Oskar Schindler was a complicated man. He was a German industrialist and a member of the Nazi party. He was not exactly loyal to his wife. But he was also responsible for saving the lives of 1200 Jewish prisoners during The Holocaust.
This year, the film based on his life during the war, Schindler’s List, turns 25.
If there ever was a Holocaust film, Schindler’s List is that film. Liam Neeson played the title role. Directed by Steven Spielberg, the supporting cast includes Ben Kingsley and Ralph Fiennes. Filmed in stark black and white for 99% of the film, the movie pulls no punches. It forces the audience to keep their eyes on the screen and screams out that this is what hate and prejudice leads to.
This film is hard to watch, but it is hard to watch for a reason. It is still relevant 25 years later not only because hatred, prejudice and genocide are still happening, but also because there are some who continue to deny that The Holocaust is anything but historical fact.
May this film live on for eternity, as a reminder of what human beings can do to each other and why we must find a way to accept one another, even if one is different.
Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if they destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if they saved an entire world. — Mishnah Sanhedri
Sir Nicholas Winton passed away today.
Known as England’s answer to Oskar Schindler, Sir Nicholas was one of several who was responsible for saving 669 Czechoslovakian children (most of whom are Jews) from the Nazi Holocaust.
Sir Nicholas was the son of German Jews who emigrated to England and converted to Christianity. His courage in the face of unspeakable horror remained unknown until the late 1980’s, until his wife found the documents relating to her husband’s past.
Because of his courage and the courage of his compatriots, hundreds of Jewish children lived through World War II. They lived to adulthood, had children and grandchildren. While their descendants can never replace the 1.5 million Jewish children killed in World War II, the descendants of the survivors are proof that Am Yisroel Chai (the Jewish people live).
RIP, Sir Nicholas. Todah Rabah.
Oskar Schindler was many things. A womanizer, a sometimes less than honest business man and a Nazi. But he was still responsible for saving the lives of Jews who were headed to the crematorium of Auschwitz.
The 1993 Oscar winning movie, Schindler’s List, starring Liam Neeson in the title role is stark, black and white and unflinching. It dares the movie going audience to not look away, to see what unchecked prejudice, hatred and murder looks like.
If there was ever a Holocaust movie, this is it. I have seen many Holocaust movies, but this one consistently ranks at the top of the list. With an incredible supporting cast that includes Ben Kingsley (Itzhak Stern), Ralph Fiennes (Amon Goeth) and Embethz Davidtz (Helen Hirsch), this movie leaves a mark on the audience. Steven Spielberg, as the director, leaves no stone un-turned.
This movie should be required viewing, not just for school children, but for adults all over the world.
After the Holocaust, the phrase “Never Again” became a battle cry to remember the victims. “Never Again” has happened again. This movie is a reminder of what becomes of us when we let hatred and prejudice take over.