Schindler's List Questions and Answers
by Thomas Keneally

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What is the definition of power in this movie?

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In a conversation with Amon Goethe, Oskar Schindler defines "mercy" as power because mercy elevates a person in the eyes of the one to whom he/she is demonstrating mercy. He also very wisely uses a story of a king who chooses not to execute a condemned servant to explain his concept to Geothe, thereby appealing to the man's sense of self-importance. I find this to be one of the most important moments in the film because it is so revealing of both Schindler's and Goethe's inner selves and is a great teaching opportunity to illustrate to students the subtlety of Schindler's influential finesse as well as the tremendous personal risks he was taking.

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