocence
The Tyrant's Novel (2003), an Australian immigration detainee tells his story
The Widow and Her Hero (2007), the effect of war on those left behind
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Keneally, Thomas (2021). Corporal Hitler's pistol. Australia. ISBN 978-1-76089-322-4. OCLC 1257067130. Winner of the 2022 ARA Historical Novel Prize.
Keneally, Tom (1 November 2022). Fanatic Heart. Milsons Point, NSW: Vintage Australia. ISBN 978-0-14-377781-6. OCLC 1333614618.
The Monsarrat series, co-authored with Meg Keneally
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The Unmourned (2017)
The Power Game (2018)
The Ink Stain (2019)
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Now and in Time to Be: Ireland and the Irish (1992)
Memoirs from a Young Republic (1993)
The Utility Player: The Des Hasler Story (1993) Rugby league footballer Des Hasler
Our Republic (1995)
Homebush Boy: A Memoir (1995), autobiography
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American Scoundrel: The Life of the Notorious Civil War General Dan Sickles (2002), biography of Daniel Sickles
Lincoln (2003), biography of Abraham Lincoln
The Commonwealth of Thieves: The Story of the Founding of Australia (2005)
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China Online
Beijing, China
1 votes
168 views rating
Posted Jul 01, 2023
Category: Cinema and Movies
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Book details
Author(s)Thomas Keneally
Number of Pages300
Date Published1982
Publishing house
CountryUnited States
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