Oskar Schindler

Running Head: Oskar Schindler Due Module Assignment Number Introduction Oskar Schindler was a catholic German, who lived from 1908 to1974. After completing school he helped his father out with his business, served the Czechoslovak army. In 1939 Schindler joined the Nazi party. He was known to have been a businessman with a preference for only the best and most expensive products. He was also known to have lived a very lavish lifestyle, however the contrast is that he died penniless and as a hero in the eyes of many for his remarkable Schindler’s list as it is now known. Oskar Schindler is known to have saved the lives of around a thousand Jews at the time of the Holocaust. What follows is a detailed account of Mr. Schindler (Crowe, 2004). The Life of Oskar Schindler Many people believe that Oskar Schindler was a true hero, at a time when the Jews were brutally murdered. Oskar Schindler actually saved the lives of 1000 Jews. What is most remarkable is the fact that he himself was a Jew ant that too one belonging to the Nazi party. For someone to have the courage to do that speaks volumes about his character. Oskar Schindler owned three factories, out of which only one employed Jewish forced laborers. In 1944, Emalia (the factory that employed Jewish laborers) was at its peak and had employed 1700 workers out of which 1000 were Jews. During the time of the torture, the Emalia workers were also subject to brutal treatment at the Plaszow concentration camp, however, whenever possible Schindler intervened to see that the treatment at the camp was as less severe as possible. Moreover, Schindler also gave refuge to his employees at the Emalia along with approximately 450 other Jews so that they were able to evade the torture and brutal murders at Plaszow (Bulow, 2009). Why Oskar Schindler is a role model for many is because he was as human as the rest of us, he was no perfect sinless human being that the rest of us can never aspire to be like. He was known for his frugality and leisurely lifestyle. It was said that he knew how to get his work done, who to befriend and who to keep at a distance. He was known to give bribes in order to get his work done and that was exactly how he managed to save his Jewish employees from the gas chambers. It is said he had made a list of his employees (The Schindler’s List) and given it to the authoritative officials whom he had bribed in order to save the lives of his employees, whom he referred to as his children. What Oskar Schindler did for the Jews does not seem to match the profile of a person whose attributes I have described above. A person who was used to living a lavish lifestyle dies penniless after saving the lives of hundreds of Jews. Schindler’s Brunnlitz plant was known to not have been adequately in the production operation. However Schindler managed to prove through misrepresented figures that the plant was in operation. This he did in order to provide refuge to his Jewish employees and to save them from the brutalities of the gas chambers. Moreover, Schindler’s employees have been reported to have said that he used to give valuable gifts to the Nazis, host lavish parties in their honor and be very tactful in dealing with them because if he could keep them happy, it meant a save exit for his employees. If ever any of his employees was threatened to be killed by the Nazis, Schindler used to intervene by saying that the employee provided specialized services to Schindler and thus must not be harmed as that would result in a loss of profits. Truly, one cannot help but respect the excellence of his character (Sterner, 2010). Conclusion Schindler did not treat his employees as slaves rather he took them to be his children. In a time when the Jews could expect no mercy from a German, particularly one belonging to the Nazi party Schindler was the beacon of hope. One would wonder why a person of the Nazi party would save the Jews. Oskar Schindler was referred to as an angel by his employees. He is remembered as having a very charismatic personality and an empathetic yet charming smile. If a person of such a stature is not the perfect role model for people to follow then who would be? References Bulow, L. (2009). Oscar Schindler: His List of Life. Retrieved June 10, 2011, from Oscar Schindler: http://www.oskarschindler.com/ Crowe, D. M. (2004). Oskar Schindler: The Untold Account of his Life, Wartime Activities. Cambridge: Cambridge, MA: Westview Press. Sterner, W. (2010). The Shadows Behind Me. Canada: The Azrieli Foundation.