Schindler's List

Schindler's List

by Thomas Keneally

Audio CD(Unabridged)

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Overview

The acclaimed bestselling classic of Holocaust literature, winner of the Booker Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Award for Fiction, and the inspiration for the classic film—“a masterful account of the growth of the human soul” (Los Angeles Times Book Review).A stunning novel based on the true story of how German war profiteer and factory director Oskar Schindler came to save more Jews from the gas chambers than any other single person during World War II. In this milestone of Holocaust literature, Thomas Keneally, author of Daughter of Mars, uses the actual testimony of the Schindlerjuden—Schindler’s Jews—to brilliantly portray the courage and cunning of a good man in the midst of unspeakable evil.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781508283058
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication date: 12/18/2018
Edition description: Unabridged
Sales rank: 1,163,607
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.50(h) x 5.00(d)

About the Author

Thomas Keneally began his writing career in 1964 and has published thirty-three novels since, most recently Napoleon’s Last Island, Shame and the Captives, and the New York Times bestselling The Daughters of Mars. His novels include Schindler’s List, which won the Booker Prize in 1982, The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Gossip from the Forest, and Confederates, all of which were shortlisted for the Booker Prize. He has also written several works of nonfiction, including his boyhood memoir Homebush Boy, The Commonwealth of Thieves, and Searching for Schindler. He is married with two daughters and lives in Sydney, Australia.

Read an Excerpt

From Chapter One

General Sigmund List's 5 armored divisions, driving north from the Sudetenland, had taken the sweet south Polish jewel of Cracow from both flanks on September 6, 1939. And it was in their wake that Oskar Schindler entered the city which, for the next five years, would be his oyster. Though within the month he would show that he was disaffected from National Socialism, he could still see that Cracow, with its railroad junction and its as yet modest industries, would be a boomtown of the new regime. He wasn't going to be a salesman anymore. Now he was going to be a tycoon.

It is not immediately easy to find in Oskar's family's history the origins of his impulse toward rescue. He was born on April 28, 1908, into the Austrian Empire of Franz Josef, into the hilly Moravian province of that ancient Austrian realm. His hometown was the industrial city of Zwittau, to which some commercial opening had brought the Schindler ancestors from Vienna at the beginning of the sixteenth century.

Herr Hans Schindler, Oskar's father, approved of the imperial arrangement, considered himself culturally an Austrian, and spoke German at the table, on the telephone, in business, in moments of tenderness. Yet when in 1918 Herr Schindler and the members of his family found themselves citizens of the Czechoslovak republic of Masaryk and Benes, it did not seem to cause any fundamental distress to the father, and even less still to his ten-year-old son. The child Hitler, according to the man Hitler, was tormented even as a boy by the gulf between the mystical unity of Austria and Germany and their political separation. No such neurosis of disinheritance soured Oskar Schindler's childhood. Czechoslovakia was such a bosky, unravished little dumpling of a republic that the German-speakers took their minority stature with some grace, even if the Depression and some minor governmental follies would later put a certain strain on the relationship. Zwittau, Oskar's hometown, was a small, coal-dusted city in the southern reaches of the mountain range known as the Jeseniks. Its surrounding hills stood partly ravaged by industry and partly forested with larch and spruce and fir. Because of its community of German-speaking Sudetendeutschen, it maintained a German grammar school, which Oskar attended. There he took the Real-gymnasium Course which was meant to produce engineers—mining, mechanical, civil—to suit the area's industrial landscape. Herr Schindler himself owned a farm-machinery plant, and Oskar's education was a preparation for this inheritance.

The family Schindler was Catholic. So too was the family of young Amon Goeth, by this time also completing the Science Course and sitting for the Matura examinations in Vienna.

Oskar's mother, Louisa, practiced her faith with energy, her clothes redolent all Sunday of the incense burned in clouds at High Mass in the Church of St. Maurice. Hans Schindler was the sort of husband who drives a woman to religion. He liked cognac; he liked coffeehouses. A redolence of brandy-warm breath, good tobacco, and confirmed earthiness came from the direction of that good monarchist, Mr. Hans Schindler.

The family lived in a modern villa, set in its own gardens, across the city from the industrial section. There were two children, Oskar and his sister, Elfriede. But there are not witnesses left to the dynamics of that household, except in the most general terms. We know, for example, that it distressed Frau Schindler that her son, like his father, was a negligent Catholic.

But it cannot have been too bitter a household. From the little that Oskar would say of his childhood, there was no darkness there. Sunlight shines among the fir trees in the garden. There are ripe plums in the corner of those early summers. If he spends a part of some June morning at Mass, he does not bring back to the villa much of a sense of sin. He runs his father's car out into the sun in front of the garage and begins tinkering inside its motor. Or else he sits on a side step of the house, filing away at the carburetor of the motorcycle he is building.

Oskar had a few middle-class Jewish friends, whose parents also sent them to the German grammar school. These children were not village Ashkenazim—quirky, Yiddish-speaking, Orthodox—but multilingual and not-so-ritual sons of Jewish businessmen. Across the Hana Plain and in the Beskidy Hills, Sigmund Freud had been born of just such a Jewish family, and that not so long before Hans Schindler himself was born to solid German stock in Zwittau.

Oskar's later history seems to call out for some set piece in his childhood. The young Oskar should defend some bullied Jewish boy on the way home from school. It is a safe bet it didn't happen, and we are happier not knowing, since the event would seem too pat. Besides, one Jewish child saved from a bloody nose proves nothing. For Himmler himself would complain, in a speech to one of his Einsatzgruppen, that every German had a Jewish friend. " 'The Jewish people are'going to be annihilated,' says every Party member. 'Sure, it's in our program: elimination of the Jews, annihilation—we'll take care of it.' And then they all come trudging, eighty million worthy Germans, and each one has his one decent Jew. Sure, the others are swine, but this one is an A-One Jew."

Trying still to find, in the shadow of Himmler, some hint of Oskar's later enthusiasms, we encounter the Schindlers' next-door neighbor, a liberal rabbi named Dr. Felix Kantor. Rabbi Kantor was a disciple of Abraham Geiger, the German liberalizer of Judaism who claimed that it was no crime, in fact was praiseworthy, to be a German as well as a Jew. Rabbi Kantor was no rigid village scholar. He dressed in the modern mode and spoke German in the house. He called his place of worship a "temple" and not by that older name, "synagogue." His temple was attended by Jewish doctors, engineers, and proprietors of textile mills in Zwittau. When they traveled, they told other businessmen, "Our rabbi is Dr. Kantor—he writes articles not only for the Jewish journals in Prague and Brno, but for the dailies as well."

Rabbi Kantor's two sons went to the same school as the son of his German neighbor Schindler. Both boys were bright enough eventually, perhaps, to become two of the rare Jewish professors at the German University of Prague. These crew-cut German speaking prodigies raced in knee pants around the summer gardens. Chasing the Schindler children and being chased. And Kantor, watching them flash in and out among the yew hedges, might have thought it was all working as Geiger and Graetz and Lazarus and all those other nineteenth-century German-Jewish liberals had predicted. We lead enlightened lives, we are greeted by German neighbors—Mr. Schindler will even make snide remarks about Czech statesmen in our hearing. We are secular scholars as well as sensible interpreters of the Talmud. We belong both to the twentieth century and to an ancient tribal race. We are neither offensive nor offended against. Later, in the mid-1930s, the rabbi would revise this happy estimation and make up his mind in the end that his sons could never buy off the National Socialists with a German-language Ph.D.—that there was no outcrop of twentieth-century technology or secular scholarship behind which a Jew could find sanctuary, any more than there could ever be a species of rabbi acceptable to the new German legislators. In 1936 all the Kantors moved to Belgium. The Schindlers never heard of them again.

Copyright © 1982 by Serpentine Publishing Co., PTY Ltd.

Reading Group Guide

Reading Group Discussion Points

  1. Schindler's List, while based on the true story of Oskar Schindler and the Schindler Jews, is fiction. At what point does this novel depart from the merely factual? What "liberties" does Thomas Keneally take that a non-fiction author could not?
  2. At the start of the book, Keneally lets us know that his protagonist, Oskar Schindler, is not a virtuous man, but rather a flawed, conflicted one, who makes no apology for his penchant for women and drink; yet he gambles millions to save the Jews under his care from the gas chambers. How does Keneally reconcile these two distinctly different sides of Oskar Schindler? How do you, the reader, reconcile them?
  3. Keneally writes, "And although Herr Schindler's merit is well documented, it is a feature of his ambiguity that he worked within or, at least, on the strength of a corrupt and savage scheme, one that filled Europe with camps of varying but consistent inhumanity." What abiding differences were there between Oskar Schindler and men like Amon Goeth, who operated the controls of this system? To what extent did Schindler remain in partnership with them? Where did he draw the line, and how did he keep himself separate while living among them?
  4. Schindler and his mistress, Ingrid, ride their horses to the hill overlooking the Cracow ghetto, where they witness an Aktion. Trailing alone at the end of a line of people being marched off, Oskar and Ingrid spot a little girl in red, "the scarlet girl." What is it about her presence on this early morning that is instrumental in Oskar Schindler's sudden and terrible understanding of what is happening in Europe and of his responsibility to mitigate it?
  5. "I am now resolved to do everything in my power to defeat the system," Schindler says after witnessing this Aktion. Do Schindler's subsequent actions defeat the system, or does he merely help to perpetuate it?
  6. Keneally follows many other characters throughout the book: the prisoners, Itzhak Stern, Helen Hirsch, Poldek and Mila Pfefferberg, Josef and Rebecca, the Rosner brothers — all of whom, at points, rise above their circumstances and engage in acts of great courage and generosity. In contrast, characters such as Spira and Chilowicz engage in acts of cruelty and self-interest. Yet they have similar circumstances. How do you feel about these different characters and their choices?
  7. "All our vision of deliverance is futile. We'll have to wait a little longer for our freedom," Schindler says to Garde (a Brinnlitz prisoner) when they learn that the Führer is still alive after an attempt on his life. Oskar speaks as if they are both prisoners waiting to be liberated, as if they have equivalent needs. What do you think Schindler means by "our freedom"? How might Schindler and other Germans have felt to be imprisoned? Is it fair for him to equate himself with Garde?
  8. After Brinnlitz is liberated, some of the prisoners take a German Kapo and hang him from a beam. Keneally writes, "It was an event, this first homicide of peace, which many Brinnlitz people would forever abhor. They had seen Amon hang poor engineer Krautwirt on the Appellplatz at Plaszow, and this hanging, though for different reasons, sickened them as profoundly." Why are so many of the prisoners sickened, in light of the atrocities committed against them? Do you feel the prisoners would have been justified in killing as many Germans as they could have? Why do you think there aren't more rampant acts of vengeance on the part of Schindler's Jews after their liberation?
  9. In a documentary made in 1973 by German television, Emilie Schindler remarked that Oskar had "done nothing astounding before the war and had been unexceptional since." She suggested that it was fortunate that between 1939 and 1945 he had met people who had summoned forth his "deeper talents." What are these "deeper talents" and what is it about war that elicits them? And what is it about peacetime that suppresses them?
  10. After the war, Schindler never reached the level of success he'd known during wartime. Both of his enterprises, a farm in Argentina and a cement factory in Frankfurt failed, and he was to fall back on Schindler's Jews time and time again. They became his only emotional and financial security, and they would help him in many ways until the day he died. Keneally suggests that Schindler remained, in a most thorough sense, a hostage to Brinnlitz and Emalia. What might he mean by this? Do you agree?
  11. What vision of human nature does Schindler's List express? Does it express the view of human beings as fundamentally good or evil? As immutable or capable of transformation? Does it leave you with any kind of a message, any vision for mankind? If so, what is it?
Recommended Readings
  • Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank
    Doubleday, 1967
  • Dita Saxova, Arnost Lustig
    Northwestern University Press, 1979
  • The Holocaust in History, Michael Marrus
    NAL/Dutton, 1989
  • The Jews: Stories of a People, Howard M. Fast
    Dell, 1968
  • Maus I and Maus II, Art Spiegelman
    Pantheon, 1991
  • Night, Dawn, and Day, Elie Wiesel
    Jason Aronson, Inc., 1985
  • One, By One, By One, Judith Miller
    Touchstone Books, 1990
  • Sophie's Choice, William Styron
    Vintage Books, 1979
  • Stones from the River, Ursula Hegi
    Scribner Paperback Fiction, 1995
  • The War Against the Jews: 1933-1945, Lucy Dawidowicz
  • Bantam Books, 1986
  • Winter in the Morning, Janina Bauman
    The Free Press, 1986

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Schindler's List 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 55 reviews.
LeandraCA More than 1 year ago
Seeing the movie first, I had an idea what the book would entail. Reading the book, would put image in my head from the film. There were some days that I couldnt read it because it was to intense. The book made me cry but also made me smile. This book is a must have for your permanent library for years and years. All should read this.
tory Nelson More than 1 year ago
Thomas Keneally has had a series of wonderful novels under his name but this has to be one of his best. Oskar Shindler starts out in the book as supporter of the Nazi party and an undercover agent for the Nazis to hold in their horrific plan to seize Poland. He is a smooth talker, a visionary, and a young entrepreneur by the start of the memorable World War II. By just getting an understanding of his background, you would never believe he would become a hero for not just the 1,100 Jews he saved, but for the rest of the world. Keneally does a great job showing the starting life of Shindler. We see his succession from the war and his transformation from a man who was doing fine making profits to someone who uses his fortune to open factors not just for his benefit. He supplies work and a sense of safety for Jew workers he hires. Previously having confirmations with Nazis and being arrested two times before, he is a warrior who finds a liking for danger. This story is not only about Shindler. We hear about the journeys of Jews in the ghettos and what occurs in the concentration camps. Some of the things you will hear can be disturbing but we all need to just be thankful that we didn’t have to go through this horrific time period. We hear stories from his friend like Itzhak Stern. We learn how important Shindler is to their lives. I loved this book because I see that guardian angels are real. Keneally shows this by providing us visual of Shindler looking after the Jews not just in the multi factors they went through but also at their ghetto. I wasn’t able to put down the book and I finished it within two weeks. Being the savior of 1,100 doesn’t seem to be much compared to the 6 million lives destroyed by the Nazis. 1,100 lives is a ton. He saved families and if you think about it, those people had off springs. His story still makes impacts on people and I’m glad he was honored by the Jewish world. Troy N.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read it before and wanted to re-read. Remarkable what he did during the most deplorable times in our lives.
wordygirl39 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Like everyone else who read this book I was moved. Keneally's other work is not as strong as SL, so I didn't know what to expect. I found it so powerful that I bought The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich after reading it, though, so it was one of those powerful, life-altering books that meant something more than a thrilling story.
yourotherleft on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
'He who saves a single life saves the world entire.'Schindler's List is the story of Oskar Schindler who saved more Jews during the Holocaust than any other one person. Winner of the Booker Prize in 1982, it is the only lightly fictionalized account of Oskar and the many Jews he saved. While billed as fiction, Schindler's List draws heavily from the remembrances of the people who were saved by or knew Schindler as well as from Schindler's own accounts of the period. As result, it reads more like history and its style is sometimes reminiscent of a television documentary in the way the various stories told by different survivors are assembled together. Keneally charts Schindler's life from his youth until the beginning of World War II and speculates about what in Schindler's life could have predisposed him to be a person who would risk everything to save as many as he could from the Holocaust. Schindler was a man of loose morals, notorious for taking lovers and cheating on his wife and later even cheating on his lover with yet another mistress, all with little regard to hiding his unfaithfulness. Schindler moved to Cracow in Poland to make his fortune at the start of World War II, soon acquired an Enamelware factory and landed contracts to produce mess kits for the war effort. In short, at the beginning of the war Schindler was a hard-drinking unethical sort with an eye for profit and an uncanny means of knowing the right people and the right way to wheel and deal to achieve monetary gain. At the end of war, he was still the same Schindler but had used his talents and connections to save the lives of over a thousand Jews. "You'll be safe working here. If you work here, then you'll live through the war."The new women of DEF took their job instruction in a pleasant daze. It was as if some mad old Gypsy with nothing to gain had told them they would marry a count. The promise had forever altered Edith Liebgold's expectation of life. If ever they did shoot her, she would probably stand there protesting, "But the Herr Direktor said this couldn't happen."Keneally has done a fantastic job of uniting the many personal accounts and Oskar's records into a coherent and stunning narrative of Schindler's unlikely heroics. He covers the beginning stages of Schindler's friendships with Jews in Cracow, the moment in which it seems he was galvanized to act when during an Aktion in the ghetto he witnesses brutal killings taking place in front of a young girl in a bright red coat, and his eventual use of his connections and "friendships" with various and sundry SS officers to remove Jews from the brutal environment at concentration camp Plaszow for work and protection at his factory. Schindler's larger than life personality, his immense monetary resources, and his way of knowing and appropriately bribing just the right people to ensure the survival of "his" Jews are brought strikingly to life.Schindler, however, is not the sole focus of the book. Keneally contrasts life in Schindler's camp with the many heart-wrenching stories of Jewish survivors who witnessed the horrors of the Holocaust. These stories accentuated with Keneally's gripping prose, which adds a strangely poetic edge to even the most dire situation, create a fuller picture of the Holocaust in Cracow than one can get from the many Holocaust memoirs written by single survivors. There in the a pile at Wulkan's knees, the mouths of a thousand dead were represented, each one calling for him to join them by standing and flinging his grading stone across the room and declaring the tainted origin of all this precious stuff.While at times physically painful to read, Keneally's narration lays bare the Holocaust for readers and leaves no doubt as to Schindler's heroism despite his moral failings. Schindler's List is a slow and difficult read, with countless heart-breaking stories and more names and titles to keep track of than one
Amzzz on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A remarkable tale of how one man, who was by no means leading a virtuous lifestyle, became a hero to the thousand he saved from death. The story is indeed wonderful, all the more so because it's true, but at times I found it a little dry to read. Harsh, I know.
booksandwine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Who hasn't seen the movie Schindler's List? Seriously, I think most people know the story of the beneficient nazi who saved at least 1,000 Jews during the Holocaust. Anyways, Schindler's List written by Thomas Keneally is a fictional book, it is not a biography or a history book. I am absolutely not a Holocaust-denier, I'm just repeating what the copy-right page says. However, there are non-fiction books out there about Schindler. This book reads like non-iction trying to be fiction, as in it's dry and academic at times, but there is the pretense of story. I feel like since this book is intended to be a novel, perhaps Keneally should have written it so it was more readable. Don't get me wrong, parts of this book broke my heart, such as the detailing of the ghetto liquidation. It's touching that one man can be so humane in the face of evil, but let's not ignore facts. Schindler was an oppourtunist, a womanizer, and an excessive drinker. Yes, he had vices, but still he did save a ton of people which makes him Righteous Among Nations. Anyways, if you have a passing interest in this dark era of history, this book is definately worth a read, however, keep in mind it is a work of fiction sort of like a movie prefaced with the "based on a true story" bit .
seoulful on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another memorable addition to the WWII Holocaust literature. Books have been written trying to categorize those who rescued Jews at great risk to their own lives, but this was not an easy task. People from very diverse walks of life and philosophical and religious persuasions participated in acts of courage. Schlindler was as much an enigma as many of the other rescuers. A wealthy industrialist who employed Jews in his factory, Schlindler fought to the end to save them from the Nazi death camps. And yet his own life betrayed no moral standard or compelling faith that would give a clue as to the reasons for his actions. Did it begin as a dangerous, thrilling game he played and then turn into something finer as he connected with his Jews? We may never know, but are grateful to him and the many others who gave light during that very dark time.
Embejo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this simply because I¿d seen the movie and was impressed by the story and wanted to find out more. The book while written as a novel, was constructed from recollections and records of real events¿only private conversations were reconstructed by the author. In saying this though, it was presented in a factual and largely chronological way, and not really dramatised. The story was dramatic in itself, but there wasn¿t anything to make you sympathise particularly with Oskar Schindler, the hero of this tale. So I found it a little more challenging to read than I¿d expected. Also there were a lot of German military and SS rank names written in German throughout the book which were a virtual mouthful, and along with Polish place names and so on, it took a bit of concentration.The story itself though¿.amazing. I don¿t think I will ever understand how these events really happened, and how such beliefs (towards the Jews) were ever able to take hold, and at a time not so very long ago.Recommended.
donttalktofreaks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great, although depressing, book about Schindler and his transformation from greedy businessman to risking his life for his Jewish workers.
BrandyGirl More than 1 year ago
I wanted to read this and just finished it. I thought I would really enjoy it after all of the great reviews surrounding it. It gave a very good history of Schindler and the people surrounding him but to me that was the problem. It read more like a history book to me than a story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is an amazing account of one mans desire to help people who were singled out for their religious beliefs. Anyone who has ever been a history buff or not will find this book compelling and will have trouble putting it down.
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SayarpreetCougar More than 1 year ago
This book is about Oskar Schindler, a man who came into the metal-making business just to make money. Then, he turned around and used his wealth to extricate 1,200 Jews from death camps all around Poland. He did it because he contradicted with what the SS did to Jews. Schindler took Itzahk Stern¿s quote that ¿ He who saves a single life saves the world entire¿ and ran away with it. He put his own future at risk for the plethora of Jews he tried to save, so they could also have their own future. Oskar Schindler was not alone on this quest of saving Jews, as Julius Madritsch, fellow business tycoon of Schindler¿s would have undertaken this quest. If he believed that this scheme had a chance of being successful he would have added 3,000 more Jews to Schindler¿s 1,200 that they both would have saved. This book urges you to as the saying ¿ do unto others, as you would want due to you¿ like Oskar Schindler did with overwhelming charisma, grit, and fortitude. As other camps were serving meals that ranged from a meager 700-1,000 calories a day as Alexander Biberstein, a doctor who experienced a normal death camp and Schindler¿s pointed out; Schindler distributed meals that ascended 2,000 calories a day. He opened his heart to all Jews when many did not even classify them as human beings; he created labor camps called Emalia and Brinnlitz with his own hard earned money. He fulfilled the promise to his Jews that they would ¿ survive the war under my care¿. Schindler¿s List inspired me to stand up for what I believe in and not shy away from your goal when nothing is on your side.
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C_Gus More than 1 year ago
World War II was a dark time in German history, but there were the few Germans that silently fought against the oppression. One man who did such deeds was a businessman by the name of Herr Schindler. "Schindler's list", by Thomas Keneally, is about Herr Schindler and his story about how he saved thousands of Jewish prisoners from the Nazi concentration camps by telling them that they were used for cheap labor. This book was exciting to say the least. It was near impossible for me to put it down. The story was gripping, intense and emotional. Keneally did an unbelievably phenomenal job adding detail to everything, making it even more irresistible. This book is a must read for anyone who is looking for a book that will give them a good look at WWII. It was a remarkable book. The only large negative about the book is that it was slow in the very beginning. It took a while for me to get into it, but after the first couple of chapters, it really took off. The reason for this was that Keneally wanted to set up a lot of visuals, so most of the beginning was descriptions and other things of the nature; which makes for a slow start, but was necessary for the rest of the book. If you are a little on the squeamish side, then this book is probably not for you. It was a little graphic at some parts. If you are a WWII fan looking for an accurate and exciting book, then this is the one for you. It definitely will not disappoint anyone who can stomach it. "Schindler's List" was an amazing book, and the movie is just as intense. I would highly recommend the movie if you enjoyed the book. The next best WWII book that I have read would be "Night". That is another WWII book that really brings out what it truly was like during that time period.
Big-Gordy More than 1 year ago
This was a novel that I had been waiting to read for a long time because of my great interest in the WWII era of history and I must say that I was not disappointed. Mr. Keneally starts by using the best method an author can use, which is description. On page 13 he describes Schindler and a gift from him to a camp leader and party host, Amon Goeth, in doing so he gives you a very clear picture of Schlindler: ".a tall young man in an expensive overcoat, double-breasted dinner jacket beneath it and- in the lapel of the dinner jacket- a large ornamental gold-on-black-enamel Hakenkreuz (Swastika)." The description truly adds to the sheer greatness of this book and it presents itself in many forms throughout the book. Another example of Keneally's descriptive prowess lies in a paragraph on page 88 and continues on through page 89; "During those morning journeys across town, Oskar noticed the plan for the city trolleys was to go on rolling down Lwówska Street through the middle of the ghetto. All walls facing the trolley line were being bricked up by polish workmen, and where there had been open spaces, cement walls were raised. As well, the trolleys would have their doors closed as they entered again in the Umwelt, the Aryan world, at the corner of Lwówska and sw Kingi Street. Oskar knew people would catch that trolley anyhow. Doors closed, no stops, machine guns on walls-it wouldn't matter." That whole last paragraph shows how one of the most mundane tasks had been completely revamped in a negative way by the Third Reich because, as you could tell, the walls were being constructed to separate Aryans and Jews and the trolley had to be armed because of the turmoil of the whole situation. The last quote that I would like to present is not a piece of Keneally's description but it gives you a bit of insight on his much adored off-trailing ; "Pemper would one day become secretary to Oskar, but in the summer of '44 he worked with Amon." even though this doesn't seem too major, it happens throughout the whole book. There is a reason that this is a critically acclaimed work, and I had found it. The reason behind this books success is in Keneally's high quality writing and his use of masterful artistic techniques. In all reality, this book is one huge use of pathos in a sense that it uses the tragedy of the holocaust to appeal to its readers and he does this well. His use of Pathos is used very well from the very beginning on page 22 and 23 when he describes the level of abuse that Goeths' Jewish maid, Helen, receives from her employer and how Schindler kindly gives her a kiss on the forehead and a bar of chocolate. Another reason that this book is so great is that you have a flawed hero which, to me, always gives the book a better and more realistic feel and these aren't just subtle flaws either, he is a smoker, a drinker a womanizer and a war profiteer. Therefore I feel I can have more of a connection to Oskar Schindler. This is just such a great book with so many elements contributing to it's overall greatness, so many that it is impossible to name every one, but that in itself tells you a lot about the quality of this novel. I would highly recommend this book to anyone wanting a classic Hard-to-put-down, captivating read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cougar_H More than 1 year ago
The story of Oskar Schindler is one that would not be easily forgotten. This man saved the lives of 1200 Jews and their descendants who would have other wise been killed in the massacre of WWII, but there's a saying, "do onto others, as you would want done to you." Would you help??? Schindler must have had that saying in his mind during the holocaust. Picture yourself in a life-threatening situation. You definitely would love help, and you would probably help also because if you were in that situation that's what everyone wants. Think of all of the bad things that could happen if he helps: he could be arrested, killed, tortured, or even sent to the slave camps. Yet he helped. Although this is a great story of survival, it gets you thinking about all the other people who weren't as lucky to have worked for such a man. Thousands of Jews died in the worst conditions possible and for those who did survive, the faced the memories of the suffering and the violence that happened before their eyes. It was inspiring to see the change of hear that Schindler had when his mindset changed from mocking money to saving lives. Itzhak Stern had a huge part to play in the conversion of Schindler because he was in change of the business end of their factory, so he was the one who did all the employing. Schindler and Stern were like Batman and Robin. Stern worked relentlessly in making sure that, as many people as possible were able to come to the 'place of refuge.' Schindler created a future for so many who thought there was nothing else for them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago