Schindler’s List: A Heart-Wrenching Holocaust Drama

Schindler’s List is a 1993 film directed by Steven Spielberg that tells the story of Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saved the lives of over a thousand Jewish refugees during the Holocaust. The film is based on the novel “Schindler’s Ark” by Thomas Keneally and has received critical acclaim for its depiction of the atrocities of the Holocaust and the actions of one man to make a difference. In this blog post, we will delve deeper into the powerful themes and messages of the film and its impact on audiences.

Background Information on the Holocaust

Before analyzing the film, it is important to have a basic understanding of the Holocaust. The Holocaust was a genocide that took place during World War II, orchestrated by Nazi Germany under the leadership of Adolf Hitler. It resulted in the systematic persecution and murder of six million Jews, as well as millions of other groups including Romas, people with disabilities, homosexuals, and political opponents.

The Holocaust began in 1933 when Hitler and his Nazi party rose to power in Germany and implemented anti-Semitic policies. As the war progressed, the Nazis established concentration camps where millions of Jews were forced into slave labor, tortured, and ultimately killed in gas chambers. The cruelty and inhumanity of the Holocaust is one of the darkest chapters in human history and serves as a reminder of the dangers of prejudice and hate.

Summary of Schindler’s List

Schindler's List A Heart-Wrenching Holocaust Drama

The film follows the true story of Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who arrives in Krakow, Poland in 1939 seeking to profit from the war. He soon becomes the owner of a factory that produces enamelware, and he employs many Jews as cheap labor. Initially, Schindler shows no concern for the plight of the Jews and even joins in on their mistreatment.

However, as he witnesses the brutalities of the Holocaust, his attitude begins to change. He forms a friendship with Itzhak Stern, a Jewish accountant who helps him run the factory and suggests that he hire more Jews to save them from being sent to concentration camps. Schindler soon becomes determined to save as many Jews as he can and risks his own safety and reputation to do so.

As the war progresses and the Nazis begin to liquidate the Krakow ghetto, Schindler arranges for the workers in his factory to be transferred to a new factory in Czechoslovakia, thus saving them from certain death. He also bribes Nazi officials and uses his connections to ensure the safety of the Jews in his employ. In the end, over a thousand Jews are saved because of Schindler’s efforts.

Analysis of the Themes and Message of the Movie

Schindler's List A Heart-Wrenching Holocaust Drama

The Power of One Person to Make a Difference

One of the main themes of Schindler’s List is the power of one individual to make a difference in the face of great evil. Oskar Schindler starts off as a selfish businessman, but through witnessing the horrors of the Holocaust, he transforms into a brave and selfless hero. He uses his wealth and influence to save as many Jews as possible and risks his own life to do so.

Schindler’s actions showcase the impact one person can have when they choose to stand up against injustice and use their voice and resources for good. It is a reminder that even in the darkest of times, there is still hope and that individuals have the power to create positive change.

The Brutality and Inhumanity of the Holocaust

Another prevalent theme in the film is the brutality and inhumanity of the Holocaust. Spielberg does not shy away from depicting the horrific atrocities committed by the Nazis, from the mass killings to the dehumanization and torture of Jews in the concentration camps.

The film also highlights the complicity of ordinary Germans who turned a blind eye to the atrocities or actively participated in them. By doing so, it serves as a reminder of the dangers of allowing prejudice and hate to go unchecked, and the importance of standing up for what is right.

The Cost of Saving Lives

While the film ultimately celebrates Schindler’s heroism, it also portrays the moral dilemmas and sacrifices he had to make in order to save lives. As the war progresses, Schindler has to bribe Nazi officials and use his connections to ensure the safety of the Jews in his factory. He also spends all his wealth to keep the factory running and avoid its closure by the Nazis.

In one emotional scene, Schindler breaks down in tears over how many more lives he could have saved if he had been willing to part with even more money. This raises questions about the true cost of saving lives and whether there should even be a price on human life. It is a powerful commentary on the complexities of doing the right thing in times of great adversity.

Impact of the Film on Audiences

Schindler’s List has had a profound impact on audiences since its release in 1993. The film has been credited with raising awareness about the Holocaust and sparking important conversations about prejudice and hatred. It has also served as a powerful tool for educating younger generations about the atrocities of the past and the importance of standing up against injustice.

Moreover, the film has also been praised for its accurate depiction of the Holocaust, with Spielberg consulting extensively with Holocaust survivors and experts to ensure historical accuracy. This attention to detail adds to the film’s impact and makes it a valuable resource for those seeking to learn more about this dark period in history.


In conclusion, Schindler’s List is a powerful and emotionally gripping drama that tells the story of one man’s heroic efforts to save the lives of Jews during the Holocaust. Through its depiction of the horrors of the Holocaust and the bravery of one individual, it leaves a lasting impact on its audience and serves as a reminder of the strength and resilience of the human spirit in the face of great evil. This film will continue to be a significant part of our cultural consciousness and a testament to the enduring power of storytelling.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *