Schindler's List Questions and Answers
by Thomas Keneally

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What changed Schindler in the book "Schindler's List"? Why did he change?

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Enotes writes that the author of "Schindler's List" actually does not make clear what motivated Oskar Schindler to undertake his heroic actions in saving his Jewish factory workers, but he does indicate that the liquidation of the Krakow ghetto was a turning point in the enigmatic character's life.  Schindler was a witness to the liquidation, and saw Jewish men, women, and children indiscriminately murdered in the streets.  After seeing the massacre, Schindler said,

"Beyond this day, no thinking person could fail to see what would happen.  I was now resolved to do everything in my power to defeat the system". 

Schindler, known first and foremost until this time as a pragmatic businessman, risked his life to save the Jewish workers in his employment, and eventually caused his own bankruptcy in setting up a nonproductive factory for the sole purpose of saving the Jews from certain death in Nazi death mills.  Despite the ambiguity surrounding an understanding of his motivations, there is no doubt that, by his actions, Oskar Schindler personally saved the lives of hundreds of Jews.

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