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Thomas Keneally was born in 1936 and raised in the rugged expanse of Australia. As a
young man, he planned to join the priesthood, but by 1960, on the verge of the Vietnam
War, Keneally found the church in such moral turmoil that he decided it was impossible
to go through with his ordination.
Keneally received his formal education in Sydney, Australia. Over the past 30 years, he
has published over 25 novels, more than a dozen screenplays, and several works of
non-fiction. These works include The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, The Playmaker,
Season in Purgatory, A Family Madness, and Woman of the Inner Sea. His work
has been nominated four times for the Booker Prize, which he won in 1982 for Schindler's
List. He won the Los Angeles Times Prize for Fiction, The Miles Franklin Award, The
Critics Circle Award, and a Logie (Australian Emmy).
A self-described "literary biker," Keneally has traveled through Australia, Iceland, Antarctica,
America, Eastern Europe, roaming across genres and topics, often championing the underdog.
"I'm a writer who's always been hard to pin down," Keneally says, "because I've sometimes
written about things that are none of my concern -- like the American South or Antarctica or
Australian aboriginals or the Holocaust. I think I appeal to 'hells angels' kind of writers."
Keneally has modeled many of his characters after the traditional Australian hero -- the
"battler." "In America everyone admires successful men and women. In Australia, they
suspect them. The Australian hero is the person to whom everything has happened --
drought, fire, flood."
Oskar Schindler is a classic Keneally character -- conflicted and flawed, the antithesis of a
one-dimensional altruistic saint. And Schindler's story is a classic Keneally story -- an
ordinary man placed in a situation of enormous moral dilemma.
While researching Schindler's List, the author spent two years traveling to eight countries, where he interviewed many of Schindler's Jews and read the numerous testimonies which
are held at the Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Authority, Yad Vasbem, Israel.
Keneally lives in California where he teaches in the graduate writing program at the University of
California, Irvine, where he holds a Distinguished Professorship.
Reading Group Discussion Points
Other Books With Reading Group Guides
Winner of the 1982 Booker Prize
Simon Wiesenthal A truly heroic story of the war and, like the tree planted in Oskar Schindler's honor in Jerusalem, a fitting memorial to the fight of one individual against the horror of Nazism.
Newsweek An astounding story...in this case the truth is far more powerful than anything the imagination could invent.
From Chapter One
General Sigmund List's 5 armored divisions, driving north from the Sudetenland, had taken the sweet south Polish jewel of Cracow from both flanks on September 6, 1939. And it was in their wake that Oskar Schindler entered the city which, for the next five years, would be his oyster. Though within the month he would show that he was disaffected from National Socialism, he could still see that Cracow, with its railroad junction and its as yet modest industries, would be a boomtown of the new regime. He wasn't going to be a salesman anymore. Now he was going to be a tycoon.
It is not immediately easy to find in Oskar's family's history the origins of his impulse toward rescue. He was born on April 28, 1908, into the Austrian Empire of Franz Josef, into the hilly Moravian province of that ancient Austrian realm. His hometown was the industrial city of Zwittau, to which some commercial opening had brought the Schindler ancestors from Vienna at the beginning of the sixteenth century.
Herr Hans Schindler, Oskar's father, approved of the imperial arrangement, considered himself culturally an Austrian, and spoke German at the table, on the telephone, in business, in moments of tenderness. Yet when in 1918 Herr Schindler and the members of his family found themselves citizens of the Czechoslovak republic of Masaryk and Benes, it did not seem to cause any fundamental distress to the father, and even less still to his ten-year-old son. The child Hitler, according to the man Hitler, was tormented even as a boy by the gulf between the mystical unity of Austria and Germany and their political separation. No such neurosis of disinheritance soured Oskar Schindler's childhood. Czechoslovakia was such a bosky, unravished little dumpling of a republic that the German-speakers took their minority stature with some grace, even if the Depression and some minor governmental follies would later put a certain strain on the relationship. Zwittau, Oskar's hometown, was a small, coal-dusted city in the southern reaches of the mountain range known as the Jeseniks. Its surrounding hills stood partly ravaged by industry and partly forested with larch and spruce and fir. Because of its community of German-speaking Sudetendeutschen, it maintained a German grammar school, which Oskar attended. There he took the Real-gymnasium Course which was meant to produce engineers—mining, mechanical, civil—to suit the area's industrial landscape. Herr Schindler himself owned a farm-machinery plant, and Oskar's education was a preparation for this inheritance.
The family Schindler was Catholic. So too was the family of young Amon Goeth, by this time also completing the Science Course and sitting for the Matura examinations in Vienna.
Oskar's mother, Louisa, practiced her faith with energy, her clothes redolent all Sunday of the incense burned in clouds at High Mass in the Church of St. Maurice. Hans Schindler was the sort of husband who drives a woman to religion. He liked cognac; he liked coffeehouses. A redolence of brandy-warm breath, good tobacco, and confirmed earthiness came from the direction of that good monarchist, Mr. Hans Schindler.
The family lived in a modern villa, set in its own gardens, across the city from the industrial section. There were two children, Oskar and his sister, Elfriede. But there are not witnesses left to the dynamics of that household, except in the most general terms. We know, for example, that it distressed Frau Schindler that her son, like his father, was a negligent Catholic.
But it cannot have been too bitter a household. From the little that Oskar would say of his childhood, there was no darkness there. Sunlight shines among the fir trees in the garden. There are ripe plums in the corner of those early summers. If he spends a part of some June morning at Mass, he does not bring back to the villa much of a sense of sin. He runs his father's car out into the sun in front of the garage and begins tinkering inside its motor. Or else he sits on a side step of the house, filing away at the carburetor of the motorcycle he is building.
Oskar had a few middle-class Jewish friends, whose parents also sent them to the German grammar school. These children were not village Ashkenazim—quirky, Yiddish-speaking, Orthodox—but multilingual and not-so-ritual sons of Jewish businessmen. Across the Hana Plain and in the Beskidy Hills, Sigmund Freud had been born of just such a Jewish family, and that not so long before Hans Schindler himself was born to solid German stock in Zwittau.
Oskar's later history seems to call out for some set piece in his childhood. The young Oskar should defend some bullied Jewish boy on the way home from school. It is a safe bet it didn't happen, and we are happier not knowing, since the event would seem too pat. Besides, one Jewish child saved from a bloody nose proves nothing. For Himmler himself would complain, in a speech to one of his Einsatzgruppen, that every German had a Jewish friend. " 'The Jewish people are'going to be annihilated,' says every Party member. 'Sure, it's in our program: elimination of the Jews, annihilation—we'll take care of it.' And then they all come trudging, eighty million worthy Germans, and each one has his one decent Jew. Sure, the others are swine, but this one is an A-One Jew."
Trying still to find, in the shadow of Himmler, some hint of Oskar's later enthusiasms, we encounter the Schindlers' next-door neighbor, a liberal rabbi named Dr. Felix Kantor. Rabbi Kantor was a disciple of Abraham Geiger, the German liberalizer of Judaism who claimed that it was no crime, in fact was praiseworthy, to be a German as well as a Jew. Rabbi Kantor was no rigid village scholar. He dressed in the modern mode and spoke German in the house. He called his place of worship a "temple" and not by that older name, "synagogue." His temple was attended by Jewish doctors, engineers, and proprietors of textile mills in Zwittau. When they traveled, they told other businessmen, "Our rabbi is Dr. Kantor—he writes articles not only for the Jewish journals in Prague and Brno, but for the dailies as well."
Rabbi Kantor's two sons went to the same school as the son of his German neighbor Schindler. Both boys were bright enough eventually, perhaps, to become two of the rare Jewish professors at the German University of Prague. These crew-cut German speaking prodigies raced in knee pants around the summer gardens. Chasing the Schindler children and being chased. And Kantor, watching them flash in and out among the yew hedges, might have thought it was all working as Geiger and Graetz and Lazarus and all those other nineteenth-century German-Jewish liberals had predicted. We lead enlightened lives, we are greeted by German neighbors—Mr. Schindler will even make snide remarks about Czech statesmen in our hearing. We are secular scholars as well as sensible interpreters of the Talmud. We belong both to the twentieth century and to an ancient tribal race. We are neither offensive nor offended against. Later, in the mid-1930s, the rabbi would revise this happy estimation and make up his mind in the end that his sons could never buy off the National Socialists with a German-language Ph.D.—that there was no outcrop of twentieth-century technology or secular scholarship behind which a Jew could find sanctuary, any more than there could ever be a species of rabbi acceptable to the new German legislators. In 1936 all the Kantors moved to Belgium. The Schindlers never heard of them again.
Copyright © 1982 by Serpentine Publishing Co., PTY Ltd.
Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank
Dita Saxova, Arnost Lustig
Northwestern University Press, 1979
The Holocaust in History, Michael Marrus
The Jews: Stories of a People, Howard M. Fast
Maus I and Maus II, Art Spiegelman
Night, Dawn, and Day, Elie Wiesel
Jason Aronson, Inc., 1985
One, By One, By One, Judith Miller
Touchstone Books, 1990
Sophie's Choice, William Styron
Vintage Books, 1979
Stones from the River, Ursula Hegi
Scribner Paperback Fiction, 1995
The War Against the Jews: 1933-1945, Lucy Dawidowicz
Bantam Books, 1986
Winter in the Morning, Janina Bauman
The Free Press, 1986
2. At the start of the book, Keneally lets us know that his protagonist, Oskar Schindler, is not a virtuous man, but rather a flawed, conflicted one, who makes no apology for his penchant for women and drink; yet he gambles millions to save the Jews under his care from the gas chambers. How does Keneally reconcile these two distinctly different sides of Oskar Schindler? How do you, the reader, reconcile them?
3. Keneally writes, "And although Herr Schindler's merit is well documented, it is a feature of his ambiguity that he worked within or, at least, on the strength of a corrupt and savage scheme, one that filled Europe with camps of varying but consistent inhumanity." What abiding differences were there between Oskar Schindler and men like Amon Goeth, who operated the controls of this system? To what extent did Schindler remain in partnership with them? Where did he draw the line, and how did he keep himself separate while living among them?
4. Schindler and his mistress, Ingrid, ride their horses to the hill overlooking the Cracow ghetto, where they witness an Aktion. Trailing alone at the end of a line of people being marched off, Oskar and Ingrid spot a little girl in red, "the scarlet girl." What is it about her presence on this early morning that is instrumental in Oskar Schindler's sudden and terrible understanding of what is happening in Europe and of his responsibility to mitigate it?
5. "I am now resolved to doeverything in my power to defeat the system," Schindler says after witnessing this Aktion. Do Schindler's subsequent actions defeat the system, or does he merely help to perpetuate it?
6. Keneally follows many other characters throughout the book: the prisoners, Itzhak Stern, Helen Hirsch, Poldek and Mila Pfefferberg, Josef and Rebecca, the Rosner brothers -- all of whom, at points, rise above their circumstances and engage in acts of great courage and generosity. In contrast, characters such as Spira and Chilowicz engage in acts of cruelty and self-interest. Yet they have similar circumstances. How do you feel about these different characters and their choices?
7. "All our vision of deliverance is futile. We'll have to wait a little longer for our freedom," Schindler says to Garde (a Brinnlitz prisoner) when they learn that the Führer is still alive after an attempt on his life. Oskar speaks as if they are both prisoners waiting to be liberated, as if they have equivalent needs. What do you think Schindler means by "our freedom"? How might Schindler and other Germans have felt to be imprisoned? Is it fair for him to equate himself with Garde?
8. After Brinnlitz is liberated, some of the prisoners take a German Kapo and hang him from a beam. Keneally writes, "It was an event, this first homicide of peace, which many Brinnlitz people would forever abhor. They had seen Amon hang poor engineer Krautwirt on the Appellplatz at Plaszow, and this hanging, though for different reasons, sickened them as profoundly." Why are so many of the prisoners sickened, in light of the atrocities committed against them? Do you feel the prisoners would have been justified in killing as many Germans as they could have? Why do you think there aren't more rampant acts of vengeance on the part of Schindler's Jews after their liberation?
9. In a documentary made in 1973 by German television, Emilie Schindler remarked that Oskar had "done nothing astounding before the war and had been unexceptional since." She suggested that it was fortunate that between 1939 and 1945 he had met people who had summoned forth his "deeper talents." What are these "deeper talents" and what is it about war that elicits them? And what is it about peacetime that suppresses them?
10. What vision of human nature does Schindler's List express? Does it express the view of human beings as fundamentally good or evil? As immutable or capable of transformation? Does it leave you with any kind of a message, any vision for mankind? If so, what is it?
Posted March 23, 2010
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Seeing the movie first, I had an idea what the book would entail. Reading the book, would put image in my head from the film. There were some days that I couldnt read it because it was to intense. The book made me cry but also made me smile. This book is a must have for your permanent library for years and years. All should read this.
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Posted March 6, 2013
Thomas Keneally has had a series of wonderful novels under his name but this has to be one of his best. Oskar Shindler starts out in the book as supporter of the Nazi party and an undercover agent for the Nazis to hold in their horrific plan to seize Poland. He is a smooth talker, a visionary, and a young entrepreneur by the start of the memorable World War II. By just getting an understanding of his background, you would never believe he would become a hero for not just the 1,100 Jews he saved, but for the rest of the world.
Keneally does a great job showing the starting life of Shindler. We see his succession from the war and his transformation from a man who was doing fine making profits to someone who uses his fortune to open factors not just for his benefit. He supplies work and a sense of safety for Jew workers he hires. Previously having confirmations with Nazis and being arrested two times before, he is a warrior who finds a liking for danger.
This story is not only about Shindler. We hear about the journeys of Jews in the ghettos and what occurs in the concentration camps. Some of the things you will hear can be disturbing but we all need to just be thankful that we didn’t have to go through this horrific time period. We hear stories from his friend like Itzhak Stern. We learn how important Shindler is to their lives.
I loved this book because I see that guardian angels are real. Keneally shows this by providing us visual of Shindler looking after the Jews not just in the multi factors they went through but also at their ghetto. I wasn’t able to put down the book and I finished it within two weeks. Being the savior of 1,100 doesn’t seem to be much compared to the 6 million lives destroyed by the Nazis. 1,100 lives is a ton. He saved families and if you think about it, those people had off springs. His story still makes impacts on people and I’m glad he was honored by the Jewish world.
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Posted September 16, 2013
Posted January 20, 2012
Before I read the novel, I already knew what it was about: A German man who saved more than 1,000 Polish Jews by having them work at his factory instead of being sent to concentration camps. I expected Oskar Schindler to have the characteristics of a hero: confident, pure, and selfless. As I got to know Schindler and his filthy yet respected persona, I was disappointed to learn that he wasn’t the ideal hero. He isn’t ashamed of his infidelity, that he is a Nazi member, and sees the war and depression in Germany as a chance for him to make more money. I was utterly disgusted by this man.
Even though I disliked Oskar Schindler, I couldn’t help but admire his driven attitude. He knew what he was capable of and he wasn’t afraid to go after what he wanted. At first, the liquidation of the Jews meant nothing to Schindler until he became close to his business associate and friend, Itzhak Stern.
Stern managed to save Schindler from living a life of greed and materialism. I found the friendship between the two very sentimental despite the dirty work they were both committed to in trying to save the Jews.
Schindler was a changed man by the end of the war; he learned he was capable of committing bad things for the greater good. My dislike for Schindler ebbed and I was satisfied to see the hero in him.
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Posted December 16, 2011
This book is about Oskar Schindler, a man who came into the metal-making business just to make money. Then, he turned around and used his wealth to extricate 1,200 Jews from death camps all around Poland. He did it because he contradicted with what the SS did to Jews. Schindler took Itzahk Stern¿s quote that ¿ He who saves a single life saves the world entire¿ and ran away with it. He put his own future at risk for the plethora of Jews he tried to save, so they could also have their own future. Oskar Schindler was not alone on this quest of saving Jews, as Julius Madritsch, fellow business tycoon of Schindler¿s would have undertaken this quest. If he believed that this scheme had a chance of being successful he would have added 3,000 more Jews to Schindler¿s 1,200 that they both would have saved. This book urges you to as the saying ¿ do unto others, as you would want due to you¿ like Oskar Schindler did with overwhelming charisma, grit, and fortitude. As other camps were serving meals that ranged from a meager 700-1,000 calories a day as Alexander Biberstein, a doctor who experienced a normal death camp and Schindler¿s pointed out; Schindler distributed meals that ascended 2,000 calories a day. He opened his heart to all Jews when many did not even classify them as human beings; he created labor camps called Emalia and Brinnlitz with his own hard earned money. He fulfilled the promise to his Jews that they would ¿ survive the war under my care¿. Schindler¿s List inspired me to stand up for what I believe in and not shy away from your goal when nothing is on your side.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 16, 2010
The story of Oskar Schindler is an amazing one. He risked his life, and the lives of those close to him, to save just under 1,200 Jewish prisoners, with no personal profit in it for him. He did it because he saw the inhuman evil of the SS, and because it was the right thing to do. The true horror of the Holocaust was not that so few risked doing the "Right Thing", but in the horribly simple fact of their sacrifice's necessity. Julius Madritsch, Herr Schindler's fellow businessman, would have joined Oskar, and added the 3,000+ prisoners who worked for him to Schindler's list, had he believed in the possible success of his plan. Many helped maintain Schindler's Black-Market trade (although on three separate occasions he was betrayed, and sent to prison), and many more were involved the creation and success of Brinnlitz. Schindler, through luck, determination, and sheer overwhelming charm, was just more successful than the others. He didn't manage to save them all, but as the Talmudic verse Izhak Stern quoted in October 1939 said:"He who saves a single life saves the world entire."
Schindler's List is the story of Herr Schindler as he tries to save innocent people. Researched and detailed, author Thomas Keneally opens a window into the past. The view isn't great. SS Hauptsturmführer Amon Goeth terrorizes and murders prisoners, and beats his Jewish maid. SS bury thousands in the woods (and then dig up the bodies to cremate them). Hangings and starvation are normal occurrences in Plaszów. Through it all, Schindler bribes and gambles for the safety of his Schindlerjuden. An amazing, inspiring read. I recommend it whole-heartedly, as the view it shows isn't great, but it is honest. It shows an aspect of the Holocaust that is little known. A Good German.
World War II was a dark time in German history, but there were the few Germans that silently fought against the oppression. One man who did such deeds was a businessman by the name of Herr Schindler. "Schindler's list", by Thomas Keneally, is about Herr Schindler and his story about how he saved thousands of Jewish prisoners from the Nazi concentration camps by telling them that they were used for cheap labor. This book was exciting to say the least. It was near impossible for me to put it down. The story was gripping, intense and emotional. Keneally did an unbelievably phenomenal job adding detail to everything, making it even more irresistible. This book is a must read for anyone who is looking for a book that will give them a good look at WWII. It was a remarkable book. The only large negative about the book is that it was slow in the very beginning. It took a while for me to get into it, but after the first couple of chapters, it really took off. The reason for this was that Keneally wanted to set up a lot of visuals, so most of the beginning was descriptions and other things of the nature; which makes for a slow start, but was necessary for the rest of the book. If you are a little on the squeamish side, then this book is probably not for you. It was a little graphic at some parts. If you are a WWII fan looking for an accurate and exciting book, then this is the one for you. It definitely will not disappoint anyone who can stomach it. "Schindler's List" was an amazing book, and the movie is just as intense. I would highly recommend the movie if you enjoyed the book. The next best WWII book that I have read would be "Night". That is another WWII book that really brings out what it truly was like during that time period.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 16, 2009
The story of Oskar Schindler is one that would not be easily forgotten. This man saved the lives of 1200 Jews and their descendants who would have other wise been killed in the massacre of WWII, but there's a saying, "do onto others, as you would want done to you." Would you help??? Schindler must have had that saying in his mind during the holocaust. Picture yourself in a life-threatening situation. You definitely would love help, and you would probably help also because if you were in that situation that's what everyone wants. Think of all of the bad things that could happen if he helps: he could be arrested, killed, tortured, or even sent to the slave camps. Yet he helped. Although this is a great story of survival, it gets you thinking about all the other people who weren't as lucky to have worked for such a man. Thousands of Jews died in the worst conditions possible and for those who did survive, the faced the memories of the suffering and the violence that happened before their eyes. It was inspiring to see the change of hear that Schindler had when his mindset changed from mocking money to saving lives. Itzhak Stern had a huge part to play in the conversion of Schindler because he was in change of the business end of their factory, so he was the one who did all the employing. Schindler and Stern were like Batman and Robin. Stern worked relentlessly in making sure that, as many people as possible were able to come to the 'place of refuge.' Schindler created a future for so many who thought there was nothing else for them.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 18, 2009
It is by no means an easy thing to rate Schindler's List poorly. It is in all senses of the word an Epic, yet it is a history book. Not a historical fiction, but a text book. Although some prefer this style, I do not. I found it lengthy and nondescript, all unnecessarily so. He, in my opinion, failed to capture the emotion of the Holocaust in an editorial fashion, relying instead on the reader's emotional interpretation.
The majority of the novel is background. It is laid between bits of narrative, moving narrative, but then back to history. Every character, great and small, is introduced ad nauseum. Every event and idea introduced is given a fascinatingly boring historical context. Although not very interesting, I understand its necessity (I could never keep by Oberstrumfürers and my Obergruppenfürers straight). I have no problem with history, I love history; I just don't like reading if for fun, especially when the author makes a half-handed approach at making a pseudo-narrative. His attempts at creating an on the dot recreation of the events of the Holocaust goes for four-hundred pages without many of the trademarks of fiction. Schindler's, Goeth's and Stern's characters are static (granted, complex character development and symbolism is rarely a natural byproduct of history). I respect the work put into the novel. I respect the actions depicted. I respect his historical authenticity. I just found it dry.
If you, like I, had seen the movie and wondered what the book is like, I must warn you. Cinema has the ability to leave out choice chapters. The cinema evokes painful amounts of emotion. The cinema only takes three hours. Keneally's style, although I appreciate it, leaves a lot to be desired. He does not beat us over the head with disturbing imagery, but doesn't allow for enough, of any kind. See the movie, read a text book.
Posted June 8, 2007
Recently I had talked with a relative of mine who doesn't quite understand why God would tell us that He would protect us if we followed His Commandments 'referring to the Holocaust'. 'Look at all the people who died,' she said. All I could tell her was, 'But look- He sent them Schindler.' There is now a great respect in my heart for this odd hero- an ordinary man who did the right thing. Now, after reading this book and doing some independant research on the subject of Oskar Schindler, 'schindlerjuden' has become a sacred word for me as it is what the Jews rescued by Schindler call themselves. This a moving book with rough material that I think EVERYONE should read. I believe that the faint of heart will mourn as they turn the pages and that the corageous will close their eyes at the horrors in this 'true-story-based' novel.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 2, 2007
I cant say this is ever a book or a movie that I will ever enjoy. But the sheer courage and determination of one man to change the lives of thousands,should never be forgotten.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 26, 2007
As a project in school, my LA teacher asked us to read Holocaust books. As I am an avid reader, she suggested this book for me to try. I have to admit, it was not easy, and i read a book a day! I haven't finished it yet, though I plan to, and I would recommend it as an emotional read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 17, 2003
Schindler's List, originally published as Schindler's Ark, is the true story of how Oskar Schindler, an aristocratic German industrialist, heavy drinker, briber, and womaniser, was transformed into a saviour during the horrors of World War II. His remarkable rescue of more than a thousand Jews is retold brilliantly in this honest and detailed account by Thomas Keneally. The story is set in Poland, where Schindler struggled to protect his Jewish factory employees from the cruel and terrible claws of the extermination camps. Schindler's efforts in saving souls increased as the war worsened, and climaxed with Schindler's List, the book of life and ticket to freedom for many Jewish survivors, whose accounts are carefully retold in this book. Although Keneally's long and descriptive sentences require patient concentration, and could become a stumbling block for some readers, once overcome, no reader could fail to be drawn into the action-packed plot. For Keneally summons terror and disgust with his gruesome profiles of the SS Gestapo, and draws smiles and smirks with his descriptions of Schindler's devious dealings with them. In Keneally's book, metaphors and similes vividly contrast the characters and scenery, omitting no details, and succeed in taking the reader to a different time and place. Although a biography, and therefore brimming with names, dates, and numbers, Keneally manages to navigate history so that no event is left without significance. Schindler's List is a riveting read which no one should miss out on, as not only is it an exciting story, it also gives an accurate glance into the labour camps of World War II, and takes a look at the darker side of humanity. A Booker Prize- winning novel, now also an Oscar-winning movie, Schindler's List is a must for anyone over 15.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 16, 2003
schindlers list is an outstanding book on the jewish concentration camps during the time of the nazi regime. It was a very touching way to see the true side of the senseless killing and utter disrespect for the jewish people. Oscar Schindler is a german man that either is a very good actor or he truly cares for the jews, i choose the latter of the two. Throughout the novel Oscar shows over and over concern for the jews, he becomes famous among the jews to the point where every jew wants to be in his camp. The jews describe Oscar as a kind man and a savior. Schindlers 'list' is a list of 13000 jews that schindler is going to buy and set free. all in all this book just plain kicks booty!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 10, 2003
Schindler's List was a great book. Or should i say Oskar Schindler was a great man. Oskar was one of the nicest Nazis in WW2. He saved thousands of jews by buying them and letting them work at his factory for making pots and pans for people around Germany. He had a lot of money and who knows why, but he chose to use most of his money to help save all these jews. If he had more money, then he would probably have saved much much more. He felt that all the ones he saved wasn't enough. He had a great heart and you could tell that he felt very bad for the jews. As a jew myself, this book really touched my heart because for once, someone is trying to save the jews other then the jews themselves, rather than killing them. i recommend this book to jews around the world that dont really know much about the holocuast, but would like to know more about it. I really recommend it to anyone who wants to know a little more about the holocuast. I think this book was a great one, and I recommend it to people of any race around the world.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 12, 2003
I recently read Schindler's List by Thomas Keneally for a report that I was assigned. I have to say that this is the best book that I have ever read within the year. From the first sentence I knew that this was the type of book that I could really enjoy, not one that I would start reading and within a week and forget about it. Although it was some what of a challenge to read, this book will make the reader visualize what is taking place throughout the story so that the reader comes to a understanding at all times. This book has been made into a film by Steven Spielberg, a great move and a great book so that we have the best of both worlds. I recommend that you read this book before watching the move, so that the movie can be used as a answer key to anything that wasn't understood in the book. I feel that Schindler's List is a really good book because of the way that it was written. Throughout the whole book, you get the feel of sadness and depression, but at the same time those feelings are brought down to anger and happiness. All those feelings are brought together at one time, it is a weird thing and could only be discovered by reading the book. This book will make you understand that life is not always easy and that all you have to do is believe in the postive and never give up even when it seems like there is no hope. It will also make you respect everything and everyone in life because we are all the same no matter what race or religion. If you read it very carefully you will pick up other morals and messages which makes this book even better. Schindler's List has all the elements that a book should have, now that I think about it this book is hands down one of the best books that I have ever read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 30, 2003
Over all i thought the book was a great book and it demonstrated the harsh facts of the holacost and how the jews were treated. Jews were hated in Germany because they thought that they were different that the normal Jew. Jews were thrown into consontration camps to have them work and get the most out of them before they die I also wached the movie and that was a great movie as well. The book took place in Germany in about 1920-1945 as oscar shindler starts a factory that makes pots and pans that jews work in to escape going to the consontration camps.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 8, 2002
Schindlers list was an excellent book. It talks about mainly the Holocaust and what Oscar Schindler did in his helping the Jews in that sad time. the book was very well written, It didn't really jump around from part to part like some books might do. It was very informational in the fact that it was very acurate on dates, persons names and what not. The book is a long book but in a way is not for all the information that Thomas K. had to fit into it. Oscar Shindler was the mail caracter in the book, He was the owner of many emaila factories. They made kitchen ware like pots and pans.. He was the only Owner of a factory that did have a slave camp that treated the workers/slaves as good as he could possible treat a person. He made sure that they at least were fed a decent meal and had decent living conditions. Another important character was Amon Goeth, He was like the leader at the labor camp in Plascow. He was a very mean man and killed thousands of Jews. and when they were told they could only kill so many jews so he started to burn the bodies. ( eewwwwy ) But all in all it was a great book and I recommend it to anyone who likes a good book or is just interested in the Holocaust.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 17, 2001
This book is about factory owner saving many of his workers. His name is Oskar Schindler. I thought this book was very good. There were many parts where it gets very sad. There is about one part where the book is good. The thought of saving his workers was very good. The book takes place during World War II. Oskar makes a list of his workers that he will bring out of the country. His factory made pots and pans. At the end, (after he saved the Jews) he fled the country to save himself from the invasion of Russia. He paid all he could to get his workers (or Jews) out of the country. The new camp was called Brinnlitz. He saw all the Jews getting killed, he was determined to save them. At the end, before he flees the country, he cries because he didn¿t save enough people. Out of ten, I would give it a nine. I thought it was very good. I¿m sure you will too.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 14, 2001
I give Schindler¿s List by Thomas Keneally 4 stars. Two negative aspects of the novel is that it was a colder point of view on what had happened to the Jews. The novel was also a more biographical type of writing. One positive aspect to the novel was that you come away with a greater understanding of Oscar Schindler. I recommend this book for the people that want to better understand who Schindler is and why he wanted to save the Jews.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.