Inaccuracies

The movie Schindlers List is pretty accurate.Most things that are shown in the movie differently have strong reasons, for showing it their way. Underneath is a list with things that are different from, for as far we can discover, reality.

1)      In the movie the first meeting between Schindler and Pfeffenberg is in a church, during the priests preaching,  while according to the book Schindler has visited Pfeffenberg at his mothers house, where he almost got killed by Pfeffenberg, because he thought that Schindler was an SS man, that wanted to do her harm, or wanted to arrest himself since he was a fugitive at that moment (Keneally, 1982: 49-52).

2)      According to the movie Schindler started with hiring Jews instead of Polish straight ahead, in the movie pronounced that it was because they were cheaper. According to the book though Schindler started with hiring Polish workers, and Stern was the one that brought the Jews slowly in (Keneally, 1982: 72).

3)      In the movie the question if Emilie should join Oskar in Cracow was asked when she visited him in Cracow. According to the book this question has not been asked till Oskar visited Emilie in their hometown (Keneally, 1982: 94).These two events are probably combined because of the available time in the movie, and since it are both conversations between the same persons, and the place is not really important for it, it is easy to combine it, and still be close to the truth.

4)       In the movie Poldek Pfeffenberg was not a part of the OD (Ordnungsdienst, the policeforce of the Judenrat). He actually was laughing at a Jewish young men of his age that became one. According to the book Pfeffenberg became a member of the OD to have freedom to leave the ghetto for his black market business. But after a while he wanted to escape the force, and he quit it by getting discharged by the doctors as suffering from an ailment (Keneally, 1982: 90,99,100).We think the makers of the movie framed the character of Pfeffenberg different to simplify the story, because otherwise the focus would be to much on Pfeffenberg and the changes in his role.

5)      In the movie Schindler kissed the Jewish girl in front of the German officers, during a party. In the book the kiss happened in his office where delegations of workers stopped by to congratulate him (Keneally, 1982: 109).We think the movie makers framed the kiss in public to show that Schindler was not afraid of the German officers, and even felt secure that this high placed friends would protect him. Which eventually happened. Only this is framed differently in the movie and book as well.

6)      In the movie a couple of high ranked friends of Schindler, like Commandant Goeth and General Scherner, go to talk to the person who is responsible for Schindlers arrest. They explain him why Schindler did it, and get him out. In the book Schindler have to talk with Czurda himself, and explain himself. The only thing his high placed friends did was making a phonecall to Czurda to tell good things about Schindler, what eventually released him (Keneally, 1982: 114). We think this is might be shown like this to strengthen the idea of the power of Oskar’s friend group.

7)      According to the movie Schindler was pretty fast out of jail. In the statement of the book Oskar had to wait 5 days in jail (Keneally, 1982: 114) before they decided to let him go. We think that they have speed this event up because of the limited time that is available in the movie, and his imprisoned time was not that interesting to show in the movie.

8)      In the book Pfeffenberg went to get een Blauschein (labour cart) and he thought this would work out without any trouble. He was sure his labor with the Spira children would be counted as essential work. His yellow card identified him as a High School Professor. The clerks refused to give him the sticker, and he tried to get work in Szepessi’s fabrik. In the movie they showed this happening, but not to Pfeffenberg, but to another (unknown named) Jew. And he didn’t make the thought to try if he could work for Schindler himself in the movie, but Itzak Stern was a middleman between them. We think that the movie makers decided to split Pfeffenberg character in a couple of different characters, to simplify his character, and make him less important as one person in the movie. We think that the makers see Pfeffenbergs story as representative for a lot of Jews in Cracow (Keneally, 1982: 119).

9)      The movie and book are pronouncing the first meeting between Schindler en Goeth differently. According to the book there was a meeting with the local factory owners and Truhändes, in Julian Scherner’s office in central Plaszow. In the movie their first meeting is during a dinner at Amon Goeth’s villa (Keneally, 1982: 164). Probably this is shown differently because on budgetary purposes. They already had the set of Goeths villa, and probably did not want to make a new office only for this little meeting. Furthermore the dinner probably is more an symbol for their friendship (good food, and a lot of drinks), than a meeting in an office.

10)   For the movie they combined the stories of the survivors about other Aktions with the story of the liquidation of the ghetto. This probably was done because the other Aktions were left out on time bases, but the moviemakers did want to show some of the stories from them (Keneally, 1982: 178).

11)   Amon Goeth’s morning ritual to shoot on people from his balcony is probably a little different. According to multiple sources it was to far away to shoot from his balcony. Some of the stories are saying that he simply walked out every morning to shoot someone. We have not been able to find out what really happened every morning, but there is a big chance it differs from how it is shown in the movie (Keneally, 1982: 192).

12)   Goeth’s manicurist in the movie is Helen Hirsch. According to the book Rebecca Tannerbaum was his manicurist. The choice to show this difference is probably that Rebecca Tannerbaum further does not have an important role, and the role of manicurist is easy to fit in another character (Keneally, 1982: 235).

13)    In the movie the stay of the woman in Auschwitz is not completely shown the same way as in the book. In the movie there was a big focus on the gas rooms, probably for the dramatically effect, while in the book the focus was more to survive the hard conditions they had to live in. They were separated from other groups as Schindlergruppe, so at Auschwitz they knew the story, while in the movie they are treated the same way as other prisoners (Keneally, 1982: 306). Also it is possible that the woman never have been to Auschwitz, since they all did not know where they were. Keneally, author of the book, even admits that they could have been sent somewhere different nobody could know for sure. http://www2.chccs.k12.nc.us/education/components/scrapbook/default.php?sectiondetailid=51629

14)     Sometimes the scenes were a little over exaggerated. Like the fear in Auschwitz for the gas room is not described in the book the same way as it is shown in the movie. The reason for this is of course the dramatic effect, and the purpose of making money. http://worldwariifilms.weebly.com/schindlers-list.html

15)       Like the author says himself in the beginning of the book. It was sometimes necessary to make reasonable constructs of conversations of which Oskar and others have left only the briefest record. So some of the conversations shown, are probably not the same as the real conversations. The book and movie are made long after the real event happened. It is possible that there are some inaccuracies in the testimonies of the Schindlerjuden, just because time had changed their memory (Keneally, 1982: 10).

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