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In The Shadow Of Auschwitz, A Flamboyant German Industrialist Grew Into A Living Legend To The Jews Of Cracow He Was A Womaniser, A Heavy Drinker And A Bon Viveur, But To Them He Became A Saviour This Is The Extraordinary Story Of Oskar Schindler, Who Risked His Life To Protect Jews In Nazi Occupied Poland And Who Was Transformed By The War Into A Man With A Mission, A Compassionate Angel Of Mercy Certain people you know who you are were suggesting the other day that no one actually reads Thomas Keneally Well, I notice surprisingly few reviews here, so maybe the accusation has some substance At any rate, I did read the book, and really liked it.Quite apart from anything else, it s an inspiring true story, which the author tells well But the thing I ve thought about most is what it says about the nature of good and evil At the beginning of the story, Schindler is by no stretch of the imagination a good guy He s an up and coming entrepreneur in the Third Reich, with a clutch of complicated business interests and an appetising collection of mistresses He sees an opportunity Jews in Poland have been expropriated and deprived of most of their rights They will work for next to nothing to get enough food to keep from starving Many of these people are highly skilled The potential is obvious He d better get hold of this one before his rivals do So he sets up a factory, and starts operating at a staggering profit margin The fact that he s away from his wife is only good news for his romantic life icing on the cake.Everything is going wonderfully, when the Nazis start deporting his workforce to the concentration camps Nazi ideology holds that they re vermin, who are worth nothan the gold fillings, soap and hair that can be extracted from their dead bodies But Schindler knows this isn t true Alive, they can carry on making money for him Dead, they re worthless Like a good businessman, he starts bending rules to keep them in his factory, and out of the gas chambers.Somehow, by imperceptible degrees, this Nazi shark becomes a saint who ends up saving the lives of over a thousand people, at great risk to his own Keneally traces what happens in an unsentimental, matter of fact way Each individual step is completely logical there is no blinding relevation on the road to Damascus But how can you explain the overall transformation Was Schindler pushed by Adam Smith s invisible hand Is it an example of the principle George Orwell enunciates, that freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two is four, and that everything else just follows from that Or was God, as He so often does, moving in mysterious ways Perhaps all three explanations are just different ways of saying the same thing I m sure I don t know But if you haven t read the book, and you re interested in these questions, you might want to check it out some time. Schindler s Ark Schindler s List, Thomas KeneallySchindler s Ark released in America as Schindler s List is a Booker Prize winning historical fiction novel published in 1982 by Australian novelist Thomas Keneally, which was later adapted into the highly successful movie Schindler s List directed by Steven Spielberg The United States version of the book was called Schindler s List from the beginning it was later re issued in Commonwealth countries under that name as well The novel was also awarded the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction in 1983 2009 1379 312 9646298141 20. I read this book some time ago and I also watched the movie I am not ashamed to say that this book and the film made me cry Such a terrible time in our history when so much suffering was caused to so many Thank God for people such as this who risked there own lives to save others. The list is an absolute good The list is life All around its cramped margins lies the gulfThe story behind the book which brought the story of Oskar Schindler to the world is almost as interesting as the story of Schindler himself In October 1980, Thomas Keneally already an established and successful Australian author found himself looking for a new briefcase at the end of his book tour in southern California, the last stop before returning home to Sydney Fate led him to a luggage store owned by Leopold Pfefferberg, who recognized Keneally because Keneally s credit card took 20 minutes to process the payment, he began telling him the story of Oskar Schindler a German industrialist who has saved him and hundreds of others Polish Jews from certain destruction during World War 2, at an enormous personal cost and with incredible ingenuity Pfefferberg led Keneally to the back of his store, where he kept many documents he managed to save regarding Schindler and his life during the war photographs, letters and office documents, including the famed list of workers at a Schindler factory in Brinnlitz, on which he pointed his own name He would show these documents to anyone who would be interested, hoping to immortalize Schindler and his great deed for future generations a movie was supposed to be made while he was still alive, but ultimately nothing came of it Now, six years after Schindler s death, Pfefferberg convinced Keneally to write a book about him Pfefferberg became Keneally s advisor, constantly offering him his help and traveling with him to Krak w and other places where Schindler lived and worked, and helped him find and interview over 50 people whom Schindler kept sheltered in his factory Keneally dedicated the finished book, originally titled asSchindler s Arkto the memory of Oskar Schindler, and to Pfefferbergwho by zeal and persistence caused this book to be writtenIf Keneally s briefcase had not broken, or if he would pick another store to search for a new one, this book would not exist Oskar Schindler s story would very probably be written down or preserved in some other way, but not with so much success and interest that it has since generated, and would most likely not be adapted into a celebrated and beautiful movie by Steven Spielberg Keneally took the Capote approach to writing, presenting the story as faction , or a non fiction novel he presented the information he gathered from his copious research in a literary way, and offered a reasonable artistic impression to fill in the blanks that were not preserved, or could not be recalled or witnessed by survivors The book deliberately takes a literary approach to character development, though at the same time it is very conscious that its subjects are real people, and does its best to stay true to what can be known about them The plot of the novel is often interrupted by insights and facts found by Keneally, to give the situation presented a deeper and fuller meaning and paint a larger picture Keneallly took pride in his vast research, and was dismayed when the book was awarded the Booker Prize for fiction in 1982 he stressed that the story was not fictional, and that he felt a responsibility to those who cherish the memory of Oskar Schindler to present is as accurately as possible, and that many of those whom he saved have read and corrected his manuscript.Although the book features a diverse cast of supporting characters, it ultimately focuses on two people Oskar Schindler, the industrialist who would save over a thousand Jews, and Amon Goeth, the camp commandant who delighted in killing them Goeth is a complex character he lusts after his Jewish maid but is unable to see her as an actual person, and these conflicted feelings cause him to beat and abuse her without mercy Although he is conflicted in regards to his feeling for the maid and even deludes himself that they will grow old together, Goeth does not intend her to die naturally in his selfishness, he wants to be the one to kill her instead of letting her be murdered in an anonymous gas chamber Oskar Schindler, on the other hand, is a man of much deeper andinteresting psyche He is not the stereotypical good German He is not only not opposed to the war, but works as an intelligence agent for the German secret service in his home country of Czechoslovakia, submitting the German government with information on railways and troop movements Schindler hopes to profit on it he joins the Nazi party because it is good for business, and he expected to conduct a business which would provide for his lavish lifestyle of a playboy and a womanizer Although married, Oskar notoriously cheated on his wife and kept several mistresses he schmoozes with the SS officials and has a seemingly endless amounts of expensive gifts to give always available at his disposal, which grant him a privileged position and a reputation of a man to whom it is worth providing a favor and whom it s not worth crossing Enjoying wealth and privilege since his youth, Oskar expected to only multiply both during the war, always in the company of many beautiful women by all accounts he should be a good hedonist, and not a good Samaritan.So, how could such a man turn into the savior of over a thousand condemned souls His complex character does not leave us with an easy answer Schindler spent many a evening dining and partying with Amon Goth at his villa, and with time it became apparent that he was willing and capable to make a deal with the devil himself in order to save his Jewish workers However, I think that he could only do that because there was a little of the devil in him as a serial adulterer, a black marketeer he understood well the situation that he found himself in, and learned how to best get by and make a profit, and it is precisely this what allowed him to move comfortably and freely about the circles of high ranking SS officials, allowing him to bribe them to his own gain Apious man would not be able to stand Goeth and his clique, and his entire enterprise of saving Jews would have collapsed before it was even able to begin only because he was a crook himself was Oskar able to outwit and fool other crooks, and only because he himself was corrupted could he understand how to corrupt and seduce others for his own gain.According to his wife, Emilie, Schindler did not do anything remarkable before or after the war his post war life is a sad one, full of failed ideas and desolation He tried starting again in Argentina, but failed and returned to live in Germany, leaving his wife behind to fend for herself Although the many grateful Jews whom he saves regularly sent him donations and invited him to Israel to celebrate his birthday there every year, Schindler never established himself as a businessman ever again and usually squandered all of the money they gave him very quickly He spent the remaining years of his life in a small one room apartment in Frankfurt, where he died alone in 1974 A friend who knew him then described him as a burned out soul, who exhausted all of his energy on the rescue of Jews, and who did not have the strength to find his feet again.At the same time, at the crucial moment in his life Oskar Schindler rose to the occasion and became a true rescuer ofthan a thousand Jews, showing them incredible kindness which was virtually unheard of at the time he treated and cared for his workers better than he did for his own wife And their gratitude and appreciation for him was unending as Itzak Stern, the man who ran Schindler s factory and who typed up the list of his workers, later remarkedIn the Hebrew language there are three terms, three grades person, man, human being I believe that there is a fourth one Schindler The apocalypse of war was the ultimate test and a moment of truth for many people, and it brought out the truth of Schindler s and Goeth s respective characters in Amon Goeth it brought out his fundamental monstrosity and innate evilness, in Oskar Schindler it brought out his innate goodness, decency and righteousness There is no better way of describing the difference between the two men than the Tamudic verse from the SanhedrinWhoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world I read this after the wonderful movie came out in 1993. 1100 19741100 . What a monumental piece of writing this turned out to be the research alone would have been prodigious It does my head in just thinking of the time and money Thomas Keneally must have spent in gathering all the information needed to put this worthy story on paper.What a horrendous experience the Holocaust must have been, not only for the Jews who s tenuous hold on life hung by a thread most days of the week and they had to injure this situation for years, but for people Like Oscar Schindler that had to witness the horrors on a daily bases Most right thinking Germans were powerless to help the plight of the Jews but Oscar Schindler was not one of them Schindler built a factory to make enamel ware, A to make money for himself and B to supply the German army with some of the essentials of war Schindler did in fact make a fortune from the factory but in reality the factory was just a front for, in reality, a safe haven for as many Jews as Schindler could take from under the noses of the SS guards Whilst Schindler did make a fortune most of that fortune was spent either bribing SS officers or, and providing his workers with the essentials of life What stands out for me in this telling of the life and times of Oscar Schindler was the symbiotic relationship that existed between Schindler and his Jews, as they were called, Schindler s Jews It s a given that many of Schindler s Jews owe their survival to the efforts that Schindler made for them but it is also a given that Oscar Schindler could never have achieved what he did without the help and assistance of many of his workers For all his success as a businessman and entrepreneur during the war he was never successful in any of his endeavours after the war So it s safe to say that a lot of his success came from the business acumen of his Jewish workers.This is a truly uplifting story but not an easy one to read Not easy to be confronted with how quickly a society can be corrupted and go on to commit acts that defy understanding For all of the horror that was the holocaust we, as a species, have learned very little for here we are 75 years later on and these same like horrors are happening still, even as I write this review on the 16 07 2019 If for no other reason this telling and others like it need to be front and centre to remind us just what we are capable of Lest we forget.Essential reading 5 stars. I was sort of familiar with the Schindler legacy probably seen the film 5 or 6 times Isn t it peculiar that although it is regarded as one of the best biographies films of all time it hardly ever makes it on any person s personal favorites lists Blame the subject matter entirely So this is basically a reading that concentrates most of its attention on all the details that Steven Spielberg failed to bring to the screen Because that inevitably occurs with all adaptations.Well, this is almost an encyclopedia The astonishing amount of research that went into this project boggles the mind it is a full lifetime I m plagued with an image of a skeleton being dressed up with flesh and meat like giving a body of fleshy substance to a ghost.What I didn t know about Oskar Schindler the Schindler jews 1 Schindler s adolescence was unique son of rich Roman Catholics charming he was a fan of motorbike racing 2 the original proposal all Jews were going to be relocated far far away to Madagascar 3 some Jews approved of the ghetto at first since they thought that they would be free to worship and carry out their affairs with the enemies outside of the walls.4 if you were OD failed to deliver a family to the SS, then yours would be forfeit thus, the motivation for Jews to turn against each other 5 there were other Schindler like saviors, millionaires who gave up everything to save lives, though their stories are told ELSEWHERE.6 the book givesin depth biographies of the survivors, like those of Poldek Pfefferberg and Amon s maid, Helen Hirsch.7 RESISTANCE hinted at in the film here, it is noted that something very similar to what occurs in Tarantino s Inglorious Basterds occurred in real life rebels did destroy the only SS only cinema 8 the little girl in the red coat For the film it is an emblem of hope, a very visual reminder The book tells us that her name was Genia it is because Schindler sees her from the hilltop, sees the determination in her and that invisible string that carries her to safety after the Aktion of the ghetto, that he gives up his life to the cause Why does she survive She s immune, like a Virgil that can accompany us down into the underworld unscathed Because no one shields her from the horror of the massacre, because nobody cares for censorship or human dignity, because she is ALONE it is that Schindler becomes Schindler lastly, I would add that the book is somewhatdigestible than the movie It still allows for the throat to constrict and for shivers to cover the entire body I cannot pick one over the other since they both masterfully voice and embody the testament this great man left behind. This is a wonderful book and a wonderful story, everyone should know what oskar schindler did for Jews in WW2 However, this book was very hard to read, like reading a research paper Pfefferberg basically begged Keneally for an hour to write a book because of that the first half of this book was very forced i felt like he didnt want to write this, that his heart wasnt in this, Toward the middle of the book i flowed a littlebut not until the last 8 10 chapters did it start to be easier to read That is when i really got into this book I felt too much like a teacher reading a very bland paper with no vivids and a lot of plain facts All of that aside, this book should be something everyone knows about, there are things i didnt know happened in WW2 in this book and anyone who cares about knowing anything about ww2 should read it Oskar Schindler is was a hero.This book is so real and should not be taken as lightly as i took in in the first chapters, because once i finished i realized how much everyone should know about what schindler did i gave it 3 stars for the difficulty in reading it and the research paper like quality of the literature