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Oscar Schindler - Essay Example

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Oscar Schindler is a hero to the Jews - a man who rose to fame for having saved them in the holocaust of World War II. But that is not easily accepted as he does not fit the hero template of many. Secondly, the holocaust story is under debate and talking about it can land anyone in prison in some parts of the globe…
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Oscar Schindler
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Oscar Schindler

Download file to see previous pages... But this is exactly where the problem lies. The events have been resurrected for the present - as well as for the future - generations. There are issues here like Jew hatred, and now freedom of speech, when holocaust is being discussed even from a historical point of view. These have provided fires to Oscar Schindler's story. This paper gives a brief description of the event and then make a stand that Oscar Schindler is indeed a hero.
On April 28, 1908 in Zwittau, Czechoslovakia, Oscar Schindler, a man destined to be great, was born. His life and accomplishments during the war became the subject of a best selling book by Thomas Keneally. Then Steven Spielberg made it into a powerful film, winning many Academy Awards and other honors from the movie industry (Klein n.d.).
But how did a member of the Nazi party, war profiteer of slave labor, womanizer, alcoholic and compulsive gambler end up being honored Through "Schindler's List," the true story of a German businessman and Nazi sympathizer is revealed (Scileppi 2003). Poldek Pfefferberg, a black market trader was said to have initiated this incredible story, him who had business links with Schindler and who gave him goods which the latter used as gifts to impress Nazi officers. The whole thing worked, and Schindler became friends with some of the highest ranking officers in the German army (Ibid).
SchindlerSchindler was then doing business in 1938 in Poland and found the Nazis' rise to power as his chance to make money. He had started a cookware and utensil company, and to be able to get a series of Nazi military contracts, he applied his natural skills in socializing, flattering and bribing his way (New Internationalist 1994). Itzhak Stern became accountant and financier to assist him in his factory but the more important role was to liaison for Jew workers that Nazi troops herded into Crakow's ghetto by (Scileppi 2003).
Kracow's Jews soon filed into Schindler's factory to work. Unknown to the workers, Schindler helped his Jewish employees by falsifying the factory records. For example, their ages were adjusted so that old people were recorded as being younger; juveniles were listed as adults. Professionals were registered as metalworkers, mechanics, and draughtsmen, considered essential to war production. The workers were protected from the extermination commissions that looked into Schindler's records from time to time (Steinhouse 1994)
His workers did not know that at the same time, Schindler spent his evenings entertaining many of the local SS and Wehrmacht officers, cultivating friendships and strengthening his position wherever possible. .With an easy charm, Schindler became popular in Nazi social circles in Cracow {Steinhouse 1994).
In 1942, when Krakow's Jews are assigned to Plaszow, a Forced Labor Camp run by Commandant Amon Goeth, the survival of the Jews were put in jeopardy. Schindler placed efforts in pleasing Goeth and was able to arrange the continued use of Polish Jews in his plant. (New internationalist 1994).
Events that followed made Schindler realize that only he and his factory were what came between his workers and the Nazi death camps. From there he completely gave up generating wealth, and began using his remaining finances as bribes to procure more Jewish workers and maintain the factory's current staff. By the time the allies defeated Germany, his fortune was used up, but by ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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