Schindler’s List, Oskar Schindler’s List : List of Life
I do get angry when people say that their favorite personality is Adolf Hitler. The reason they state is he was a superior commander and politician. He singly helped Germany to rise from the ashes of First World War. Those who generally say this generally associate a cool factor with liking Hitler, that’s some kind of crooked cool I may say.
One might ask, what did Hitler do today to my ever complaining self, out of the clear blue! I was watching Shindler’s List and was cringing at one of the everlasting campaigns of perpetration of gruesome hate. Branding people for death on basis of their origin is ancient political custom that entire mankind has perpetrated and it continues to do so in form of modern terrorism, giving them host of fascist or religious names. Just consider yourself in the position of the Holocaust victims, one moment you were a well respected person in the society, next moment you are being herded to cattle houses, treated derogatorily to cattle itself . If you are not bodily able, you are out right sent to death and if you are able you are subjected to hard labour where you either die working or become physically so broken that you are sent to death for being of useless consumer of nation’s resources with nothing to offer. The life was worse than the dogs that fight over food at the dust bins in big cities, not just because the dogs do not have a death warrant awaiting but more so because the entire social strata got magically tuned to this epic division of mankind– friends, neighbours of today turned to look down upon and magically participated in the division process. Just think of the situation, you know you are going to die yet you cant do a thing about it and if try to do anything you would die, it’s the helplessness of a man that will make you break into tears.
Roman Polanski’s Pianist exposed the facets of a man who have been reduced to a rubble of his own self like the city of Warsaw where he was hiding. The film documents the progressive stripping of a man to his primal instincts until where he does not differ from a desperate street dog. The musician, who’s living & passion was music is trapped in a room with a piano and the musician who is hanging by a string of life and death sits at the piano and does a shadow over the keys and he hears the music in his own ears, the sequence is surreal. Later when he finally finds some food after many days of hiding and is caught in the act by a German who allows him to play the piano, the sense of satisfaction on the Pianist’s face on playing the Piano far surpasses the satisfaction of fulfilling his hunger. However ‘The Pianist’ shows the journey of a man marked for death but the ‘Schindler’s list’ looks at the story from the other side. History of the Holocaust would have been too bleak, save for few human(e) beings like Oskar Schindler or Miep Gies (who his Anne Frank and her family) and lots others, who bet their life in saving a handful of other people. A old saying goes “Whoever saves one life saves the world entire” and indeed they forged some links in the chains that holds the mankind together.
As history suggests Oskar Schindler was a German, businessman by choice and initially was economically motivated into using Jewish people for easy profit. However when he witnessed arbitrary Killings in a Ghetto he had a change, and he turned desperate and tried to protect as many Jewish people he could. What was initially an attempt to earn money with cheap labour changed into a desperate attempt by Oskar Schindler to save the Labourers at any monetary cost he could provide. Being well versed with the corrupt Nazi machinery he pulled every string and emptied he life’s earnings to save his Jewish labourers from death in concentration camps. It’s the realization of the humanity of a so called businessman, that too German, puzzles us as it came in a time where being insensitive was the order. In the last days of the fall of Nazi’s lot of remaining Jews in many of the camps were mercilessly executed but a selected list of the people were shielded by Schinder which forms the list– the list of life in the times of death. This one realization and one move to achieve redemption by one man can change the life of many around. Like the old saying goes ‘ Be the cange you would like to see’. I won’t like to taint Oskar Schindler with cheap cliched lines like ‘he was a great man etc.’ but I’d just like to approximately quote what he said much later to a biographer: “I knew the people who worked for me… When you know people, you have to behave towards them like human beings”.
Coming back to Hitler, he was the man who was the cause of all this sorrow, so he cannot be anyone’s hero. Might be he had a hard childhood, but justifying it by politically motivated ethnic-cleansing is plain mistake. He was a sadistic individual and chose to ride the fascism generated blind mass support. He was never a good general (It was his sub-commanders who were marvelous & eminent strategists, many of whom disillusioned by Hitler’s crimes and chose to join the secret resistances against him, this is supported by history) rather a headstrong politician and perpetrator of heinous crimes. I despise him and his ideologies of a legacy of penetrative social division he left behind him.