When Schindler became a member of the Nazi party, he seemed to have expected that the invading power would allow some brotherly Sudeten Republic to be founded. It seems that as soon as the divisions entered Moravia he suffered an instant disillusionment with National Socialism, as thorough and quick as the disillusionment that had set in after his marriage to Emilie.
Oskar became an advocate of the principle that as a factory owner, he should have unimpeded access to his own workers, that these workers should have access to the plant, and that they should not be detained or tyrannized on their way to and from the factory. Everything he did was in order to keep them safe. His ideologies had changed drastically from selfish wants and desires, to the constant want to aid the Jewish people.
The message of the ﬁlm is that under such a regime it is only possible to save some of the victims through personal courage, and then wait until the “natural catastrophe” is over, until liberation from above by the Allies.
Schindler’s later history is covered in a documentary epilogue. This is highly selective, which is also no accident. We are told that he had no further business success and received eventual recognition of his deeds. What is not mentioned is that Schindler was arrested and ﬁned by a Frankfurt court at the end of the 1950s. His crime was to punch a Nazi who, like countless others before him, harassed Schindler in the street, and called him a Jew-lover for his role in saving people from the Holocaust.
Despite these weaknesses, Schindler’s List has its strengths. By showing us the barbaric reality that gripped Europe ﬁfty years ago, the ﬁlm can be a powerful spur for the struggles of the future. Liberal “anti-fascism” will use this ﬁlm’s undoubted emotional charge to divert and smother any effective class action against the fascists. We have to focus that emotional charge into support for a ﬁghting alternative.