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Reflective The Movie Schindler’s List

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Schindler’s List is a historical period drama that takes place and is filmed in Krakow, Poland. The film was directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg and is based on the novel written by Australian author, Thomas Keneally. Keneally wrote Schindler’s Ark, which was published in 1982. The film itself was filmed in 1993, but the idea for “Schindlerjuden” (Schindler’s Jews) was proposed by one of the many survivors, Poldek Pfeffererg in 1963. All thanks to those who contributed to this film, the world can now learn and understand the tragedy that was the Holocaust. This film showcases the severity of the holocaust, decades after the event, reminding future generations how impactful this time in history really was for the world. Hitler and his Nazi army attempted to dominate the world system, at the cost of millions of innocent Jewish lives.

The film takes place in 1939, businessman Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) comes to Krakow, willing to create his fortune from the Second World War, which has just begun. He is staffing his plant with Jewish employees for likewise pragmatic purposes after entering the Nazi party mainly for political expediency. When the SS starts exterminating Jews in the Krakow ghetto, Schindler arranges for his workers to be protected in order to keep his factory in operation, but soon realizes that he also saves innocent lives by doing so.

The movie takes place during the Second World War. This is a shared concept that is also discussed in Introduction to International Relations. Themes of power and war can be seen throughout the film as seen through Nazi soldiers attacking innocent Jews, or the conversations between Schindler and Nazi commanders as they negotiate between keeping the Jews in the camp or allowing for them to be moved to Schindler’s factory.

Although the film itself does not mention the chancellor of Germany or politics in a direct manner, it does name the leader and how his plan to exterminate the Jewish population in Germany as well as many of the countries that his army invaded. This included Poland and Hungary. Hitler used his power to invade as many countries as he could in order to increase and sustain power in the Global System, while also following his plan named the “Final Solution”.

Post-World War 1, Germany went into massive war debt, due to the Treaty of Versailles placing a grand majority of the blame on Germany for starting and creating the world war. Due to this economic disaster, mass starvation, and unemployment Adolf Hitler perfectly arises as a savior to the German people, as a leader who could fix all their problems. He utilized scapegoats as a target of oppression for the German people. This led to increased violence towards not only Jewish people, but also those who were deemed “undesirable”, such as Gypsies, Slavs, and the disabled (amongst many more). Hitler wanted to perfect the German race.

The film showcases many instances of German Nazi commanders and Soldiers using their power to oppress and even kill the Jewish people in Poland. This utilization of power to control others can also be seen in a greater scheme in the world. Utilizing an Offensive Realist’s perspective, it can be seen through Germany’s diplomatic actions as Hitler commanded his troops to invade Poland, France, Czechoslovakia, and other countries prior to and during the Second World War. This act of invading can be seen as an act of power, as Hitler tried to gain and sustain Germany’s status as a powerful leader during World War 2. He did not wait until other countries threatened Germany but instead took advantage of their weakness. Germany utilized these captured territories for new markets to grow Germany’s economy and took control of its resources as one of the many forms of exploitation. In the same way, Nazi’s across Germany and her captured countries, oppressed the “undesirables”, kicking them out of their homes, stealing personal belongings, and placing these people into cramped ghettos to control them.

Schindler’s List advocates for future generations to remember and understand how despicable and tragic the Holocaust was and will always be. Reminding future generations about the many lives that were lost during the Second World War. Whether that be Jewish lives or the mass casualties that occurred during the battles themselves. This can be seen in a small but impactful part of the film where a little girl is running around as the Nazi’s invade the homes of Jewish people in Krakow. She can be seen as the only character in color, as her red coat shines through the masses, as a symbol of the importance of every individual life that was lost and/or impacted in the Holocaust. Schindler’s impact on the Jewish community shifts the focus in the movie from the millions of lives lost to the thousand that he saved. His decision to pick these people from the concentration camps and into his factory affected generations and generations past those who he saved in his lifetime alone. Although this wasn’t his prime intention, soon he realized the importance of his factory and continued to use his power to save lives. This is the main purpose of the movie. Germans like Schindler who risked their lives, reputations, and families to save the innocent people deemed “unfit” for Hitler’s Germany.

I believe that Schindler’s List showcases a factual and objective version of what Oskar Schindler did during the holocaust. Although there are very emotional and even gruesome scenes included, nothing can or will ever justify the systematic murder of an ethnic group. No massacre or genocide will ever be justified. Spielberg does a beautiful job of including factual evidence, and real-life events, in order to be politically correct as well as presenting a credible but also informative film.

This film does connect with me, as well as any other movie that I’ve seen about the Holocaust. Schindler’s List resonated with me as it highlighted the selfless actions of a man who had no personal reason to protect the Jewish people of Krakow. Anyone who stands up for what’s right and goes against being a bystander is admirable and should be seen as an idol. Saving Jewish lives was not his first intention when he started his business in enamelware, but as soon as he realized his power, he continued to use it for good.

Schindler’s List highlights the lives that were saved by a selfless man named Oskar Schindler. His actions saved thousands from Hitler’s ruthless plan of exterminating those who he saw as “undesirable”. The film itself captures a real-life event, staying objective and with the purpose of educating future generations. Hitler’s intent of dominating and proclaiming Germany as a great World Power can be seen as following the concepts of Offensive Realism. The invasion of weaker countries and the exploitation of its people and resources follow this offensive realist concept. Overall, the film is legendary and will teach the future about the world’s history, whether it be what to do, and what not to do.

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