Schindler's List: "Oskar Schindler and Amon Goeth"

Essay by ErilineCollege, UndergraduateA-, October 2009

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At the start of the movie we can see Schindler starting out with a meager amount of money but through useful manipulation during the scene with the banquet attended by the high ranking officials he was able to enter into the close knit circle of the Nazi Party. The question therefore arises, is Schindler truly a righteous man? He had unknowingly came to "shelter" Jews not of his desire to save them from the butchering of the German soldier but for his own selfish desire to make money for a lesser cost. Even though Schindler is the hero of the story he is not in a common sense a virtuous man. He lives on in an immoral fashion, being a prolific womanizer even with having a wife already. He also over indulges himself in the luxuries of his money can get him. He is able to cleverly and seamlessly procure product through dealings in the black market as shown in the film and he also specializes in bribing high officials in the military to let him do as he pleases.

But through his bribes was he able to also save the lives of his Jewish workers. His ultimate act in the ending of the film was to bribe Amon Goeth to let his workers work for him in his home town, a relatively safe venue during that time when the mass slaughter of all Jews in the labor camps were ordered.

It's quite hard to draw a comparison between Goeth and Schindler. I guess one can see similarities of personal indulgences between the two and also both characters were put in the position wherein they had to take command of a large number of Jewish people during that time. It is at this point though that we can clearly distinguish the two from each other. For Amon Goeth his sense of right and wrong is overly distorted that there seems to be no right for this guy. He carries off his work as an overseer in the camp with brutal efficiency that whatever the Jews do they could not feel safe around a man like him. It is like Goeth is not sane at all. No, scratch that… He IS insane. To be able to be able to enjoy the genocide of the lives of innumerable people like it was just some game is beyond humane.

The underlying theme created by these two opposing and somewhat attracting (?) personalities is as the author Keneally puts as "the pragmatic triumph of good over evil". In the end of the film Goeth was sentenced to death and the Holocaust finally ended whereas the Schindlerjurden were set free and Schindler was able to escape the sentence of those normally involved with the Nazi Party. Another theme to be taken into account if the presence of the Lists, it is shown throughout the film and it generally meant the despair for the Jews. As one officer at the part when Stern was boarded into the train suddenly the officer commented on "they're on the list", this implies to us that Jews at those times weren't treated with as humans at all. To be categorized in such a way gives the impression of them as mere properties and not as human beings. On the other hand Schindler's List became a symbol for hope at that time. On his list was the 1,100 Jewish lives that he was able to save. A small number but these are humans live, each one worth a thousand more.

"Schindler's List." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia. January 30, 2008. <>Submitted by:Rolyne Jade OpinionBSBA MARKETING