Oskar Schindler

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Oskar Schindler

Lauryn C.HillPeriod 1

Oskar Schindler

Infer how Oskar Schindler first became a spy in his early years.

Oskar Schindler was a very well known spy during the time of Nazi Germany. He saved thousands of Jewish lives and provided shelter from the Nazis. Before he did this though, he started off as a regular business man. Oskar Schindler lived in a region known as Moravia which was part of the Austrian Empire. After a few years of working his own family business, it unfortunately was lost to Poland. Since he was no longer supported by his business, he was forced to take a job as a sales manager for Moravian Electrotechnic. It may not have been the job he once enjoyed but it helped him gain his status as a spy. "Occasionally, it even took him to Krakow, Poland...There he met a woman who put him in touch with the German Counterintelligence Service, which recruited him to be a spy for the German government." (pg. 13 Thompson) He enjoyed his job as a spy but his life was constantly in danger. "As a citizen of Czechoslovakia, his work for the German Counterintelligence Service put him in the dangerous position of being a spy for a foreign government and not just any foreign government: he was a spy for Nazi Germany." (pg.13 Thompson) He went from being a spy for Nazi Germany to a person who would not stand for unfair punishment and treatment in Nazi Germany against the Jews. His technique usually consisted of meeting with people he could collect information from and getting them intoxicated enough to make them talk.

Many already know that Schindler was a safe refuge for many Jews but he was also very dishonest while doing so. Towards the beginning of the war when he lost his business to Poland he acquired an enamel factory. He employed 300 Jewish people. "Although [Schindler's Jewish workers] could not understand the reasons, they recognized that [he] was somehow protecting them [from the Nazis]." (pg. 417) Since they trusted and felt security in him they brought families and friends also for protection. Most of the time he succeeded in protecting those that worked for him by keeping fake records, building his status and lying. His actions of dishonesty are justified because he was protecting those who had no protection at the time. By strengthening his status between local SS officers, he was able to seem like he was on their side while actually protecting hundreds of Jews behind it without them knowing. As the treatment began to grow harsher and brutal, he found it to be a challenge to be friendly with German soldiers. He was dishonest in the way that he lied and faked records but he protected those he cared about. Also, by doing so and being dishonest his position was built and it gave him infinite ways and excuses to save more Jews from harsher punishments they would have faced.

Justify why Oskar Schindler's dishonest choices could save thousands of Jews.

After the war ended papers were found that belonged to Schindler and among those papers were what is known as "Schindler's List". As you may already know he did many carried through many dishonest actions. One of those actions is what is found on the famous list."The list is on letterhead for Schindler's enamelware factory in Krakow. Schindler wrote the names and jobs of 1,200 Jews at the Plaszow concentration camp and gave the list to the Nazi SS." (internet) This is important because the Schindler made up fake jobs to show the Nazi SS that his Jewish employees were vital to the war effort. Therefore, his Jewish employees could not be punished harshly and less likely at all. The real significance of this list though is all of the workers he saved by making up ficticious jobs for all of his workers. Ultimately, the SS or any Nazi soldiers were never able to punish his Jewish workers and never knew the jobs were not real.

Analyze the significance of Schindler's List.


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