Rated: 2 / 5
Rather than telling a story with universal meaning, however, Spielberg has instead made what can only be called a “Jewish” film; that is, a film by Jews, about Jews, and for Jews to use against non-Jews.
“It’s human nature. ‘We’ll do this to avoid that.'”
“That’s what they have done since thousands of years. It’s what they do, they weather the storm.”
“But this storm is different. This is not the Romans. This storm is the SS.”
This is one of those movies that packed a punch felt through the nation at the time of release. Everyone talked about this film. About how it was one of the most important movies ever released. About how it should be shown to students in school which was almost the case for me when I was in middle school. Well, those of us who didn’t get to see it in school, we usually found a way to see it outside of school. Because it was an obligation. We had to experience what it was like for the Jews in Nazi Germany amidst World War II. We had to know about the gritty experience, so as to fully appreciate (if that’s the right word for it) that event in history when genocide was committed. To know the full depravity of humanity. To know what humans can be like at their lowest levels. To know what the Nazis were like, and why it is important to know all this hindsight history so as not to repeat it, so as not to create a new generation of a race or religion that has been through a genocide event. To pity those who survived it, and spit upon those who caused it. And to thank those who did what they could to help those living through those times to survive.
And what better director to encapsulate all that than Steven Spielberg. Arguably the movie director most famous for emotional manipulation, particularly ever since Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind (1977, where it was becoming obvious but still slightly restrained) and E.T. (1982, where any restraint he once had had completely diminished). I do sometimes wonder how often people knew they were being emotionally manipulated, didn’t know, or knew but were willing to go along with it because it was entertainment. Then again, don’t most films, especially dramas, tend to go for emotional manipulation anyway? Is that not part of the movie-going experience? In any case, emotional manipulation or not, it won Oscars, and has been put on virtually every list of “Movies to See Before You Die.” Quite an achievement, especially since I doubt that’s the only movie of his that has been placed on such lists.
And I was one of those people back in the day, who saw this at a young age, who broke down at the end of it crying and all. The film got to me, as it has gotten to many others.
So today, I decided to revisit it, on a different level of maturity, criticism, knowledge, and guard against such manipulation that got to me in the past. And what did I think of it? Well, that depends on how you look at it.
Judging it purely as a film in-of itself, it’s well-made in terms of camerawork. Filmed mostly in black and white, and moving amongst people at ground zero to give it an aura of historical authenticity. The violence that occurs is realistically explicit to maintain this aura, and it certainly had enough extras in it to give the film a semi-epic feel at times. It’s some of the best camerawork done in film for capturing the elements it depicts in the manner it wished to depict it. If anyone didn’t know any better, they would say it’s a borderline real-time documentary.
However, the more in-depth thematic elements get laughable in how blunt and obvious they’re implemented, even in the more horrifying moments. I can give three examples where the film blasts you in the head with it so hard you’ll be seeing stars of David carried by blue birds circling your head.
1.) When the SS evicted this upper class Jewish couple from their home, and continually cut between Schindler moving into their home, and them moving into the crummy ghetto. To the point where these lines were uttered between two takes:
Schindler: “It couldn’t be better.”
Jew wife: “It could be worse.”
2.) The second time got more eye-rolling than that. With Schindler’s one-armed semi-senile worker coming to personally thank him for the work and saving his life, before he gets killed in literally the next scene. Talk about an obvious emotional setup.
3.) The Jews who have been moved in the Krakow forced labor camp, and this line is uttered between a couple women:
“The worst is over. We’re workers now!”
In the same scene, this is followed by Amon Goeth shooting the more lazy workers. Wawahhhhhhh. Another obvious emotional setup that’s borderline comical when you think about the timing of it.
I mean, Jesus Christ, you’d think Spielberg would pad it out with at least 2 scenes before having the whole waawaaawaaaaahhhhhh moment hit. Fucking Bridge to Terabithia was more subtle with the foreshadowing and emotional warning than this movie! And that’s saying a lot!
But anyway, it’s a bit amusing to hear Ralph Fiennes’ character say the line, “Wakey wakey,” to his, uh, girlfriend, after the above segment. And this seems to be referenced in a later film Ralph Fiennes starred in. Spider, directed by David Cronenberg.
Other than all that, when one puts aside that the film primarily exists for sympathy points for one race/religion and shame points against another, there really isn’t much more to it than that. Sure, Schindler goes through this character arc (with each moment of change signified by the girl in the red dress; subtle), and Goeth has his false-redemption angle. But everyone else, including Ben Kingsley’s character, is about as one note as it gets. There’s literally no dimension to anybody else in this movie. They make a marginal effort of trying to add some depth to the jews who became ghetto police (they were known as Ordnungdienst), talking briefly about their position, but it’s never expanded upon other than they exist and they work for the nazis now. The Nazis are as one-dimensional as you would expect (even to the point where one would play the piano amidst all the shooting in the ghetto), and the Jews are as one-dimensional as they are for entirely different reasons (pure pacifist).
I mean, putting aside the sympathy/shame points, there really isn’t all that much to this film. Not enough time is spent with the interesting characters to make this all that investing (unless you’re invested in the events as depicted), and because of that the plot didn’t maintain my interest this time around (as opposed to the first time I watched this film many years ago). Plus I found it questionable that Schindler would make this dramatic of a turn against Germany during the last third of the film when he goes so far as to discourage the workers from making artillery shells that work, and in-effect attempting to sabotage the German war effort (though that being said, from what I’ve researched, he did actually do this to an extent; it’s just that the film doesn’t make his character complex enough to allow for this to seem natural; more on that later). It’s not one of those movies that ages well past the first viewing or two. It’s about as surface-level of a movie as you can get. There isn’t much to dig into. It gets about as dull as the color scheme.
But in terms of cinematography (though those close-up shots of the faces get very tiring real fast) and camerawork and having actors move about here and there, there is plenty to admire. So it’s worth a watch for those interested in trying to make a career out of directing. If nothing else, Spielberg at least knows how to shoot a scene. It’s just an issue of how much he tries to indulge in the emotional factor. In this case, he clearly overindulged in the emotional factor more than Tarantino indulged the cult-hip-50s-to-70s factor in, well, anything made after Jackie Brown (Pulp Fiction cut it close). And whenever a film overindulges in something like that, it doesn’t really hold up all that much.
So the main thing this film really has going for it is the historical significance of the events it covers. It has entombed itself as the definitive Holocaust film. For better or worse, that’s all this really has going for it.
Although there is an alternative opinion about that. By alternative, I mean that it feels the film put more emphasis on Schindler’s character than on the Jew’s plight, and is shallow for that reason instead of vice versa:
Some feel the film, which won a best picture Oscar, serves to embed a narrative of Jewish weakness and passivity, in which Jews were nearly always portrayed as undeserving victims. By choosing to focus on Schindler (Neeson) and the commandant of the Płaszów concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland, Amon Goeth (Fiennes), Spielberg marginalised the Jews to supporting roles (with the exception of Schindler’s accountant Itzhak Stern, played by Kingsley).
Spielberg portrayed them as cardboard cut-outs, a monolithic mass of feebleness, lacking in psychological depth, to be saved or murdered at the whim of the non-Jews. From this point of view, then, Schindler’s List is not about the Holocaust or the Jews at all, but a biopic of Schindler and his conversion from ambivalent antihero to righteous gentile.
More needs to be done for Holocaust education, Spielberg said: “It’s not a pre-requisite to graduate high school, as it should be. It should be part of the social science, social studies curriculum in every public high school in this country.”
So this portion of the review won’t be placed on Letterboxd, at least not entirely. Why? Because:
Firstly: dangerous fascist and white supremacist ideologies can go to hell. We remove such content from our service regularly. We want to catch it all. We’ve changed our community policy as of today to reflect this, adding in an explicit line rejecting content that “expressly praises, supports, promotes or represents white nationalist ideology”.
Anything questioning the holocaust is deemed to be against their community policy, which is why the shadow-banned, then removed, my review of Europa. Knowing that, I know this portion won’t last on that website. So, to quote a line from the film being reviewed:
“Not essential? I teach history and literature! Since when not essential?”
Parallels between the community policy and depiction of the dangerous Nazi ideology in this film, anyone? I mean, when you consider how the film portrays one side as pure and innocent while completely demonizing the other without giving them any sense of humanity whatsoever, it’s a lose-lose situation. From the viewpoint of revisionists and non-revisionists. Either the Holocaust did happen, and media then and now deem it ok to completely dehumanize Nazis and Germans, without any consideration that these were multidimensional people with flaws and good sides, thus encouraging hatred towards them; and that people are capable of committing that much evil against those of another religion/race regardless of any good they have in them. Or the Holocaust didn’t happen, and many have been brainwashed into hating on people of a certain race/religion/nationality for something they didn’t do. Either way you look at it, the worst of humanity has already been demonstrated. The reason people get so emotional about the historical significance of the Holocaust, whether it happened or not, is because it evokes the worst in humanity, it showcases the worst case scenario of judging other human beings and viewing them as lower lifeforms not worthy of remorse. The worst part is that many are fully accepting of this simplification, almost as much as many Americans are ok with the acceptance of the simplification of Confederates being one-dimensional black-hating assholes during the Civil War.
So on the note of historical significance…
Judging it as a film that is shown in schools and such as an educational tool to inform those of the Holocaust, it’s one big pile of shit.
First of all, the book this film is based on is stated as a work of fiction. Yet the film tries to pass itself off as being based on a true story with its documentary-like look. Considering how they offer
free screenings of this film from time to time to students for educational purposes, I have to dock a point for that reason.
Second, the film opens (discounting the Jewish song opening) stating that Germany conquered Poland in 2 weeks. WRONG! While Germany (which invaded Poland on September 1, 1939) did conquer enough of Poland to ensure it would completely fall to its invasion in a little over two weeks (basically around September 18, 1939), it was closer to 5 weeks when they completely took over Poland and put down virtually all forms of military resistance (October 5, 1939). And there’s some complex history regarding not just Poland’s relation to Germany and Russia, but also Poland’s relation to the Jews.
After the partition of Poland between Germany and the Soviet Union, the Polish government fled the country and established a government-in-exile in London. Polish refugees in eastern Poland faced the prospect of a long exile from home.
When the Soviets annexed eastern Poland, about 300,000 Jewish refugees from German-occupied Poland were trapped. The vast majority of these refugees remained in Soviet-occupied Poland. In 1940 and 1941, Soviet secret police officials arrested and deported—as “unreliable elements”—hundreds of thousands of residents of eastern Poland, including thousands of Jewish refugees from German-occupied Poland. Those arrested were deported to Siberia, central Asia, and other locations in the interior of the Soviet Union. About 40,000 Jewish refugees continued their flight from Poland, fearing arrest and persecution in either German- or Soviet-occupied territory. More than half of those who fled Poland went to Romania and Hungary. 15,000 went to Lithuania, most to Vilna, Kovno, and the surrounding regions.
Some refugees could not escape Poland before Soviet and German authorities established their control of the country. By the time some refugees reached the German-Soviet demarcation line as well as Poland’s borders with her neighbors they found both closed and heavily guarded. Some refugees attempted to sneak across, often at great danger. Those caught trying to cross between occupation zones or trying to flee without papers faced arrest and arbitrary violence at the hands of both Soviet and German border guards.
For others, the prospect of permanent exile away from home was overwhelming. Penniless, tired of aimless wandering, and despairing of seeing their families in the German-occupied zone of Poland again, some refugees headed home, back across the German-Soviet demarcation line into German-occupied Poland.
However, in the early twentieth century anti-Semitic tensions began to rise. Poverty caused many Poles to oppose the disproportionate role of Jews in their country’s economic elites and intelligentsia. Until his death in 1935, Poland’s de facto ruler Marshal Jozef Pilsudski vigorously opposed anti-Semitic policies. Nonetheless, post-Pilsudski governments officially discriminated against Jews by, for example, excessively taxing them while many universities introduced quota systems to limit the number of Jewish students admitted and conservative organizations boycotted Jewish businesses, thus pauperizing Poland’s Jews.
Third, Oskar Schindler himself. Aside from the first third of the movie, his depiction in this film is about as fictional as it gets compared to the real life individual. Starting with the inconvenient fact that Schindler was working for a powerful Hungarian Jew.
Keneally mentioned that Schindler worked for the powerful Hungarian Jew Rudolf Kastner. Nowhere will this information be found in Schindler’s List because in 1944 Kastner helped Eichmann deport hundreds of thousands of Jews to Auschwitz, in return for favorable treatment for Kastner’s Zionist cronies. The fact of high level cooperation between Nazis and Zionists was too embarrassing to be included in Spielberg’s pro-Zionist film.
And it doesn’t end there. Schindler didn’t even have the lists written up in the way depicted in the film. He was in jail at the time.
But several of the nine separate lists enshrined by history as Schindler’s list were actually compiled by Marcel Goldberg, a corrupt Jewish member of the security police, Prof Crowe reports.
Schindler was hardly in a position to oversee any of the details involved: he had been arrested on suspicion of bribery by SS officers investigating corruption charges against Amon Göth, the concentration camp commander played by Ralph Fiennes in the film.
And there’s more:
Schindler is also accused in the book of having headed a German unit responsible for planning the Nazi invasion of Poland – a far graver allegation than the fact, already known, that he had spied for Germany in Czechoslovakia in the 1930s.
He was described by several of his former employees as an angel. But he was viewed so ambivalently by Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust remembrance authority, that it failed to grant him the official status of “righteous gentile” until 1993, when Mr Spielberg’s film was already in production, Prof Crowe wrote. That appears to contradict the Oscar-winning film’s claim that he was granted the status in 1958.
Since his death in 1974, his legacy has already lost some of its lustre, not least at the hands of his wife, Emilie, who in the months before her death in 2001 gave interviews condemning him as an amoral womaniser who had denied her the credit she deserved for her role in helping to save almost 1,200 Jewish workers.
Mr. Crowe said the legend of “the list” arose partly from Schindler himself, to embellish his heroism. He was trying to win reparations for his wartime losses, and Yad Vashem, the Jewish Holocaust memorial organization in Jerusalem, was considering naming him a “righteous gentile,” an honor given to someone who risked death to save Jews.
It has long been known that Schindler was a spy for German counterintelligence in the late 1930’s, but he played down those activities. Yet Mr. Crowe said that Czech secret police archives refer to Schindler as “a spy of big caliber and an especially dangerous type.” Mr. Crowe also said that Schindler compromised Czechoslovak security before the Nazi invasion and was imprisoned. Later, the Czechoslovak government tried to prosecute him for war crimes. Schindler was also the de facto head of a unit that planned the Nazi invasion of Poland.
There were also rumors, briefly mentioned in the book and film, that after Schindler moved to Krakow in 1939 as a carpetbagger following the Nazi invasion, he stole Jewish property and ordered Jews beaten. Although the charges were unproven, Mr. Crowe discovered that Yad Vashem was so concerned that it delayed designating Schindler a righteous gentile. The film’s epilogue says Schindler was named in 1958, 16 years before his death in 1974. But Mr. Crowe found that he was officially named in 1993, after Yad Vashem learned that Schindler’s widow, Emilie, who also behaved heroically, was coming to Jerusalem to participate in the film. Both received the honor, he posthumously.
After the war Schindler was a failure. He squandered money given to him by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and moved to Argentina, where he attempted to breed nutria. He then returned to Germany and bought a concrete factory, where workers attacked him for saving Jews during the war. That factory went bankrupt. Schindler continued drinking, and begged Jews he had saved to help him financially. He died from alcoholism and heavy smoking, Mr. Crowe said.
Schindler did rely on funds from Jewish organizations (such as that named above) after the war, and tried to start up some more businesses afterwards, all of which failed. He squandered all the money he was given, he didn’t remain faithful to his wife, and he died of liver failure (likely from heavy drinking). The only thing he kept the jews from were forced labor camps which were only somewhat worse than being at one of his factories (ie not as bad as depicted in the film, which is something Europa and my responses to Myles Power’s videos point out). And even then, the jew ghetto police also utilized Schindler’s funds to have Jews moved to the more lenient (ie more luxurious by comparison) labor camps when there wasn’t room in Schindler’s factories. Likely because, near the end of the war, Schindler could tell that Germany was going to lose, especially after the failure of taking Russia, and when the Americans got into the war (June 1944). And on last note about Schindler, and this is a very very interesting little tidbit Spielberg decided to leave out, which completely goes against the pacifist depiction of the Jews:
Mr. Crowe said that the only part of the film that angered him was the ending, in which Schindler flees as the Russians advance. The Jews are shown as defeated, but in fact, Mr. Crowe said, Schindler had created “an armed guerilla group of Jews.”
“They were armed to the teeth, ready to fight till the death,” he said. Hours after Schindler left, they hung a Jew who worked for the Nazis.
That all being said, this doesn’t mean Schindler was a bad man. It makes him a complex one, with many layers. A man who did good things and bad things. If we were given this character in the film, the film would be a much more interesting one. He may have been a man who was only helping the Jews and sabotaging the Germans for his own personal benefit knowing the end of the war was nigh, or he may have been doing it out of the good of his heart, or somewhere in-between. The testimony of his wife seems to indicate the former, but we may never know. Would be nice to have a film with a portrayal of that character which leaves those viewpoints open to interpretation by the viewer. Of course, in order for me to fully appreciate that film even with a character like that in it, it can’t portray the Nazis unfairly either. And as far as I can tell, no modern film (let alone older ones) seems to be capable of doing that, mainly because they all go with the assumption that 6+ million Jews were killed in the Holocaust due largely in-part to the Final Solution, which is something I’ve come to no longer believe.
That being said, I don’t buy that the forced labor camps were picnic parties either, even when some revisionist documentaries, including Europa (for all the great insights it provides, it does have some false or misleading info from its biased point of view, as most documentaries do), try to convince people otherwise. There were labor camps run by reasonable SS leaders, and some were run by terrible SS leaders, such as Karl Otto Koch and Amon Goeth (the latter depicted by Ralph Fiennes in the film as the main antagonist).
The fact that the SS, under orders from Heinrich Himmler, attempted to operate the concentration camps (KZ) in a humane manner, in part by prosecuting, jailing and even executing brutal Nazi concentration camp personnel, has been nearly completely suppressed in much of the discussion of the history of World War Two.
One of the key officers who was instrumental in Himmler’s campaign to attempt to ensure the human rights of KZ inmates, was the heroic and incorruptible SS Judge Konrad Morgen. His testimony follows:
From Affidavit SS-65 by SS Judge Konrad Morgen, IMT Vol. 42, p. 556:
Individual criminal acts – in these cases having broad implications – included: the assumption of a license to kill by commandants and subordinates concealed through falsification of medical death certificates.
Arbitrary conduct, chicanery, unlawful corporal punishments, acts of brutality and sadism, liquidation of no-longer-convenient accomplices, theft and black-market profiteering.
ALL OF THESE OFFENSES WERE COMMITTED both alone by prisoners AS WELL AS BY PERSONNEL OF THE SS, most however in conspiracy between SS personnel with kapos (Jewish concentration camp guards).
The intervention of SS jurisdiction in the concentration camps commenced with the initiation of my investigations in July 1943 and lasted until the conclusion of the war. It could not have started sooner, because there were no suspicions in this regard.
Arrested were the commandants of Buchenwald, Lublin, Warschau, Herzogenbosch, KRAKAU-PLASZOW.
The commandants of Buchenwald and Lublin were shot.
More than a hundred cases were brought to a verdict. Maximum punishments were imposed on members of all ranks.
Fourth, the depiction of Amon Goeth. Well, I’m not going to lie. From what I’ve gathered, he is about as big of an asshole as depicted in the film. However, the film depicts both him and the Germans as if they were the rule rather than the exception. This was not the case:
Although there were orders to administrators from the National Socialist government that concentration camp inmates were not to be brutalized, the camps themselves varied from well-run, fundamentally decent places of confinement, to pure hell-holes, depending to a large degree on the quality of the Nazi leadership in each concentration camp. Some commandants such as Amon Goeth and Karl Otto Koch were little more than criminals, while others like Hermann Pister were incorruptible and supervised the most humane facilities they could under the circumstances, given the scarcity of food and medicine in wartime Germany under conditions of saturation bombing by the Allied air forces.
There are many instances of attempts by the German military to secure humane conditions within the concentration camps. For example, in 1943 SS Judge Konrad Morgen of the Haupt Amt Gericht (SS-HAG) was assigned to investigate and prosecute brutality at Buchenwald. Morgen was so successful in correcting conditions there that Himmler gave him an expanded staff and unlimited investigative authority in the camps. Morgen’s next target of inquiry was Krakau-Plaszow and its commandant, Amon Goeth, the arch-fiend of Speilberg’s film.
In Schindler’s List Morgen’s entire investigation of Goeth was reduced to a scene in which fleeting reference is made to Goeth having his books “audited.” If you blinked, you missed it. The crucial truth that Steven Spielberg withheld from his audience is that in September of 1944, Goeth was arrested by the Central Office of the SS Judiciary and imprisoned on charges of theft and the murder of concentration camp inmates.
Hoffman never made it to a trial in Germany though, as he was arrested near the end of the war, Germany had other things to worry about, and they lost the war. So Hoffman had to face justice at the hands of the Polish rather than at the hands of the Germans.
And on another note, he didn’t have the authority to execute those working at the camp. And even more interesting, he wasn’t tried as a Nazi when he did go to trial in Poland post WWII, mainly because he wasn’t in a high command position. They had to make up a new law for trying someone like him.
As the commandant of the Plaszow camp, Goeth had been ordered to carry out the executions that were ordered by others. These executions took place at the Plaszow camp. The people who were executed were not prisoners in the Plaszow camp.
According to David Crowe’s book, entitled Oscar Schindler, Wilek Chilowicz was a Jewish prisoner, who was the head of the OD, the Jewish police at Plaszow. Crowe wrote that “Göth sought permission to murder Chilowicz and several other prominent OD men in the camp on false charges.”
In all the Nazi concentration camps, the staff had to get permission from headquarters in Oranienburg to punish a prisoner, but punishment did not include murder.
Dr. Georg Konrad Morgen was a Waffen-SS officer and attorney, whom Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler had put in charge of investigating murder, corruption and mistreatment of prisoners in all the Nazi concentration camps in 1943. Dr. Morgen’s first investigation had resulted in the arrest of Karl Otto Koch, the Commandant of Buchenwald, and his later execution by the Nazis.
According to David Crowe’s book, Goeth asked one of his SS officers, Josef Sowinski, to prepare a detailed, false report about a potential camp rebellion led by Chilowicz and other OD men. Based on this report, Koppe sent a secret letter to Goeth giving him the authority to carry out the execution of Chilowicz and several other OD men. The execution took place on August 13, 1944; Goeth was arrested exactly a month later and charged by Dr. Morgen with corruption and brutality, including the murder of Wilek Chilowicz and several others.
After World War II ended, the American military turned Amon Goeth over to the Polish government for prosecution as a war criminal. He was brought before the Supreme National Tribunal of Poland in Krakow. His trial took place between August 27, 1946 and September 5, 1946. Goeth was charged with being a member of the Nazi party and a member of the Waffen-SS, Hitler’s elite army, both of which had been designated as criminal organizations by the Allies after the war. His crimes included the charges that he had taken part in the activities of these two criminal organizations. The crime of being a Nazi applied only to Nazi officials, and Goeth had never held a job as a Nazi official. In fact, at the time of Goeth’s conviction by the Polish court, the judgment against the SS and the Nazi party as criminal organizations had not yet been made by the Nuremberg IMT.
At Goeth’s trial, the Nazi party was said to be “an organization which, under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, through aggressive wars, violence and other crimes, aimed at world domination and establishment of the National-Socialist regime.” Amon Goeth was accused of personally issuing orders to deprive people of freedom, to ill-treat and exterminate individuals and whole groups of people. His crimes, including the newly created crime of genocide, came under a new law of the Allies, called Crimes against Humanity.
The point being, his acts and methods were cruel enough to where even the SS had to arrest him and see him punished. That, and because he was stealing stuff on the side from the Jews, which is something I believe was supposed to go straight to the Nazi party to help fund the German war effort or something.
And on another more minor note, it wasn’t geographically possible for Goeth to snipe Jews from the second story of his house.
Fifth, the ghetto jew police (Ordnungdienst / Ordnungsdiest), and the pacifist nature of the jews in the film. Regarding the German Jewish police, “they were supervised by Polish guards and armed German police to ensure that they performed their tasks correctly and with appropriate strictness,” (Source). Despite that, there’s a chance they weren’t all that, eh, honorable, since it’s been reported they were “ruthless killers” at times (still need to verify this, so take that information with a grain of salt).
As for the Jews being completely pacifist and meek, that’s a load of bull:
According to Thomas Keneally’s novel, after the first liquidation in 1942, in which many of the Jews escaped, the Jewish Combat Organization (ZOB), a group of resistance fighters, bombed the Cyganeria Restaurant and killed 7 German SS soldiers. Next, the SS-only Bagatella Cinema was bombed in Krakow. In the next few months, the ZOB sank German patrol boats on the Vistula, fire-bombed German military garages in Krakow and derailed a German army train, besides forging papers and passports for Jews to pass as Aryans.
In the movie, the date of the scene where Mrs. Dresner hides has been changed to the day of the final liquidation of the ghetto on March 13, 1943. The movie gives the impression that the Jews were killed for no reason and does not mention what the Jews did in the Resistance.
According to the novel, Schindler’s Ark, around 4,000 Jews were found hiding in the Podgorze ghetto during the final liquidation and they were executed on the spot. However, during the postwar trial of Amon Goeth, one of the charges against him was that 2,000 Jews were killed during the liquidation of the Podgorze ghetto.
According to the novel, the Jews, who managed to escape from the ghetto, joined the partisans of the Polish People’s Army, who were hiding in the forests of Niepolomice.
Unlike the novel, the movie Schindler’s List does not mention the Jewish resistance fighters, who fought as partisans throughout the war. In the movie, the Jews are portrayed as totally harmless, so there was no reason for the Nazis to shoot them as they were trying to escape.
Thomas Keneally, who is a native of Australia, mentioned in his novel that in 1944, an Australian plane was shot down by the Germans over Oskar Schindler’s factory; the plane was dropping supplies to the Jewish and Polish partisans in the forest east of Krakow, according to Keneally.
Krakow had been populated by Jews for 600 years before the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939, and the Jews had been discriminated against for years, before the Nazis arrived.
In , there was a fire in Krakow which was blamed on the Jews; this was the start of pogroms against the Jews. Because of this, the King of Poland ordered the Jews in the city of Krakow to be resettled in the district of Kazimierz. During World War II, the Nazis ordered the Jews to move out of Kazimierz, into a ghetto in the Podgorze district, which was across the river Vistula.
So yeah, history is not all that one-dimensional, not as this film depicts it.
On that note, some other tidbits concerning where the hatred of the jews came from (aside from the bankers who influenced the laws and the nations, which Europa covers):
You need to understand the true story of what happened to the German people living in these German lands From 1918 to 1939… Twenty years of systematic oppression, taxation, killing, murder, torture, terrorizing, persecution, impoverishment under jews.
This is another part of the true history of Europe which has been covered up and buried. The jews who flocked to Versailles and gained a special dispensation for an independent Polish nation to be recognized: did this because Poland had been jewified and was under total jewish control. It was the closest thing they could get to having their own land and their own jewish nation. Jews had been intermarrying into Polish high society for CENTURIES; for 100’s of years until they had become thoroughly accepted into Polish culture and society: Until Poland became known worldwide as “The Land of The Jews”… And from this jewified nation: their offspring spread like lice on a rat’s ass all over the diseased body of Europe: into Germany and especially into key appointments of power in the occupied territories which had been so ‘generously’ ‘given’ to various other nations by the scum who wrote the Versailles Treaty. The result of the Versailles Treaty: was a systematic racist program of discriminatory laws inflicted by the jews in power over their German victims for twenty years in every land stolen from Germany after WW2….
But to understand why this happened… You need to go even further back into European History and understand just why the jews hated the Germans so much… The reason for their racist hatred was because Germany was the last… I repeat, Germany was the LAST nation in Europe to grant emancipation to jews: the right to own property and the right to vote. Germany: the states and duchies of German speaking people kept their jews locked up in ghettos. Far longer than any other nation in Europe the Germans kept the jews apart from their society and did not allow them to infiltrate or intermarry into their society. For this: the jews invented a special vile racist hatred against all Germany and all German people. This was why when they were granted emancipation, when they did gain power over Germans: they became the most brutal, subhuman overseers of any oppressed people in Europe…
So now! jump back to the lands Hitler freed the once-German lands from Jewish control and oppression between 1935-1939. Most of the jews in these lands were of Polish origin. They were Polish jews wreaking ‘revenge’ on a hapless German people who had their rights taken away from them and their land taken away from them. In nearly all cases, they were jews of Polish extraction. Even the jews living in Vienna and Austria had nearly all originally come from Poland. Then suddenly the Anschluss happened. The German victims of jewish oppression were given back their rights, their land and their power!… and in every case: each land that was freed from Jewish rule: DEPORTED their jews by force: they stripped them of their titles, property and wealth and put them on trains.
One more thing. The whole propaganda regarding the mass execution of the Jews.
We will therefore find that examination of stories
concerning alleged Jewish extermination that appeared in the New York Times,
spring 1942 through 1943, together with a summary of 1944 propaganda,
which will be presented in Chapter 5, is all that is required to get a satisfactory
conception of the propaganda.
February 14, 1943, p. 37: “EXECUTION ‘SPEED – UP ’ SEEN
Mass executions of Jews in Poland on an accelerated tempo was re-
ported by European representatives of the World Jewish Congress in a
communication made public by Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, president of the
American Jewish Congress.
In one place in Poland 6,000 Jews are killed daily, according to the re-
port, dated Jan. 19. Jews left in Poland are now confined in fifty-five ghet-
tos, some in the large towns and some in the smaller towns that have been
transformed into ghettos.”
This was the propaganda story involved in the conflict between State and
Treasury. As noted in connection with the remarks on the Times editorial of
December 18, if this story had managed to emerge from the State Department,
greater credibility would, apparently, have been attached to it. Unfortunately
for the propaganda inventors at the time, they had to settle for Rabbi Wise as
April 12, 1943, p. 5: “NAZIS ERASE GHETTOS IN TWO POLISH CITIES
London, April 11 (AP) – The Polish Telegraph Agency said tonight that the Germans had erased the ghetto at Krakow in a three-day massacre that started March 13, and also had eliminated the ghetto in Lodz.
The fate of the Jews in the latter city was unknown, but the agency said it was believed they also were killed.”
Because almost all Jews outside the Continent, particularly those in the
U.S., believed the extermination claims, they brought political pressures which
resulted in the Bermuda Conference. It was believed, 161 correctly, that the Na-
zis wished the emigration of the Jews from Europe (under appropriate condi-
tions), and this put the British and American governments, on account of the
propaganda basis for their war, into an awkward position, around which they
were obliged to continually double-talk. 162 We have described the conflict be-
tween State and Treasury in this regard. The British had, at that point, no in-
tention of opening Palestine, and both the British and Americans had no inten-
tion of providing the resources, in the middle of the war, for massive opera-
tions undertaken for reasons that were valid only to the degree that their prop-
aganda was taken seriously. No sane modern statesmen believe their own
propaganda. This is the dilemma, which J. Breckenridge Long and other State
Department officials felt themselves facing.
The allegations of exterminations of Jews do not appear to have had great importance to the public during the war, if one judges from the lack of any prominence given to such stories. Another way to express it is to say that if one spends some time examining the newspapers of the time, a high degree of hostility to the Nazis is obvious, but the specific basis of the hostility is virtually impossible to distinguish. Thus, there is something of an emotional nature missing from our survey, but this is unavoidable. Two principal observations should be made in regard to the extermination propaganda. First, the legend has its origin among Zionists and, second, Auschwitz was not claimed as an extermination camp until very late in the war.
We have seen that the first extermination claims were not based on one
scrap of intelligence data. Zionists, principally the World Jewish Congress,
merely presented their nonsense to the Allied governments, in particular to the
U.S. government, demanding endorsement of their nonsense. The first reac-
tions in Washington were to scoff at the claims but, on account of various po-
litical pressures, and only on account of those pressures and not because cor-
roborating information had been procured from military intelligence, official
Washington eventually cooperated with the extermination propaganda to the
extent of having high officials make vague public declarations in support of it,
and of having propaganda agencies make more specific declarations of an ob-
scure nature. The early propaganda had features which are retained in the leg-
end to this day, such as the six million figure, and also features which were
quickly forgotten, such as the soap factories, although both features were au-
thored by the same Zionist circles.
— Arthur R. Butz, The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, 4th ed. Castle Hills Publishers. February 2015 p.112, 114, 123-124
Anyway, for more information about how Spielberg’s depiction of the Holocaust is rubbish, when going outside the film itself, you can see a debunking of a documentary Spielberg made titled The Last Days where 5 Holocaust survivors were interviewed and given their point of view of events. The documentary that debunks this documentary (by showcasing the faulty testimony of the people in the documentary) is titled Spieleberg’s Hoax: The Last Days of the Big Lie.
And an Ernst Zundel interview where he bashes on the film for various reasons (I did find his taking offense at the “boobs and butts” to be rather funny). But it’s insightful for him to mention that the burning of the bodies (an event with an insane orchestral score in the film, to give the impression that you should feel shocked and sad at what you are seeing; Chujowa Gorka, April 1944) was to prevent disease spreading from the dead bodies, thus a health measure. And that bodies had to be dug up and burned because they were poisoning the groundwater. That, and crematoriums weren’t supposed to emote much smoke or smell, despite what the film depicts. And even German SS bodies (and the wives of German soldiers) who died of disease or typhus had to be burned along with any dead Jews at these crematoriums. And it questions the “number” of people that would have to be burned day by day in order to match up with the official numbers given to the holocaust amidst all this.
PS: One more little tidbit I found interesting from the film:
“Ah, an educated Jew. Like Karl Marx himself.”
Huh, cool to see the film admits that fun fact.
Hoffman, Michael A., and Alan R. Critchley. “Swindler’s Mist: Spielberg’s Fraud in Schindler’s List”. January 1, 2001. https://codoh.com/library/document/488/
Burkeman, Oliver, and Ben Aris. “Biographer takes shine off Spielberg’s Schindler”. The Guardian. November 25, 2004. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/nov/25/germany.film
Smith, Diitia. “Book Adds Layers of Complexity to the Schindler Legend”. The New York Times. November 24, 2004. http://www.fpp.co.uk/Auschwitz/Schindler/OOF1104.html
Arthur R. Butz, The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, 4th ed. Castle Hills Publishers. February 2015