Schindler's List

Submitted by: Submitted by

Views: 691

Words: 145908

Pages: 584

Category: World History

Date Submitted: 12/23/2012 08:13 AM

Report This Essay

SCHINDLER'S LIST Thomas Keneally First published in 1982

Keneally, Thomas - Schindler's List

TO THE MEMORY OF OSKAR SCHINDLER, AND TO LEOPOLD PFEFFERBERG, WHO BY ZEAL AND PERSISTENCE CAUSED THIS BOOK TO BE WRITTEN AUTHOR'S NOTE In 1980 I visited a luggage store in Beverly Hills, California, and enquired the prices of briefcases. The store belonged to Leopold Pfefferberg, a Schindler survivor. It was beneath Pfefferberg's shelves of imported Italian leather goods that I first heard of Oskar Schindler, the German bon vivant, speculator, charmer, and sign of contradiction, and of his salvage of a cross section of a condemned race during those years now known by the generic name Holocaust. This account of Oskar's astonishing history is based in the first place on interviews with 50 Schindler survivors from seven nations-- Australia, Israel, West Germany, Austria, the United States, Argentina, and Brazil. It is enriched by a visit, in the company of Leopold Pfefferberg, to locations that prominently figure in the book: Cracow, Oskar's adopted city; P@lasz@ow, the scene of Amon Goeth's foul labour camp; Lipowa Street, Zablocie, where Oskar's factory still stands; Auschwitz-Birkenau, from which Oskar extracted his women prisoners. But the narration depends also on documentary and other information supplied by those few wartime associates of Oskar's who can still be reached, as well as by the large body of his postwar friends. Many of the plentiful testimonies regarding Oskar deposited by Schindler Jews at Yad Vashem, The Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority, further enriched the record, as did written testimonies from private sources and a body of Schindler papers and letters, some supplied by Yad Vashem, some by Oskar's friends. To use the texture and devices of a novel to tell a true story is a course that has frequently been followed in modern writing. It is the one I chose to follow here--both because the novelist's craft is the only one I can lay claim to,...