Thursday, November 30, will be the thirtieth year anniversary of the film Schindler’s List premiering in theaters in Washington, D.C. It premiered in New York City on December 1993, in Los Angeles on December 9, 1993, and elsewhere in America on December 15, 1993, and February 4, 1994.
Schindler’s List tells the story of Oskar Schindler, an industrialist who relies on Polish Jews to work in his factory during World War II. Although concerned with making a profit, he eventually takes pity on his Jewish employees after witnessing them being persecuted by the Nazis, especially after he witnesses the liquidation of the Jewish ghetto in Krakow, a scene in which a girl in a red coat stands out among the Jews being forced from their homes. Schindler later sees her body amongst a pile of corpses.
In order to keep his Jewish employees from being sent to Auschwitz, Schindler resorts to establishing a series of connections as well as bribery, in particular SS Untersturmfuhrer Amon Goth (who is known for randomly shooting Jews from his balcony and even beats his Jewish housemaid). The constant bribes results in Schindler running out of money in 1945, just as Germany surrenders to the Allies. Due to being a member of the Nazi Party and a war profiteer relying on slave labor, Schindler plans to surrender to the Americans. His employees give him a letter describing his role in saving their lives, as well as a ring engraved with a quote from the Talmud saying “Whoever saves one life saves the world entire.” Schindler becomes emotional, feeling he could have done more, and is consoled by his workers before leaving. The next morning, the Schindlerjuden are approached by a Soviet officer on horseback, who informs them of their liberation. They then leave for a nearby town in search of food.
In the aftermath of World War II, Goth is hanged for crimes against humanity, while Schindler made several unsuccessful business ventures (it should be noted that the Schindlerjuden and Jewish relief organizations sent him money in recognition of his efforts). He was later declared a Righteous Person by the Israeli Government. He died in 1974 and was buried on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. In the movie’s final scene, the Schindlerjuden and the actors and actresses who portrayed them in the film place stones on his grave (a Jewish custom of showing respect for the dead). Afterward, Liam Neeson (who portrayed Schindler) places a pair of roses on the grave.
Schindler’s List is a powerful and emotional film, winning seven Oscar Awards, including Best Picture. The musical score developed by John Williams and performed by Itzhak Perlman on the violin, is an emotional song as well.
The Flix and Flix West Networks have shown Schindler’s List several times during the fall. But with Anti-Semitism on the rise recently, other networks should also be showing it.