Considering the events portrayed in Schindler's List, how did they affect the Jews' views on their place in the world, and with their God?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is fairly interesting to analyze.  The Jewish people depicted in Schindler's List never quite lost their faith and sense of hope.  Part of this might be due to the fact that they perceived their working at Schindler's factory as an act of God, himself, to save him.  While they do possess this, they are not oblivious to the fact that while they might be saved, so many were not and they are close enough to understand this harsh reality.  Consider the moment when the train with the women workers is diverted to Auschwitz, and the women enter the shower room,  petrified that what will come out is gas and not water.  Their shrieks of joy are not merely heard because of the result, but rather because they understood how perilously close they came to suffering the fate for millions of others, and their exclamations are at the power of being saved and redemption.  However, this joy disappears at the very next scene, when they peer up at the sky at the crematorium belching ashes and smoke into the sky, from those who have been incinerated as part of the "Final Solution."

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think above all, Schindler's actions gave hope to all Jews that not all Germans (or non-Jews, for that matter) were in favor of eradicating their people. I'm sure that both free Jews in other parts of the world as well as those in Europe directly affected by the Holocaust were aware that they had non-Jewish supporters around the world; however, it must have been difficult for those imprisoned and facing extermination to recognize this when they saw their own brethren led to the gas chambers or murdered before their eyes. Schindler's own good deeds had to inspire Jews after the war and show them that they had widespread support in most parts of the world.

mkcapen1 | Student

In Schindler's List the Jews were affected just like all the other Jewish people in the Nazi occupied areas.  They were denied basic rights and then cattle cared towards internment and concentration camps.  Everyday of their lives they were scared and hungry.  Their basic needs were seldom met and they struggled to try and survive let alone maintain any form of dignity.

Shindler's crew of Jewish people did not trust him at first but as they knew what he was doing for them, they made a hard effort to produce what was expected of them for survival.  They lived in fear that the solders would pull them out of work or kill them.

The Jews that survived the Holocaust suffered from many of the same psychological problems.  The damage done by the horrible treatment of the Jews left a significant mark.  Even though the Jews that worked for Shindler had different opportunities they were still prisoners who had lost many family members.  Many of them suffered survivor's guilt.  Some went on to have children of their own and shared stories about their survival while others chose not to discuss the events.

The relationship each individual had with God depended on the individual himself.  Some were not practicing Jews but they were still held accountable for their Hebrew blood.