Discuss the significance of the red dressed little girl in Schindler's List.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The girl with the red petticoat in the film is extremely significant.  The first time that Schindler spots her from afar is when the ghetto is being liquidated.  It is the first time that Schindler recognizes the horrors of the Holocaust.  While he does not do anything in terms of massive action, Schindler's conscience has been awoken and something in him has been sparked.  He spots this girl as the only dash of color in a black and white world.  It is this moment of recognition that serves to animate the actions that Schindler takes in favor of helping the Jewish workers in his factory and bringing more into the factory.  The second, and final, time in which Schindler sees the girls is when the mass extermination of people of the Judaic faith is becoming policy.  Schindler recognizes the girl, only this time she is a corpse.  The red petticoat still grabs him and this moment is what causes him to compose the list and save his factor workers from the fate that awaits them.  The sight of the dead girl now serves as a call to action, recognizing that the situation has become impossible to deny what has to be done in the name of fellow human beings.