No character can be more original than one straight from real life. Oskar Schindler is portrayed as a man whose foibles and needs are all too human. He is not portrayed as the perfect human being but rather as one who begins life in one way and continues in another. Schindler's marriage is an example of this. Being a Catholic, he does not divorce the wife who is not suited to him; rather, he leaves Emilie at home in Moravia and has a series of mistresses in Poland. The mistresses do not seem to carry the same weight as his vows to his wife. These mistresses seem to know of each other and, like his wife, do not protest his conduct. Schindler is a lover of good food and liquor. He does not mind drinking or eating with those he dislikes if doing so will further his ends. He has no scruples about giving bribes to anyone who can help him accomplish his goals. This is the pattern of his life from his beginnings in Poland until the end of World War II, and perhaps beyond. He is full of contrasts until it comes to saving his Jewish workers from the "final solution."
Goeth is evil personified. He cares about the people in the camp because they are the source of his feelings of power. Without them to rule over, instill fear in, and create hardship for, he would be only an average man, or even below average. During his time as commandant of the camp, he does everything to excess—killing, eating, drinking, and beating his maid. He does not understand that Schindler...
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Abraham Bankier is the office manager of the defunct enamelware business that Schindler buys; he becomes the manager of Schindler's Deutsche Email Fabrik. He is one of a number of workers who is boarded onto a cattle car bound for a labor camp near Lublin before Schindler secures their rescue.
Josef Bau is a young artist from Kraków who, while working at the Plaszow camp, falls in love with, courts, and marries Rebecca Tannenbaum in a Jewish ceremony.
See Rebecca Tannenbaum
Bosko is a German police Wachmeister, or sergeant, sympathetic to the Jews and who, early in the novel, has control of the ghetto perimeter. He is so rebellious against the regime that he lets raw material into the ghetto to be made into goods and then lets the goods out to be sold—without asking for a bribe. He is a "man of ideas" in contrast to Schindler, who is a "man of transactions." Bosko eventually absconds from his police station and vanishes into the partisan forests, but he is found and shot for treason.
The chief of the Jewish camp police, Chilowicz works in the Plaszow camp for Goeth and the SS. He is the "hander-out of the caps and armbands of authority in the debased kingdom" and "equates his power with that of the tsars." He is also used by...
(The entire section is 3196 words.)