Thursday, 6 October 2011

Schindler's List, by Thomas Keneally:

At first, Oskar Schindler seems an unlikely hero: egotistical, hedonistic and adulterous. As an industrialist, the outbreak of World War II appears to him as mostly an opportunity for commerce and financial gain by whatever means. He’s a member of the Nazi party, but only because it opens doors for him to make further contacts and exploit them.
In this we see the best qualities emerging from what at first seems a mercenary and selfish man whose primary motivation is money and profit.
This novel weaves fiction to tie together facts given from the testimonies of the Schindler juden (Schindler's Jews).
At first Schindler has but one aim: to make more money than any one man can spend in a lifetime. And, by ways of slave labor and profiteering, he succeeds. But witnessing first-hand the horror and atrocities of the SS, under the command of the murderous Amon Goeth, he is forced to search his conscience and he finds himself at a moral crossroads: he can take his fortune and go as far away from everything as he can get, or he can use his talents and assets to help others. In the midst of evil and aided by his factory manager and accountant, Itzhak Stern, Schindler sets on a mission: to save the Jewish employees in his factory.
Originally titled Schindler’s Ark, this historical novel is one of the most thorough and comprehensive retellings of a specific and profound event during the Holocaust, one of the darkest periods in mankind’s history.
Stephen Spielberg’s 1993 movie adaptation is a devastating experience.
Like the diary of Anne Frank and The Girl in the Red Coat, by Roma Ligocka, this is a book everyone should read at least once.
As Itzak Stern said: “Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire.”

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