Films and the books they’re based on are almost always significantly different. Sometimes we find this to be a cause of frustration, especially if we liked the book. Because of the difference in the artistic attributes of the two mediums, it’s not possible for a film to cover the same amount of ground that a book covers—it would just take too long. Also, we have to keep in mind that movies are a visual art—the picture is more important than anything else, so storylines are often subjugated to the need to create meaningful visuals.
In the case of Schindler’s List, there are actually so many differences between the movie and the book that I couldn’t come close to listing them all here. I’ll describe the most striking difference that I found.
In the movie, the character of Stern was a very reluctant partner to Schindler. He didn’t trust him and did not want to help him start up a business. A large part of the dramatic structure of the film revolves around the slowly developing friendship between the two. In the book, however, Stern actually approaches Schindler about buying a business. He realizes early that Schindler is the kind of Nazi who might actually be willing to help to Polish Jews.