There is a simple reason why I decided to read this book. I started watching the movie but was so upset and sick feeling that I couldn’t watch it any further. I thought, surely it would be easier to read the book, that was a wrong assumption. I realised that my imagination is equal to any of the scenes displayed in the film, if not more morbid. That being said I am glad that I have read the book. It is nice to read a World War II story where the hero is a German but not surprising the bad guys are German/Austrian as well.
What possessed a man like Schindler whom born to the right stock had prominence in the community and friends in high place to spend 4 million caring for the “enemy”? This is the question that was constantly running through my head while reading this book. It would be so easy to turn your back on the desolate. Being in the same situation with the same means at hand would you do what Oskar did? I think it takes great strength of character and dare I say it balls to pull of what he did. He risked his own situation to better that of his workers, something they would never forget.
It also interested me to compare Oskar with Amon Goeth. Both men born to similar circumstance, both ambitious though one choose to show his power through violence and terror while the other earns a loyalty through compassion. Though Oskar was no Mother Theresa – he boozed it up, had a wife, mistress and an affair all at the same time (though we allow him these disgraces).
This story was painfully heart breaking (I cried more than once) and graphic which I will remember but I will also remember the hardships people can overcome. One person doing a good act can change the live of many others. “Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire” – engraved inside the ring presented to Oskar by his workers.
Everyone should read this book and learn from it (by learn I don’t mean not to start wars etc that is pretty much a given), learn to be better people, help us to become more compassionate and understanding to others (discrimination through religion is still happening now). If we all do better, save one life instead of taking it we really can save the world. It is a nice thought.