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|“||He shot that woman in the steps because she meant nothing to him. She was one of a series neither offending or pleasing him.||„|
|~ Schindler talking to Helen Hirsch about Göth killing a Jewish woman.|
Oskar Schindler is the titular main protagonist of the movie Schindler's List. Based on the late Oskar Schindler, he is a German businessman who saved the lives of 1,100 Jews by employing them in his factories.
Schindler was indeed a Nazi, but he wasn't ruthless, sadistic, abusive, emotionless, or cold-blooded; he was wise, intelligent, kindhearted and generous, and protective of his workers. To protect his workers, Schindler used nonviolent means, mainly bribery, and persuasion. He was also demanding, but not ill-tempered. His reputation as Director made good use for his means.
He never acted like an actual Nazi because he was far too different from them, as the Jews may have seen it because Schindler treated them fairly and never killed them should they not make proper progress. As the years go by, Schindler developed a conscience that he kept to himself to ensure the Jews' safety, but he expressed it towards his workers emotionally, as he witnessed so many Jews killed. Nonetheless, Schindler's membership and reputation as a Nazi made use for his protection towards the Schindlerjuden as he bribed, gave lavish and gifts, and talked to them fairly without hiding anything from them.
His first appearance in the movie was at a nightclub, paying a waiter to serve drinks to a nearby Nazi member with a woman, getting their attention. However, this turns into a banquet when Schindler starts paying for the food and extra drinks, one of the guests asked the waiter who Schindler is; the latter tells the guest Schindler's name.
He moved to the overcrowded Krakow Ghetto when the German army forced Polish Jews inside the ghetto, hoping to make a fortune as a member of the Nazi Party. Paying bribes on German soldiers and SS officers, he hires Jewish accountant Itzhak Stern to help run his business. He hired Jewish workers due to low cost of employment and maintains friendship status with Nazi Party members due to his title as "Herr Direktor". But, however, he left his factory unprotected and his workers were killed immensely, leaving Schindler to decide that he won't allow his workers to be killed again by the Nazis.
During his stay alongside his wife, he notices a girl in red walking in the streets of the Plaszow Ghetto while noticing the Ghetto in heavy liquidation; he witnesses many Jewish people killed during liquidation (under orders of Amon L. Göth after noticing that the Plaszow Ghetto construction is finished). Later in the film, Schindler finds her dead body when she was taken away in a wagon, one of the corpses to be burned down. He becomes friends with Göth when he encounters him in a drunken state. Somehow, Göth asks what is power, but Schindler answers it wisely. Schindler, before conversing with Göth, talks to Helen Hirsch about Göth beating her brutally and the day that he killed a Jewish woman from the steps. Schindler then goes to Göth, who orders corpses of Jews more than 10,000 to be burned down. Göth tells Schindler that the Nazi government is shutting them down and that he will arrange shipments in 30 or 40 days.
After a conversation with Stern about Göth, Schindler maintains his friendship with him carefully. He supports the SS, through gifts and money, then bribes Göth to leave his sub-camp to protect his workers.
Göth then ships the last of the Jews at Plaszow to Auschwitz concentration camp. Schindler then asks Göth about moving his Jews to the new munitions factory he builds in Zwittau-Brinnlitz, his home town. Göth agrees, but charges a heavy bribe from Schindler. Schindler and Stern make the "Schindler's List", a list of Jews to be transferred from Auschwitz.
The train containing the Schindlerjuden was accidentally transferred to Auschwitz-Birkenau, but Schindler bribes SS Officer Rudolf Höss with a bag of diamonds to release the Jews inside before Höss can kill them all. In the new factory, Schindler forbids any SS soldiers to go inside the production rooms and persuades his workers to observe Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath. To protect his workers, Schindler uses his fortune to buy shell casings from other companies and pay Nazi officers, but his factory doesn't produce useful armaments after seven months of production. In 1945, Schindler loses his fortune, then runs away from the Red Army. SS soldiers prepare to fire the Jews, but Schindler convinces them to not kill them so that they can return to their families as men, instead of murderers, causing the SS squadron to leave against direct orders. Schindler and his wife then prepare to move out of the factory, having become penniless.
Schindler then leaves for Europe to surrender to the Allies, but before he leaves, Stern and the Schindlerjuden appear around him, with Stern giving him a golden ring with the Talmudic inscription "Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire." Schindler becomes touched by this and ashamed, admitting to Stern that he didn't do enough to make more money, but Stern assures him that he had done so much to save them and that there would be generations of Jews living in the world because of Schindler's efforts.
The Schindlerjuden then embraces Schindler in gratitude and bid him farewell, then leave to a new town to start new lives after liberation from the Red Army, from the arrival of a Soviet officer.
At the ending of the film, Neeson, the real-life surviving Schindlerjuden, and the actors who played their younger selves, place stones on the real Oskar Schindler's grave in Jerusalem, with Neeson placing a rose in the grave instead of using a stone.