As the movie Schindler’s List progressed, I found myself growing attached to the once selfish Oskar Schindler, respecting his efforts to promote humanitarianism in a society clouded with prejudice and animosity. I was truly saddened, at the end of the film, when he addressed his Jewish workers, claiming that he would have to flee as he was still identified as a member of the Nazi part. As a strong believer in redemption, I believed that Oskar had done more than enough to make amends for his past mistakes, and that a man who had sacrificed so much, including his company, fortune and personal safety, for the security of others should not be persecuted. I was delighted to see that the Jews also valued his contributions and efforts to ensure their safety, reflected by the letter they gifted him as a last hope in case he was ever captured. There are infinitely different ways that letter could have been written, but I believe it would have looked something like:
We, the Jews of Krakow, have spent the last several years in constant struggle and hardship, but, compared to the unspeakable horrors experienced by the rest of our people, we lived in a paradise. A heaven created and supported by your most recent prisoner, Mr. Oskar Schindler. While others were being starved, frozen and
abused we were fed, clothed and protected. He may appear to be a war profiteer, his used every Reichsmark he earned to benefit our lives, whether is was getting us food, or liberating more Jews from perilous work camps. He started by hiring us to his company in order to protect us from being transported to a camp at the start of the German attack. Later, when the heinous Amon Goeth took custody over us, Mr. Schindler was able to negotiate us into a sub camp where the majority of us were protected from Amon’s brutality. Finally through the most heroic act any of us had ever seen, Mr. Schindler expended his fortune to ‘buy’ and relocate us to Czechoslovakia where under the façade of work camp, he nourished, cared for and protected us. He paid for us, not once, but twice, as half of us- our wives, mothers and daughters- were accidentally sent to Auschwitz where they suffered through tortures we couldn’t have dreamt of. We have Mr. Oskar Schindler to thank, for not only rescuing our loved ones but for also not being sent to that monstrous camp, which without question, would have been the end of us all.
Although we understand that Mr. Schindler was in a high position during the Nazi invasion, this man rejected all of their values and beliefs, constantly fighting for our lives and attempting to use his power to influence his fellow elitist Germans to lessen the severity of their actions towards us. If his morals still remain in question, please contact any one of the eleven hundred names attached and they will vouch for the ethics principles and innocence of Mr. Schindler, the man that saved their lives.
Gratefully, The Liberated Jews of Krakow