Why is Schindler so popular

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by Thorlifter, Sep 12, 2016.

  1. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    Don't misunderstand the title. What Oskar did was saint worthy in my eyes and he risked his life doing so. But there were others that saved many more. In fact, Schindler isn't even in the top 10.

    Feng-Shan Ho was a Chinese diplomat in Vienna, who against orders, issued passports to Jews so they could leave for Vienna. He saved over 2,000 people

    Irena Sendler was a nurse in the Warsaw ghetto and got 2,500 children out.

    Hugh O'Flattery was a priest in Rome that saved over 4,000 allied soldiers and Jews to escape.

    Giorgio Perlasca was an Italian that worked in the Spanish embassy in Budapest and helped an estimated 5,000 Jews escape.

    Chiune Sugihara was a Japanese diplomat, serving as Vice Consul for the Japanese Empire in Lithuania. Soon after the occupation of Lithuania by the Soviet Union, he helped an estimated 6,000 Jews leave the country by issuing transit visas to Jewish refugees so that they could travel to Japan.

    Georg Ferdinand Duckwitz was a German member of the Nazi party who worked as a special envoy to Nazi occupied Denmark. In two months it is estimated he saved over 6,000 Jews, which was 99% of the Jews that were living in Denmark.

    Frank Foley was a British secret service agent estimated to have saved 10,000 Jews from the Holocaust.

    Aristides de Sousa Mendes was a Portuguese Diplomat who ignored and defied the orders of his own government for the safety of war refugees fleeing from invading German military forces in the early years of World War II. Between the June 16 and June 23 1940, he frantically issued Portuguese visas free of charge, to over 30,000 refugees seeking to escape the Nazi terror, 12,000 of whom were Jews.

    Dimitar Peshev was the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Bulgaria and Minister of Justice during World War II. He rebelled against the pro-Nazi cabinet and prevented the deportation of Bulgaria’s 48,000 Jews.

    Raoul Wallenberg was a Swedish humanitarian who worked in Budapest, Hungary during World War II to rescue Jews from the Holocaust. Between July and December of 1944 he issued fake passports and housed several thousand Jews, saving an estimated 100,000 people from the Nazis.
     
  2. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Ultimately it comes down to Spielberg's film.
    Schindler was German and that makes for a much better story in later times. I'm sure we all know the facts, Schindler put more than just his neck on the line, it was a remarkable effort and he consistently chose the more difficult of the options open to him.

    The Duckwitz case is more complicated and despite his commitment to save Denmark's Jewish population, was dependent on the efforts of very many others, many Danes and Swedes. It wouldn't make such a compelling film. I don't deny his bravery, he certainly did take risks in his efforts to secure the safety of the Danes, but these were of a different type to Schindler.

    The treatment of Europe's Jews, even the holocaust, was common knowledge in Germany by 1943, whatever some 'received' histories might claim. Germans generally by 1943 explained their 'victimhood' under Anglo-American bombing by reference to their treatment of the Jews, what the SD euphemistically called 'measures carried out against the Jews' in its equivalent of Britain's mass observation reports.
    It is important to show that at least some Germans did not connive in, or simply turn a blind eye to, the policies of the Nazi State, and Schindler is an excellent and justified example of this. There were of course many individual Germans who tried to do something for their fellow citizens who happened to be Jewish, but again, this is not the stuff of blockbuster movies.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  3. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    "....The treatment of Europe's Jews, even the holocaust, was common knowledge in Germany by 1943, whatever some 'received' histories might claim."

    Yes ... and the perception on 'the street' as recorded in Gestapo field notes was that the RAF bomber raids were Jewish Revenge Raids .... England's punishment of Germany for what Germany was doing to the Jews. (Source: The German War).
     
  4. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    I'd love a capable film maker to deliver a dramatization of Foley's efforts to save Jews. He is absolutely an underrated hero.
     
  5. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    His life story would make a remarkable film, quite apart from his role in saving so many Jewish lives!

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  6. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Chiune Sugihara is really an amazing story.
     
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  7. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    It is, and to my shame I'd never heard of him until I looked him up following your post. It just goes to show that people of all races and cultures are capable of such acts of humanity, even at considerable risk to themselves.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  8. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    Very true Steve. Just to name one amongst hundreds, if not thousands, you just have to read about the efforts of John Rabe.
     
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