Oskar Schindler: War Profiteer, Traitor… and Europe’s Greatest Humanitarian

Oskar Schindler: War Profiteer, Traitor… and Europe’s Greatest Humanitarian

He’s perhaps the greatest ever humanitarian. Oskar Schindler was a German industrialist
who saved the lives of over 1,000 Jews during the Holocaust. The subject of a hit 1982 book, and a 1993
Steven Spielberg film that hit even bigger, Oskar Schindler today is a household name. You probably think you already know him. How he started out as a cynical businessman
before finding redemption. How he courted the Nazi leadership to save
Jewish lives. Even how his humanity was finally stirred
by the sight of one red coated girl dying in the Krakow ghetto. But what if we told you there was far more
to Oskar Schindler than you thought? What if we told you he wasn’t just a cynical
businessman, but a war profiteer, a Nazi spy, and a traitor who was nearly executed for
collaborating? In the video today, we’re going to take
you inside the life of Oskar Schindler, and explore how a one-time Nazi stooge succeeded
in finding his humanity… and, in doing so, saved the world. Brave New World The story of Oskar Schindler technically begins
on April 28, 1908, when he was born in the pretty town of Zwittau. We say “technically”, because there’s
really not much to say about those early days. Schindler was born into a middle class German
family, had a younger sister, and went to school. Exciting stuff, huh? From a purely narrative point of view, the
story of Oskar Schindler can actually be said to start nearly 11 years later, on October
29, 1918. That’s the date the Schindler family’s
comfortable, middle class world exploded. See, the Schindlers were ethnic Germans, but
they didn’t live in Germany. They lived in the Austro-Hungarian Empire,
specifically a region known as the Sudetenland. Above them lay Germany proper. Somewhere below them lay Austria itself. But between the Schindlers and Austria lay
a land that was very un-German. A land that had spent centuries chafing under
Austrian rule until it was completely sick of Germans. That land was about to declare itself the
brand new country of Czechoslovakia. On that day, October 29, 1918, just as WWI
was drawing to an end, the Czechs and Slovaks deposed the Austrians and announced a new,
Slavic republic. Like all Sudeten Germans, the Schindlers took
one look at the emerging Czechoslovak state and said, “Yeah, we’d rather be with Germany.” To which the Czechs replied… Well, they didn’t actually say anything. They just picked up their guns and started
shooting. The pro-German riots that broke out across
the Sudetenland only ended when Czech authorities in Kadaň emptied a machinegun into a crowd,
killing 25. In the context of the time, the Kadaň Massacre
wasn’t particularly egregious. Along the ethnic fault lines of the old Austro-Hungarian
Empire, Poles were killing Czechs, who were killing Germans, who were killing Poles, and
so on. But it did provide a shock to any Sudeten
Germans tempted to buy into this Czechoslovakia thing. Like all their neighbors, the Schindlers would
remember Kadaň. That September, the Treaty of Saint-Germaine
made the Czech takeover official. While this was sucky news for the Sudeten
Germans, we need to be clear that this wasn’t the apocalypse. As part of Czechoslovakia, Sudeten Germans
were allowed to continue speaking German. They could attend German-language schools,
keep their businesses, and so on. An evil occupying force the Czechoslovaks
were not. But they were resented. The new Czechoslovakia was 50% Czech, nearly
23% German, and 16% Slovak, plus a handful of Jews, Ukrainians, and Hungarians. But while the Slovaks got their own federal
parliament, the more-numerous Sudeten Germans were stuck as bit players in the Czech system. It wasn’t terrible, in other words. Some families, such as the Schindlers, even
thrived under the new regime. But it was a cause of discontent. You can imagine it as the world’s slowest
timebomb. By ignoring the Sudeten Germans’ wishes,
the Czechs had just accidently pressed the ‘on’ button. That Sudeten timebomb might not explode for
decades. But, when it did, it was going to blow the
whole of Europe to pieces. Marriage and Misery
Right, so that’s the world Oskar Schindler inhabited. Now, what about the man himself? Well… that’s the problem. Schindler wasn’t exactly a man yet, so much
as a boy. A boy who enjoyed nothing more than goofing
off and chasing pretty girls. And it was going to be a long time before
that boy grew up. In 1924, Schindler was dismissed from school
for falsifying his report card. Rather than try to continue his education,
he instead moved into a series of odd jobs around Zwittau. The actual content of those jobs doesn’t
matter. They were really just a front for the tall
and charming Schindler to prowl around, seducing as many girls as he could. Before he was even 20, Schindler had a reputation
as a guy who loved ladies, loved cars, and hated personal responsibility. Still, even the biggest Casanova will eventually
settle down, and for Schindler that settling came in 1928. In late January that year, Schindler traveled
to Alt Moletein for his work as a salesman. While at the house of a client, he happened
to bump into their daughter. From the moment he met Emilie Pelzl, Schindler
was knocked for six. That’s a cricket metaphor; I guess all you
Americans out there would say “knocked for a homerun” or something equally ludicrous. For her part, Emilie was knocked for a winning
basket, too. The pair began an intense courtship that climaxed
with them marrying just six weeks later, on March 6, 1928. As a gift for the married couple, Emilie’s
father gave them 100,000 Czech crowns, perhaps hoping they’d buy a little house or something. Instead, Schindler blew it all on a luxury
car and the couple moved in above Schindler’s parents. For Emilie, the experience was a rude awakening. Although he claimed to genuinely love her,
Schindler treated his new wife less like a lifelong companion, and more like someone
to come home to when he couldn’t find a better offer. It was probably a relief when Schindler was
conscripted into the Czechoslovak army for 18 months service. Speaking of Czechoslovakia, things seemed
to be going kind of OK in 1928. The country had existed for ten years now,
and the Sudeten Germans’ initial resistance had settled down into a kind of grumbling,
probably helped by the fact the Czechoslovak economy was booming while Germany was a Weimar
basket case. But those resentments were still there. And it would only take one sharp outside shock
to crack them wide open. That shock came on October 29, 1929. That day, the Wall Street stock market came
crashing down under the weight of a billion broken dreams. The global economy ground to a halt. Hunger, misery, and fear bit. For Oskar Schindler, this meant being discharged
from the army just in time to see his old company file for bankruptcy. Used to a lavish lifestyle, Schindler first
tried moving to Berlin, then opening a poultry farm, but nothing worked. Finally, he took over his father’s business
in Zwittau, only to watch as it, too, went bankrupt. It was a grim and desperate time. For the Schindlers, for most of the world. But not everyone. Across the Czechoslovak border, a funny little
man with a Charlie Chaplin moustache was about to find the Great Depression had created a
willing audience for his message of white nationalism and anti-elitism. His name was Adolf Hitler. And he was about to force every Sudeten German
to make a terrible choice. The Dictator and the Spy
The suddenness of Hitler’s rise to power is the sort of career the word “meteoric”
is reserved for. In the 1928 German election, the Nazis won
a paltry 2.5% of all votes, the sort of number even the US Libertarian Party would laugh
at. By the July 1932 election, though, they were
the biggest party with nearly 40% of the vote. Less than a year later, they would seize power. Back in the Sudetenland, unemployed and impoverished
Germans watched the rise of the Nazis with ill-disguised envy. In 1933, a Sudeten German gymnastics coach
named Konrad Henlein decided to try and capture some of that fascist magic by founding his
own party, the Sudetendeutsche Heimatfront. A Nazi organization in all but name, the Heimatfront
had one goal. To split the Sudetenland off from Czechoslovakia
and unite with Hitler’s Germany. It was a goal most of the Sudeten Germans
were more than onboard with. In May, 1935, the Czechoslovak elections returned
44 seats for Henlein’s wannabee Nazis, a single seat less than the largest party. That same year, Oskar Schindler officially
joined the Heimatfront. Many biographies of Schindler go to great
lengths to explain that he was a pure opportunist, that he merely joined for the financial opportunities. Given what we know of his later life and good
deeds, it’s tempting to agree. Honestly, we’d love nothing more than to
give you an uncomplicated history of a good man. But there’s no escaping the fact that history
is rarely black and white. And had you glanced at Oskar Schindler’s
CV in 1936, you’d have had a hard time believing he was anything but a Nazi. That’s the year Schindler joined the Abwehr,
the German intelligence agency. Under the Abwehr, Schindler turned spy for
Nazi Germany. He began collecting information. Before long, he was working on clandestine
activities that could have only pointed in one direction. The Nazis were preparing for an invasion of
Czechoslovakia. Schindler would later say that he only took
this work for the money, because he was badly in debt and addicted to drink. There’s no doubt this is true. There’s also no doubt that the work of Schindler
and other Sudeten German spies like him helped Hitler get exactly what he wanted. In February, 1938, Hitler felt confident enough
to demand self-determination for all Sudeten Germans. A month later, he annexed Austria. On April 24, Konrad Henlein – the Nazi gymnast
who set up the Heimatfront – demanded full autonomy for the Sudetenland within Czechoslovakia. The Czechs told him to take a hike, but Henlein
was merely playing for time. On the ground, Schindler and his other spies
fanned out, working overtime to prepare for the Nazi invasion. But Oskar Schindler wouldn’t be around to
see it. On July 18, 1938, Czech authorities arrested
Schindler as a spy. He was found guilty and sentenced to hang
as a traitor. He was saved, of all people, by Adolf Hitler. On September 28, Britain, France, Germany
and Italy all met in Munich to hammer out an agreement that would stop the Sudeten Crisis
from triggering WWII. The deal they reached was to just give Hitler
everything. On October 1, the Sudetenland was handed over
to Germany. At the time Schindler was on death row. We’ve seen at least a couple of sources
claim he was days or only hours away from being executed when the Nazis marched in. As part of the Munich Agreement, Schindler
was freed. The traitor had escaped death by the skin
of his teeth. One month later, Schindler was a citizen of
Germany, living inside the new Sudetenland. Perhaps to celebrate, he joined the Nazi Party. Winter for Poland
If you only know Oskar Schindler from Schindler’s List, you might be wondering when his life
story is gonna start sounding less like one of our depressing videos about Nazi criminals,
and more like one of our uplifting videos about people who, y’know, aren’t Nazi
criminals. The trouble is, Schindler was a morally complex
guy. And the picture is about to become even murkier. In November, 1938, the Abwehr ordered Schindler
and Emilie to Ostrava, a grimy industrial city on the Polish border. For Schindler, this meant numerous business
trips into Poland, gathering intelligence. Yet it also meant doing things that don’t
neatly fit in with the narrative of Schindler the spy. For instance, it was in Ostrava that Schindler
started bribing local Nazi officials, acting less like a true believer than a guy trying
to secure favorable treatment. It was also in Ostrava that Schindler began
dabbling in the black market. Next summer, just a few short months after
Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia, Schindler landed a juicy contract to supply stolen Polish army
uniforms to a Nazi agent. Not long after, men dressed as Polish soldiers
launched surprise “attacks” on German buildings. In the aftermath, Hitler declared war on Poland. The invasion of Poland lasted barely a month. On September 1, 1939, the first tanks rolled
in. By October 6, the last Polish units had surrendered. By then, some 60,000 Poles had been killed. From Oskar Schindler’s perspective, though,
the occupation of Poland was simply a whole new market opening up. Barely had the last fires of resistance been
put out than Schindler was on a train to Krakow, eager to help himself to the spoils of war. In the grand, redbrick city, he took over
a vast apartment that had once belonged to a wealthy Jewish family. He moved into the black market, began chasing
shady dealings. Pretty soon, he was making a killing. While Emilie was laid up back home with a
debilitating illness, Schindler began living the high life, wining and dining local Nazi
leaders, acting like a total playboy. It’s here that the movie Schindler’s List
opens, with Schindler establishing connections on the Krakow business scene, not giving the
smallest damn about the suffering around him. But if Krakow life was the high water mark
for Schindler the uncaring, money-obsessed collaborator, it was also something else. It was in Krakow that Schindler would finally
discover his own humanity. The Factory
On November 13, 1939, Schindler took over a Krakow enamel factory that had once been
owned by Jewish businessmen. Barely had the doors opened in January, 1940,
than Schindler had used his new Nazi contacts to land himself a fat contract supplying the
army with kitchenware. He’d also done something very interesting. He’d rehired one of the Jews who used to
own the factory as his manager, a guy called Abraham Bankier. Still, Bankier was a rarity in Schindler’s
factory at first. By April, 1940, Schindler’s staff had grown
to several hundred, but only 7 of them were Jewish. The remaining Jews in Krakow were subject
to some strict laws. Among restrictions on their clothing and movements,
the Jews also had their wages set by the state, at a pitifully low amount. As Schindler’s factory business grew, Abraham
Bankier came to him with an idea. Why not hire more Jews? Thanks to the labor laws, it would be much
cheaper than hiring Poles, thereby saving Schindler a pile of money. That word, “money”, was the key. As his eyeballs presumably transformed into
gigantic dollar signs, Schindler agreed to expand his Jewish workforce. It was a decision that would alter the fates
of hundreds of people. By spring, 1941, most of Krakow’s Jews were
living in a ghetto while Schindler continued his party lifestyle. It was against this backdrop that the SS announced
Jews could no longer earn wages. Employers such as Schindler would have to
pay Jewish wages to the SS instead. It was a minor legal tweak, just another in
a long list of injustice and oppression. It also changed everything. Suddenly, the ability of Schindler’s Jewish
workers to survive was contingent upon him. He could choose to work them till they dropped
then ask the SS for replacements, or he could start feeding them out of his own money. Not long after, Schindler arranged for his
black market contacts to start supplying him extra rations of food. Come January, 1942, Schindler’s factory
had been converted from somewhere producing enamel to somewhere producing armaments for
the German war effort. It’s employees had changed, too. From a mere seven, Schindler was now employing
hundreds of Jews. He Who Saves One Life… If the last couple of years had allowed Schindler
to be ambivalent about the Nazis, to avoid taking any one side, 1942 would be the year
that everyone had to choose. On February 15 that year, the first Jews earmarked
for extermination arrived in Auschwitz and were immediately gassed. Barely a month later, on March 17, the Belzec
extermination camp opened. Although Auschwitz was closer, it was to Belzec
that the Nazis initially herded Krakow’s Jews. It wasn’t quite a mass slaughter yet. Those who worked in factories like Schindler’s
were saved from deportation. But things would quickly get much, much worse. That June, 1942, the Plaszow work camp opened
4km outside Krakow, atop the remains of two Jewish cemeteries. Many of the Jews in Schindler’s employ were
relocated there and forced to march to and from the factory every morning and evening. It was a grueling existence, and a precarious
one. With the SS looking after the camp, any Jew
who stepped out of line could be murdered, no matter who they worked for. For his part, Schindler did what he could
to make factory life comfortable for his workers. But he had no control over what happened in
Plaszow. That was about to become a major problem. As a summer in Hell gave way to a winter of
misery, an intellectual young man from a wealthy Austrian publishing family was dispatched
to Plaszow to take over the camp. His name was Amon Göth. Of all the Nazis we’ve encountered in today’s
story, he was by far the worst. Known today for being played by Ralph Fiennes
in Schindler’s List, the real Göth was even worse than his fictional counterpart. As in the film, he used Jews in Plaszow as
target practice. He trained his dogs to maul Jews to death
on command. He hated the idea that any Jew should have
even the faintest taste of freedom. So what did Oskar Schindler do when faced
with this monster? He set about becoming his very best friend. Over the next few weeks, Schindler showered
Göth in cognac, fine cigars, and cuts of meat only available on the black market. He took the sadist to parties, charmed him
with witty conversation, did everything he could to make sure Göth thought he was a
brownnoser of the highest order. It was only when Göth announced in March
that the Krakow ghetto was to be liquidated and all the Jews relocated inside Plaszow
that Schindler struck. As SS soldiers wreaked havoc in the ghetto
and the chimneys of Belzec pumped human ash into the sky, Schindler deployed a charm offensive
as deadly as any weapon. He flattered Göth, cajoled him, bribed him,
offered to let him in on his black market racket. Before long, he’d wrung an incredible promise
out of this creature in human skin. Göth had agreed to let Schindler relocate
his factory inside Plaszow. What’s more, Schindler would have complete
autonomy in the subcamp to do whatever he wanted. For Schindler, that meant the autonomy to
be a decent human being. The Plaszow Jews who were relocated to Schindler’s
subcamp were given adequate food. Their living conditions were humane. They were free from violence. Schindler even banned the SS from entering. Instead, the Aryan ‘supermen’ were stuck
stewing in towers, watching over Schindler’s Jews, but unable to harm them. It was the sort of thing only a man close
to commandant Göth could’ve gotten away with. It’s here that we get to the greatest paradox
of Oskar Schindler. Had he been a good man from the start, Schindler
would’ve never been put in a position where he could save so many lives. The Nazis would have confiscated everything
he owned and run him outta town. But because he started out spying against
the Czechs; because he really was a venal, moneygrubbing, amoral, business-obsessed cynic
at first… he was able to have the trust of committed Nazis like Göth when he needed
it most. And now, with Plaszow running, and Auschwitz
devouring humans and turning the skies over Krakow black with burning flesh, Schindler
needed that trust. …Saves the World
In August, 1944, Amon Göth received a disturbing order. The Soviet Army was rolling towards Poland
and the Reich was in retreat. Plaszow was to be decommissioned immediately
and all its inhabitants sent to Auschwitz. When Oskar Schindler heard the news, he went
into panic mode. Despite what they later said in trials and
to themselves as they were trying to get to sleep at night, everyone in Plaszow knew by
then what Auschwitz was. With time running out, Schindler began loudly
petitioning to have his factory relocated to Brünnlitz, near his old home. He was doing essential work, he thundered. The war effort would fail without him. Hadn’t he always been good to Göth? Finally, Göth agreed to authorize Schindler’s
transfer. But what about my workers? Schindler asked. Draw up a list, Göth told him. Any you can prove you need I’ll let you
take with you. And so it was that Schindler’s real-life
list came to be written. However! It wouldn’t be Schindler who actually wrote
it. In the movie, Schindler and his accountant
sit down to write the list themselves, agonizing over every name. In reality, Schindler had to give the job
to a man called Marcel Goldberg. Why? Because, in September, 1944, Amon Göth was
arrested by the SS for bribery and black marketeering. He spilled the beans on his co-criminals and
Schindler was arrested too. That October, while Schindler sat in jail,
Marcel Goldberg prepared the list. Actually, there were up to nine versions,
all subtly different, and Goldberg’s involvement was controversial. Some claim he focused on saving the lives
of his friends over those of Schindler’s workers. But others paint a picture of Goldberg as
a caring man. One young survivor recalls begging Goldberg
to let her and her mother onto the list. Goldberg immediately sat down and added their
names. When the list was finally submitted, the SS
demanded to inspect the workers. The men were all processed and sent to Brünnlitz. The women, however, were accidentally sent
to Auschwitz. From inside his jail, Schindler frantically
arranged a representative to go into the death camp and save those women from extermination. It was a close run thing. But it worked. The women were returned alive. Not long after, Schindler’s contacts got
him released from jail. Finally, after two months of panic, Schindler
and the workers he’d saved arrived in Brünnlitz. Between the bribes he paid, the gifts he showered
on those in power, and the cost of the move he shouldered, Schindler had by now spent
nearly his entire fortune. When they arrived, he blew the last of it
on trucks full of wool, leather, shoes, and clothing materials for his workers. Schindler and his Jews then settled in to
wait out the war making armaments that were designed to fail, doing their own tiny bit
to hinder the Nazi war effort. Amazingly, no-one stopped them. No angry SS officers ever turned up to arrest
Schindler. When the Third Reich finally collapsed on
May 8, 1945, Schindler had managed to shield 1,098 Jews from the Holocaust. Now he just had to survive its aftermath. How a Hero Dies
On May 9, 1945, Oskar Schindler gathered his employees at his factory for one final goodbye. He made a short speech, saying how proud he
was to have helped saved so many Jewish lives. Then he, Emilie, and a handful of his workers
fled the Sudetenland, barely ahead of the advancing Soviet Army. His fortune gone, Schindler would spend the
rest of his life in financial misery. At first, he and Emilie tried settling down
in West Germany, before deciding the US might be a better bet. Unfortunately, his Nazi party membership automatically
excluded him from America. So Schindler instead submitted an expenses
claim for $1m to the Allies, asking to be paid back the money he spent saving Jews in
the war. After a long deliberation, they sent him $15,000
and told him to be happy. Schindler spent it on a ticket to Argentina. It could have been the start of a new life. But while actual Nazi war criminals were able
to start afresh in Argentina and lead peaceful lives, Schindler seemed destined to failure. By 1957, he was forced to declare bankruptcy. The next year, he abandoned Emilie and caught
a boat back to West Germany. There, he sank into a mire of poverty. And that’s really it, unfortunately. Schindler never again enjoyed the highlife. Never again got to be the playboy. Never again stood at the center of history. But he wasn’t totally forgotten. For the rest of his life, Schindler regularly
received donations. Not a huge amount. Just enough to keep him going, keep him safe. Keep him alive. As you’ve probably guessed, those donations
came from the 1,098 Jews he’d saved, a token of their thanks. Known as the Schindlerjuden, they supported
him till the very end. That end came on October 9, 1974. By then, Schindler had lived long enough to
see his name added to the Avenue of the Righteous in Israel by Yad Vashem, a place reserved
for those gentiles who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust. And it was back to Israel that Schindler returned
in death. His body was buried in the Catholic Cemetery
on Mount Zion. Today, it’s estimated there are over 8,500
people alive because of Schindler, descendants of the Jews he saved. But there are better reasons to remember Schindler
than just for saving lives. The famous quote goes that “the only thing
necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Certainly, plenty of good men alive during
the Holocaust were content to not do anything. But the life of Oskar Schindler shows that
sometimes the opposite can happen. Sometimes, a man who appears to be amoral,
who appears to just be another uncaring bystander, can shake themselves out of their stupor to
do a good deed that will change the world. The quote everyone remembers from Schindler’s
List is the one that goes “he who saves one life, saves the entire world.” In choosing to be a good man when the downtrodden
needed him most, Schindler helped save the world a thousand times over.

100 comments on “Oskar Schindler: War Profiteer, Traitor… and Europe’s Greatest Humanitarian

  1. The Nazis weren’t really white nationalists. They were German nationalists with “Aryan racial science” . White nationalists are relatively contemporary, and tend to be pan-Europeanists

  2. The title of the greatest humanitarian is an opportunistic pig? ha! what a joke! even consider that period, I say the greatest humanitarians are the ones who took up arms and volunteered in Spanish civil war against franco! they don't fight fascism for money to gain, not for self preservation, not for the illusion of nationalism, but only to destroy fascists for the only purpose of humanity

  3. Hmm…my grandmother was Sudetenland German, I was born In Czechoslovakia and I live in Slovakia…and as you can imagine im "big" (=I wach channels like this) history geek, but I never, ever heard of Kadaň…well, you learn new things everyday…

  4. "Schindler's List" is one of a handful of movies that I will only see once. I do not want to be desensitized by repeated viewings. I do not want to ever forget how I felt the first (and only) time I saw it and the impact it made.

  5. doesnt really seem like Oskar was as much of a hero as much as people think he is,

    People hold him up like a Saint, but he only saved 1000 jews, just because in the beginning it made him more money

    and in the end he decided to go to Argentina in South America (was there not alot of other German people who ran away to there

  6. I know you guys have been moving away from talking about the Nazi's but could you do a video on Rudolf Hoss, the commandant of Auchwitz? He's a really sinister but fascinating combination of fanatical faith in Nazism (and Catholicism) and a general apathy towards human life, despite leading a fairly normal life alongside mass murder.

  7. Good and Bad are relative terms, though you can measure it by various ways not linked to a perspective that is based in group identity, yet in this case it is based in a perspective based on group identity. In this case you have a man deemed 'good' because the Jewish perspective deemed it so due to his role in saving Jews.

    Had he saved some other group, say black people, and due to the special role the Holocaust plays someone like Spielberg never would have made a movie about him as he was making a movie centered on a related Holocaust topic, which is a special lionized topic.

    This seems more of a function of perspective than anything else as if one looked they could in fact find horrible things done by individual people, including Jewish people at that time and during the period we call "Nazi Germany". Good and bad really aren't functions then of your actions, but rather how that later after-the-fact perspective is judging you based on how you benefited or 'did good' for that particular identity group.

  8. I love his story precisely because it reminds me that not everything is so black and white. That people are the products of their times, and when faced with grim realities a bad man can still become a good man.

  9. Of all the people in the world back in the day, he was one of the most unlikely to deserve being remembered for anything. But then he turned on his heel, walking he other way and making it off the bad guy list. It shows how your own choices can indeed change your own fate. If anything his real story is even bigger then fiction.

  10. The Philippines helped many Jews during WW2 while many countries rejected them but the western countries don’t care to hear about the story.

  11. Amon Goeth was ugly on the outside as well as on the inside. Maybe he could use his ears as wings to fly away to differ from his well deserved execution.(by hanging). I have the film Schindlers list myself and every time I watch it, I get emotional because of the things people can do to one another, where they are capable of. It is incomprehensible. Oskar is buried on a Christian cemetery in Jerusalem. I have a lot of respect for what he did, for risking his own life to save 1200 Jews.

  12. It bothers me slightly that the story doesn't give credence to some of the people he saved. One of them went on to become the first Chief Justice of the Israeli Supreme Court.

  13. The people in the Bible that God uses to his will are often people like this. just to show He can turn anyone to His purpose. whether they know it or not

  14. He tried his best to save as many as he could! In his own words “I could have done more” showed what kind of man he was. He is on par with Claus Von Stauffenberg who tried to assassinate Hitler as well as many others.

  15. Nobody can blame the German people for being desperate over a way out of the mess. My great-grandpa lived as a jew in Germany in marriage with a non-jewish woman who became my great-grandma. They managed to hide persecution inside Germany. The search for dissidents and jews and gipsies was way worse in the occupied parts of Europe compared to Germany.

  16. I was a student at UT Austin in the early 90s when two people on that list came and spoke on campus. They had met during their time at the factory and married each other after the war. It was an amazing thing to listen to their experiences.

  17. I remember a while back when my older sister had to watch "Schindler's List" for a school assignment. Being about fourteen, I didn't really want to watch such a violent and depressing movie, but my mom told me to watch parts of it with her anyway. My mother was born in Germany and although she didn't live there for a very long time (she was adopted in the US at a young age), she made sure to tell us the basic history surrounding the Holocaust when she thought we were ready to hear about it (usually when we first learned about it in school). We were raised to be really open-minded towards people of different backgrounds, and when I first heard about the Holocaust, I remember being really appalled that people from the country I shared a heritage with would go as far as to try to exterminate an entire race of people just for existing. I had a lot of Jewish friends and the idea that something like that happened less than a century ago to people who shared a background with them made me really uncomfortable.
    Back to that one day, I remember closing my eyes through much of the movie. The only part I really remembered was the part where the girl in the red dress died, and how she was the only character depicted in colour. I also remember Itzhak Perlman's music in the score a lot (although I didn't come to appreciate his work until a couple years ago, when I'd picked up his recording of the Paganini Caprices).
    When I saw Oskar Schindler's name in the Biographics feed, I felt I had to watch this video, now that I'd matured and have been exposed more to the darker side of history then I ever had been in the past. Thank you so much for making this video, Simon and crew!

  18. "Analyzing in Background" Am i the ONLY person who saw this pop up for a millisecond during the video & just HAD to respond?

  19. As an American who has spent a good bit of time in the UK I love when you mix your English/British expressions and then feel the need to explain!

  20. I know youtube changed its pay system some how using the like button, an i wish i could hit it everytime, playing this channels videos while working an on auto. So when i get a chance ill go back an hit like.

  21. If more ppl knew of the stuff the first spaniardz did in the america's. In the name of God an Christ of course. Worse then the nazi's. Dont know why i wrote or am posting. I know neither should be forgotten no matter how gruesome. all needs to be remembered so we dont let ourselves be fooled again

  22. Makes a diff from the usual BS. Great men who are actually Arseholes. Here we have an Arsehole who turned into a Greatman.

  23. AsiniusNaso You miss the whole point of the video. Shame on you for trying to view this real hero, in your twisted mind, as someone undeserving of this great honor.

  24. Schindler spent his final years travelling between Israel (where he was treated as a guest of honour by the Jews he saved) and the homeless and downtrodden near Frankfurt's central station. There even is a plaque on one of the houses in Frankfurt a.M. commemorating him. I happened to see it, as I change trains in Frankfurt a couple of times a year. Sometimes, I remember Schindler when I'm there. Makes you see the homeless people there with different eyes.

  25. watch "Europa The Last Battle" at archive-dot-org to get the loser's side of the story as victors write the history. Whole doc banned on YT. Not for swastikas but for telling the truth which is never fashionable today.

  26. As I expected, Simon's video goes deep into the story. I just wish that Youtube had the option to give two thumbs-up. Thank you Simon.

  27. Great work once again you guys. Over here in holland theres a similar story to this on a much smaller scale, however due to its smaller scale never told. If you look into the life of cook brummer youll and the polak en schwarz company youll find an amazing story 99.9% of holland or even the world never heard of. In my own modest opinion it are the smaller, lesser known stories of humanity that are worth telling even more. Besides that, i happen to live in the building a lot of that story took place in and was really shocked/proud to have heard the story and live so close to history. Keep up the good work!

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