Accuracies

The list of accuracies in the movie Schindlers List is longer than both the inaccuracies and the left outs. The movie is well filmed, and there is a base for every event that happens in the movie.

1)      Jews have been detained by SS squads on the way to work and employed in clearing snow. Her Schindler visited his friend Toffel at SS headquarters in Pomorska Street to complain about this, because it was delaying his production when his workers were not showing up.  (Keneally, 1982: 73). During shovelling the snow sometimes Jews were shot or got deported in trucks. The SS man could make this selection themselves (Keneally, 1982: 90).

2)       How the beard of Orthodox Jews was cut with scissors or knifes (Keneally, 1982: 86). This was a big anti-Seministic action against them. In the movie is shown not only the cutting, but also how the SS man were laughing and making fun of the Jewish man.

3)       In the movie and the book the movement of the Jews of Kazimierz was pretty much the same. The movie showed how they were packing, how families were pushing barrow piled with everything they could take with them, toward the ghetto (Keneally, 1982: 87). It is also shown how their houses afterwards are given to (high ranked) SS officers, what also happened in reality.

4)      In the movie is shown in a very accurate way how Jewish families had to share their room with other people, which they often did not even know. In the movie it is seen how a family walked in their room, and the woman said: “It’s not that bad”, and the husband answered: “How can it possibly be worse?”, and then another family is entering the same small room, which of course was making everything even worse.

5)      In the movie they show the establishment of the Ordnungdienst (OD), the Judenrats own police force. They are framed as friendly to their fellow Jews. Unfortunately, as said in the left outs as well, the OD members and their families were all shot after the transition from the ghetto to Plaszow.

6)      The movie shows that when a group of Jews had to march to Prokocim Station, they passed a crowd of jeering Poles who were screaming: “Bye-bye, Jews”. This way of anti-Semitism from the Poles towards the Jews is described in the book as well (Keneally, 1982: 108). Also one of the Schindler survivors is telling in an interview how it hurt her and the other Jews that just because of their background, while they did nothing personally wrong to those people, they seemed to hate them.

7)      On his birthday Schindler heartily kissed a Jewish girl who congratulated him. The way it is framed in the movie and the book might be different (see differences from the reality), but the fact of Schindler kissing a young, Jewish girl is the same (Keneally, 1982: 109). The same with his arrest, which is also both covered in the book and movie mostly the same. When Schindler got arrested he had a cell with only one other prisoner, who was seated on one of the two low wooden bed frames, exactly the same shown in the movie as it is written in the book (Keneally, 1982: 111). This was really uncommon in that time, because there are so much arrested people, that normally the cells were overfull with sometimes 8-10 prisoners in one small cell.

8)      Both the book and movie tell the story, of how Oskar and Ingrid went horseback riding, and faced the cruelties happening in the Ghetto during that day (Keneally, 1982: 127). Only in the movie it is framed that they saw the liquidation of the ghetto, while in reality they saw another Aktion in the ghetto. They did noticed the little girl in red, according to the book Shindlers interest was that it made a statement, the way argumentative shift worker in Wegierska had. Spielberg on the other side has his own ideas of the girl in red. REFER TO WHERE HER STORY IS IN THE BLOG. Oskar and Ingrid are witnesses how the people that tried to hide in the first searching round are running for the dogs, and are shot on the streets when they got found.

9)       In the movie a Jewish woman tells the other Jews a ‘bedtime’ story about the deportation to Auschwitz; about how the people after they get out of the train were lined up for disinfectant, how they had to undress, tight their shoes together, were shaved by the hairdresser’s, and how they continued to be told the myth of their usefulness, and how they eventually were driven down a barbed-wire passage to bunkers which had copper Stars of David on their roofs and were labelled “baths and inhalation rooms”, where they have been told to breathe deeply, that it was an excellent means of disinfection. But how they in fact, were all gassed, and afterward how they took the bodies away for burial. The woman in the movie said she have heard this story from someone who knew someone who had survived it. The book tells the same story, but from the survivors (Bachners’) perspective, but it was not in Auschwitz but in Belzec (Keneally, 1982: 136). Both in the movie and book the other Jews have a hard time believing that this story is true. Probably the scene in the movie of the little boy hiding in the latrine is based on Bachners’ story as well, cause he survived by hiding in a latrine for three days.

10)   When the Jews had to leave their luggage in the station, and the SS men told them that it would be sent behind, it actually went to a warehouse for the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office. They made Jews sort them out, and Jews who had been jewellers had to value the diamonds and other jewellery. This is shown in the movie as well. During this time period it was really common that the SS confiscated properties of Jewish people.

11)    In the book and movie the entrance of Amon Goeth to Plaszow is almost exactly the same. He piled into the back of a Mercedes and were driven off for a reconnaissance of the ghetto and the site of the new camp. It was a bitter day (Keneally, 1982: 161). Also the character of Goeth is pretty accurate. According to the book he has massive physiques, is a sentimental lover who is often beating the woman he likes, he is plagued by insomnia and is a reckless drinker who is thinking of himself as a philosopher, what he definitely is not. Also somewhere in the movie is shown how a doctor is telling him “Enough Amon; you have to take some weight off”.  Left out is his later diabetes though (Keneally, 1982: 230).

12)   When Goeth is on inspection of the camp, there is a Jewish engineer who is warning Amon that the foundations must be redug, or they will collapse eventually. Goeth reacts on this only by ordering to shoot her. “Here! On my authority” he said. The SS officer gripped her by the elbow pushed her a little to the front, and shot her in the back of the neck. The only difference here is that Diana Reiter (the girl) says after being shot: “It will take more than that”, wile in the movie she said it before she was shot (Keneally, 1982: 168).

13)   In the movie the liquidation of the ghetto is pretty much the same as how it is written in the book. Also interviews with for instance Pfeffenberg are telling us pretty much the same as we have seen in the movie about these horrible event. The speech of Goeth is about the same: “Today is history. There had been for more than seven centuries a Jewish Cracow, and by this evening, those seven centuries would have become a rumour, and Cracow would be judenrein (clean of Jews)”. The instructions were really messaged out of a car. People had to come outside without luggage, and had to join the line they belonged in (based on if they were employed or not). Those people were moved to the new camp. Everyone had to leave before 6 PM that day. People who were found after that time were executed. That night more than 4000 people were discovered and shot in the streets. (Keneally, 1982: 173,174,189). The story of Pfeffenberg trying to escape through the sours, and how he could not find Mila anymore is the same in the book and movie, as well as him trying to safe himself after 6 in the ghetto, by making up a story that he was ordered to clear the roads from the luggage, and saluted for Goeth (Keneally, 1982: 186). Also the story of the doctors who gave their patients cyanide so they could die in peace is based on testimonies. The story of Mrs Dresner and her daughter who had an appointment with their neighbour to hide behind a false wall when there were rumours about an action in the Ghetto is the also same in the book and the movie. The neighbour let the girl hide in there, but not her mother. Even though she had nowhere else to go to, and there was enough space (Keneally, 1982: 140). The woman’s reason for not letting Mrs Dresner hide there as well is according to the book that it was as if she thought that should the SS penetrate the wall they would be more forgiving on account of Danka’s (the name of the daughter) lesser poundage. Also showed in the book and movie is how the mother left the house and run into one of her elder son’s acquaintance, who ordered her to hide under the stairs (Keneally, 1982: 142).

14)   It is also seen in the movie how a girl named Regina Perlman wanted to approach Schindler to arrange jobs for her parents. She first is declined, because she looked like she would not bring any affords to him. Than she waited a week, borrowed a blouse and made up her face, and she tried again to get an appointment with Schindler. This time she was allowed to speak to Schindler himself.  When she asks him if he is willing to employ her parents he tells her: “What you suggest is illegal”. She leaves her note with her parents names, and find out after a while that Schindler had given them both a job (Keneally, 1982: 204-206).

15)   The scene wherein Goeth is inspecting Schindler’s factory, and ask a worker (Rabbi Levartov) what he is making, and how fast he can make it, is really accurate. After the Rabbi made him a hinges Amon considered the heap. “You’ve been working here since six this morning, and you can work at a rate you’ve just shown me – and yet, such a tiny little pile of hinges?”  He had to come outside, where he knew he was going to be shot. Luckily for him Goeths gun was not working. The Rabbi used this time to tell Goeth: “Herr Commandant, I would beg to report that my heap of hinges was so unsatisfactory for the reason that the machines were being recalibrated this morning. And therefore instead of hinge-work I was put on to shovelling that coal”. After that Amon only hit him with the gun and left (Keneally, 1982: 211). Another accuracy involving Rabbi Levartov is how Oskar one day told him: “You shouldn’t be here, Rabbi. You should be preparing for Shabbat. And Oskar slipped him a bottle of wine (Keneally, 1982: 211).

16)   The meeting between Helen Hirsh and Oskar Schindler in the kitchen of Goeth’s villa is shown the same in the movie as in the book. He came down, she told him her worry of being Goeth’s next victim. Schindler tells her she does not need to worry because she is to precious to the Commandant, and that the reason he kills the others is because they do not mean anything to him. He makes her for the first time a promise of getting her out. She asks if he can get her sisters out as well, and gives him money that she kept hidden (Keneally, 1982: 219).

17)   In the movie there is a scene wherein the SS had discovered a black market chicken. The man who could have been the owner were taken to the Appelplatz. Since no one opened up whose chicken it was, Goeth randomly shot the first man (an inaccuracy is that he actually killed two men with the same bullet). When he prepares to execute the next one, a young boy steps out of the line. He is shuddering and weeping. He can say who brought the chicken in, he tells Goeth, and points to one of the men he just shot (Keneally, 1982: 237,238).

18)   Oskars bribery is shown frequently in both the book and movie. For example the big present that he send to important people when he opened up his factory. Another example is when he offered diamonds to a high ranked SS officer, where he wanted permission from to move his factory. The book gives even more examples of Schindlers bribery and buying things on the black market.

19)   The separation of the camp in a men’s and a woman’s part is covered in both the movie and the book. It is shown how the Dresner woman are whistling a tune to their husband/father, and how he is answering the tune with his own one. In the book they explain that couples devised a tune, and found each other easier that way (Keneally, 1982: 245). Men and woman often tried to sneak to the others camp, to meet their lovers, or families. This is shown in the movie during the marriage of two newfound lovers. The way they got married is purchased the same in the movie as in their stories, and in the book (Keneally, 1982: 247).

20)   In the enthusiasm of 1943, bodies – notably the bodies of those killed in the ghetto’s last two days – were thrown randomly into mass graves in the woods. Shown in the movie is the order from Department D to find them all back and burn them, so that if the Russians invade the camp, they wont find any proof of the mass executions. The digging was done by male prisoners, which is also shown in the movie (Keneally, 1982: 142, 143).

21)   Another probably accurate scene is the one wherein Oskar is facing a train full of Jews, who are almost dying for water. Schindler asked Goeth for permission to call out the fire brigade, to give cool the Jews down, and give them water to drink. He made sure that all of the wagons got sprinkled, and even gave the person in charge of the transport liquor and meat to give them water whenever the train stops near a station. Goeth told Schindler that it is a cruelty to give them hope, while they are on their way dying (Keneally, 1982: 266, 267).

22)   The closure of Plaszow and therefore the Emalia camp is shown in the movie as well. All men would be wend to Gröss-Rosen, and all the woman to Auschwitz. Oskar was after this news not quite the prophet he normally was. But than he sprang the news that he wanted to move his factory to Czechoslovakia, and that he wanted to take his skilled workers with him. Shown in the movie as well is how Oskar asks Goeth’s permission, which he will give as long as Oskar pays enough. Also how they gambled about the faith of Helen Hirsch is shown the same. How if Amon won, Oskar would pay him 7400 zloty, and if he hit a natural he would pay him 14800 zloty, but if Schindler wins, Goeth had to give him Helen for on his list. Oskar won the gamble, and the making of the list was started (Keneally, 1982: 275-279).

23)   During the making of the list he asked his friend and college Madritsch to work with him, and together make a big list. Madritsch refused, but in the end allowed Oskar to add around 70 names of his workers on the list (Keneally, 1982: 282). All Jews really wanted to get on Schindler’s list. They literally said: “The list is good, the list means life”.

24)   Both the movie and book purchases how Oskar was paying for both of his camps. Within the new camp he was going to produce shells, but he had actually no serious industrial intention at all. He had no hopes for production, and was actually happy that he never provide one shell, which he blamed star-up difficulties for (Keneally, 1982: 341-342). His financial sources were now completely on the black market.

25)   The film shows how the woman during their transport from Cracow to Moravia accidently end up in Auschwitz. It is shown how they were selected, how the old and ill ones were separated from the others, with questions like: “How old are you, mother”. Also shown is how the woman got shaved, and disinfected, as well as their fear that there was going to come gas out of the showers (Keneally, 1982: 305).

26)   Oskar had to defend himself pretty often why he had workers like children and elders. One of the examples of him defending himself is how the smell children are skilled munitions workers, on which Oskar answers: “They polish the forty—five millimetre shells, said Oskar. They were selected for their long fingers, which can reach the interior of the shell in a way that is beyond most adults. The only difference is that in the movie this event happened in Auschwitz, while according to the book it happened in an office (Keneally, 1982: 320).

27)   According to the movie the Schindlerjuden made him a present as soon as the news of the end of the war came out. They made a ring, out of the golden teeth of one of the Jews, for him, with the inscription of: “He who saves a single life saves the world entire”.  They also gave him a signed letter in case he needs to explain his Nazi involvement somewhere (Keneally, 1982: 369). The speech of Schindler in the movie is very accurate as well. One of the Jews wrote his speech down while he was talking, and this manuscript is used in the movie as well. The following three minutes of silence were hold in real life as well, and he let the SS guards of his camp walk away, and return to their families (Keneally, 1982: 372).

28)   In the movie is shown how Oskar and Emily were dressed in prisoner’s stripes, and how they escaped in the Mercedes. This is according to the testimonies of the Jews really happened that way (Keneally, 1982: 374).

29) In the movie two closely related events. The first one is die Gesundheitaktion, which means the health action. All men and woman had to go through a medical examination, to filter out the ill and old people. The purpose was to make room in Plaszow for new workers. The conditions for the people were humiliating. They had to run around completely naked (Keneally, 1982: 259). During this action the camp got cleared of all children. 300 children were discovered during this inspection. The only difference is that the children were taken away to Auschwitz together with the rejects from the health action. Some children, like shown in the movie were able to hide themselves. Like the boy who hides in the long latrines, and gets to hear from the other children that it is their place.

30)   Oskar’s grave in Israel is real. They did the ceremony on the end of the movie to honor him. It was Oskar’s wish to be buried in Israel after he died in Germany. The Schindler survivors had paid for this.

31) According to a lot of  victim testimonies, and a lot of holocaust studies, the way the camps were portrayed in the movie was very accurate. http://www2.chccs.k12.nc.us/education/components/scrapbook/default.php?sectiondetailid=51629

32) The consideration of Jews as cheap labor, how hiring Jews according to the movie started, is very accurate for this time period, and probably one of the reasons that Schindler was fine with Stern hiring Jews. It is also true that Jews did not earn their own wage, but that it went directly to the Reich. http://worldwariifilms.weebly.com/schindlers-list.html

 

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