Materials for the Film Viewing Today (1 August 2015)There will be no lecture today, we will postpone to the next meetings
the oral recitation and discussion since the film we will watch will be 3.25 hour long.
1. Supplemental Materials for Schindler's List
Oskar Schindler (1908 — 1974) was an ethnic German born in the village of Zwittau in Sudetenland, a portion of Czechoslovakia with many German inhabitants. He was known in the village by the name "Gauner," which meant swindler or sharper. A Jewish woman who lived in the town and whose life Schindler later saved, said, "As a Zwittau citizen I never would have considered him capable of all these wonderful deeds."
Oskar Schindler was a member of the Nazi party. He arrived in Cracow, Poland, just after the collapse of the Polish Army and at the beginning of the German occupation. His first effort, as shown in the film, was to capitalize on the misfortune of the Jews who had recently been forbidden to engage in business. As an added inducement for them to "invest" in his new business, Schindler offered to employ the investors or their relatives in his factory. For years, relations between Schindler and his Jewish workers were circumspect. But as the lot of the Jews in Poland worsened, the workers at Schindler's factory noticed that they were somehow protected. Word of this spread through the Jewish community.
Children are used throughout the film to indicate family loyalty, despite horrific circumstances. During the liquidation of the ghetto, there are many children/parent pairs featured. One father tries to stop a soldier from shooting his son as he runs away, giving up his own life. Children are also used to symbolize the hopelessness of the Jews' situation. A notable example of this is the little girl in the red coat. Despite her efforts to resist and hide, and despite the red coat that identifies her as special, she ends up dead and piled up with the other victims, nameless and unimportant.
What is the central theme of Schindler's List? This is a complex question with no "right" answer. The film will speak to each student differently. But the search for the central theme will provide students with a framework to gain useful insights and analytical skills.