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Schindler's List


Summary of "Schindler's List Journals 1-5"


Journal Entry 1: The Rise of Oscar Schindler

Oscar Schindler capitalized on the opportunities provided by World War II, taking over a failing enamelware business in Krakow, Poland, and turning it into a successful enterprise. He employed cheap Jewish labor and secured lucrative contracts through his connections with German officials. As his business, Emalia, flourished, Schindler's workforce grew significantly, shielding his employees from the horrors of the nearby Plaszow forced labor camp.

Journal Entry 2: The Horrors of Anti-Semitism and the Krakow Ghetto

Krakow, an important center for Jewish culture, faced intense persecution and violence against Jews in the 1930s. The establishment of the Krakow ghetto in 1940 led to the confinement and eventual deportation of thousands of Jews to extermination camps. The journal entry emphasizes the deep-rooted prejudice and its manifestations, like the young girl's hateful farewell to Jews being forced into the ghetto.

Journal Entry 3: Apathy vs. Action

This entry discusses the widespread apathy in Europe during the Holocaust. It references Martin Niemoller's reflection on his inaction as the Nazis targeted various groups. The entry underscores the importance of speaking out against injustice and the consequences of indifference.

Journal Entry 4: Accountability for the Holocaust

This section delves into the question of who bears responsibility for the atrocities between 1933 and 1945. It considers the roles of other nations, Adolf Hitler, common citizens, and German soldiers. The entry prompts a discussion on the importance of recognizing responsibility to prevent the repetition of such horrors.

Journal Entry 5: Oscar Schindler's Evolution into a Hero

The final entry explores Oscar Schindler's transformation from a self-centered businessman to a hero who risked his life to save Jews. It reflects on the concept of heroism and the gradual nature of becoming a hero, as evidenced by Schindler's actions.


"Schindler's List" journals offer a comprehensive look into the life of Oscar Schindler and the broader context of the Holocaust. Schindler's evolution from a profit-driven opportunist to a compassionate savior is a poignant illustration of humanity's capacity for both good and evil. His story serves as a reminder of the importance of moral courage and the impact of individual actions in the face of widespread injustice.