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Oskar Schindler -- Wartime Saviour or Wartime Profiteer?

In: Historical Events

Submitted By memelord
Words 606
Pages 3
‘Whoever saves one life saves the world entire,’ read a ring presented to Oskar Schindler by his Jewish workers on the eve of their liberation from Nazi Germany. A German businessman, Schindler had hired 1100 Jews to perform the labour in his enamelware & munitions factories during the perilous time of The Holocaust - starting as a business decision to take advantage of cheaper workers, eventually his empathic connection with the terror experienced during the liquidation of the Kraków ghetto moved his objective to saving as many lives as possible. His objectives and motives are questioned, however, with some statements even going as far to say that rather than being a great saviour of the Jewish people, Oskar Schindler was merely an opportunist who tried to get rich using the profitable Jewish workers. Although both statements can be said to be correct, Schindler, in the end, was merely a clever & intuitive businessman whose ethics were not blinded by Nazi propaganda.

Oskar Schindler started his business using clear ways to save money and take advantage of others’ work: he selected a Jew named Itzhak Stern to take care of the accounting and monetary management of the factory, whilst Schindler reaped the rewards and represented the company; he also obviously hired over a thousand ‘essential Jewish workers’ to manufacture the enamelware to be used in the time of war, as he wouldn't have to pay them such great amounts compared to locals. Oskar Schindler indeed started the war as an opportunist and war profiteer, and even when the war came to a close, he still had to evacuate the country for fears of conviction for his crimes. Even years after the war had concluded, Schindler was a man who never really achieved anything monumental, and his time of heroism only arose because of his power gained from opportunism & his independent way of thinking.

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