An extremely suave man who looks at women with amorous intentions, doesn’t mind sleeping with a few of them and strikes just the right chord with one and all even if it’s about mingling with ruffian, mingy and wily SS officers to an extent that one does reminisce his very presence with the gentleman’s name getting stuck on to one’s tongue – ‘Oskar Schindler’. The viewer suspects him of harboring sinister motives only to be surprised by his true intentions that was similar to constructing the Noah’s Ark so that at least a few of the beings could be saved from the wrath of an imminent catastrophe. It talks about the time when something called hope had vanished into thin air with grotesque incidents marking the contours of the lives of the common folk, those who by default happened to be Jews.
In the backdrop of the year 1939 when Krakow Ghetto is being inhabited by Jews who have been driven away from their homes and on their way have to bear the brunt of abuses and stones hurled at them with an inexplicable sort of hostility bidding them farewell “Goodbye Jews”, those being the words of a little girl who is oblivious of the ramifications of that scathing remark she has just upchucked. Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), a German with the aid of a Jewish accountant Itzhak Stern (Ben Kingsley) goes ahead with the inception of a factory that proves to be a haven for as many as 1100 Jews who render their services in making army mess kits the entire production house having employed Jewish Poles since their wages amount to almost nothing with a chunk of the money going to the SS and are faked as being an ‘essential worker’. Though, they are not spared from the torment with all of them being bundled into trucks and having asked to sweep the roads that have been muddled with snow and one old man being shot straight in his head, his red blood gushing over in the glistening white ice taking it into its own color. In the backdrop of such deplorable state of affairs arrives Lieutenant Amon Goeth (Ralph Fiennes) who has been sent in to look after the construction of the Plaszow Concentration Camp, with him arrives a maelstrom of fiendish forces that comprised of killing anyone and everyone who seemed pretentious or a threat to the establishment, with a hospital in which the doctor and nurse gives poison to terminally ill patients so that their sojourn into the Afterlife is a less painful one with their bodies still becoming the butt of bullets of the SS officers. Jews are hunted down as scavengers thrust on to a naïve prey with gun shots emerging as the neighborhood cacophony and their target being sensed through stethoscope suspecting of thumping heartbeat behind those walls and rooftops, from beneath the floor, one wrong note of the piano and that man would be the one who won’t even deserve a well-done epitaph.
Another crisis befalls those inhabiting the Plaszow turf when orders pour in about their deportation to the Auschwitz Concentration Camp, with Schindler springing into action and bribing the officials something he had been doing all this while to ensure that his workers were spared. As fate would have it his men and women are unfortunately directed towards Aushwitz and here what follows would not only shake the soul of any mortal but would compel to hang one’s head in ubber shame that the human race did have to undergo that phase of cataclysm when women had their hair cropped, all being trundled thereafter into a chamber that gave them that shudder if it was the end of their lives thinking it to be a gas chamber only to be reprieved with sprinkles of water that was a means of getting them ‘disinfected’. Naked men and women being paraded all over and inspected by physicians if they are worth living or for that matter being relegated to be categorized, the tyrannical forces being possessed by the foible if they are worthy of being inducted into the workforce. Before they could surge towards the gallows Schindler rescues all of them including the children chiming in with the timely justification that their tiny fingers can polish the insides of artillery shells.
Come 1945 and the approaching battalions of the Red Army soon gives the clarion call that it’s time for Schindler to release those he has had risked his own life to protect from being ravaged by an army that had gone berserk in its frenzy to cleanse the Earth of a race that in fact happened to be their brethren. As he is about to leave with the token of cascading emotions of those 1100 Jews being vent into the form of a ring with a Talmudic quotation inscribed that says the one that saves a single life saves the entire world, Oskar being ridden with pangs of guilty if he could have saved a few more innocent lives, him being the man who had smelt the stench of incinerating bodies that filled the zephyr when as many as 10,000 corpses were burnt on a single day.
‘Schindlerjuden’ synonymous with Schindler’s Jews start life on a fresh note with horrific relics of the past lingering at the back of their minds and an overwhelming sense of gratitude towards the man who finally made it in this business after having a slew of earlier failures and the one whose grave is adorned with a stone as a mark of reverence as each of the survivor of the holocaust thanks him in an utmost manner, for few are those who live long even after they are gone. The film that is dedicated to the memories of six million Jews who were slaughtered during the dark spell, brings forth those horrific instances that recrudesced in the name of flimsy edicts with a question mark being posed on this snafus that went unnoticed so terribly, perhaps being highlighted in this entire black & white film by the little girl in the red coat who in Director Stephen Spielberg’s words was emblematic of effete nations like America and Russia that played the part of mute spectators in this government initiated genocidal spree.
Roses would always adorn the graves of those who carried forth the unctuous charade only to muffle individuals saving their lives paving way for their redemption in this crass willy nilly state of affairs.