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Thursday, January 06, 2011

Something for Thursday

A movie scene this week, from Steven Spielberg's astonishing Schindler's List.

If you haven't seen the film, Liam Neeson plays Oskar Schindler, a businessman and member of the Nazi party who decides to take advantage of the increasingly punitive measures being taken against the Jewish people of Poland by using Jews as free labor. Over time, his factory gradually shifts into more of a haven, where Jews can find some modicum of protection from the Nazi brutality. This goes on until toward the end of the film, when, as Germany's position in WWII becomes untenable, the order is sent out: Kill them all. Pack them all up and send them to Auschwitz.

This is when Schindler decides that he needs to act to save the thousand Jews who have been working for him -- and this is how he does it. He runs a scam against Amon Goeth (the Nazi commandant, played by Ralph Fiennes) that is breathtaking in its simplicity: Goeth has such rock-solid faith in Schindler's abilities as a businessman that he just assumes that Schindler is making huge money on the deal, when in reality Schindler is literally buying the lives of his workers. The deal struck, Schindler and his main assistant, Itzhak Stern (played by Ben Kingsley), begin the important task of creating the master list of Jews to be spared the trains to Auschwitz and instead sent to Poland to work for Schindler.

This is an amazing scene, from an amazing film.

1 comment:

Roger Owen Green said...

I've never seen Schindler's List since I watched it in the theater. Too difficult.

But this is a great scene.