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|During World War II, the Germans used
Jewish people in a wide variety of labor related fields.
All were marked for the dreaded concentration camps at
one point or another, but useful artisans and craftsman
were often spared a while so that their expertise could
be utilized to help grow the Nazi war machine. One man
named Schindler ran a factory that made bullets and other
necessary war items for Germany. In the beginning his
business was one of profit like any other. He paid homage
to Nazi Party officials and received lucrative contracts
from them as well as a nice reliable stream of Jewish
With time Schindler began to understand the horrors of the Nazi's and began his own crusade to save as many Jews as he could. Slaves for his factories were better than bodies for the camps he reasoned. Schindler even began to purchase bullets and other things his plant produced on the black market so that his plant would not have to produce anything to help the Nazi's. The movie showcased one particularly heartless SS commander that executed Jews at Schindlers factory when the quota fell low. He would walk the lines of Jews and shoot every third man or so in the head. In one scene he prepared to execute a man but his pistol jammed and would not unjam. After much effort and frustration he just hit the man on the head with his gun and moved on. To expend such effort on such a useless death it seemed was not worth all that much trouble.
The movie begins with a girl shown in black and white showing a red scarf float about on the screen. The movie ends with the same red garment item being shown as the girl prepares to die. The movie was shot entirely in black and white except for the bits of red. This gave it a more realistic feel; more in line with that of the times. Schindlers list in the film was the list of workers that worked at Schindlers factory. Hence they served the Nazi war effort in this capacity, their lives were saved, and Schindler became a defacto hero to Jews because he saved them. A profit driven hero of greed in search of cheap slaves in the end became a hero to the very people whom he benefited from. This is quite ironic and in many ways is a further insult and degredation aimed at Jewish people. This fosters a feeling of hopeless abandon and slavelike naviety.
As one watches the movie one can not help but feel that Schindlers list is no different than any other list of slaves or property. The movie showcases what can happen to unarmed people who let themselves become powerless. This is a testatment to the eternal vigilance of freedom that no slave master can ever comprehend and no Schindler's List can ever help foster. Lists for identification grow popular around the world with each passing year. There are lists for gun owners, drug users, and for those of wealth and independence. As goverments continue to learn more and more about their citizens to "protect them" we can expect more such Schindlers lists to emerge if the true lessons of this movie are not heeded.
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