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form y separately published work icon Schindler's List single work   film/TV  
Adaptation of Schindler's Ark Thomas Keneally , 1982 single work novel
Issue Details: First known date: 1993... 1993 Schindler's List
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

Adapted from Thomas Keneally's account of a Czech businessman and Nazi Party member who tried to make his fortune during the Second World War by exploiting cheap Jewish labour but ended up risking his life and becoming bankrupt in order to save more than a thousand Jewish Poles from the Holocaust.

Oskar Schindler arrives in Krakow (Poland) not long after Germany invades the country. The Nazis' relocation of Jewish citizens has already begun, but their ultimate objective is not yet fully understood by most civilians. Schindler acquires a factory for the production of army mess kits but, with no previous experience of running such an enterprise, he gains the support of Itzhak Stern, a functionary in the local Judenrat (Jewish council) who also has contacts with the underground Jewish business community in the ghetto. They lend him the money for the factory in return for a small share of its products, for trade on the black market. At Stern's suggestion, Schindler hires Jewish Polish workers instead of Catholic Polish workers because they cost nothing: Jewish workers receive nothing because their wages go to the Reich.

When Amon Göth arrives in Krakow to initiate construction of Paszów labour camp nearby, the SS clears Krakow Ghetto, sending in hundreds of troops to empty the cramped rooms and shoot anyone who protests or is uncooperative, elderly, or infirm. Schindler watches the massacre from the hills overlooking the area, and is profoundly affected. He is nevertheless careful to befriend Göth and, with Stern's advice, turns to bribing Göth and other key officials in order to continue enjoying the SS's support and protection. The commandant is a vicious and sadistic man who enjoys shooting Jewish people as target practice from the balcony of his villa overlooking the prison camp he commands.

Schindler gets Göth to agree to build a sub-camp at Paszów for Schindler's workers. The initial motive is to keep his workers safe from the depredations of the guards. When an order arrives from Berlin commanding Göth to exhume and destroy all bodies from the Krakow Ghetto massacre, dismantle Paszów, and ship the remaining Jewish prisoners to Auschwitz, Schindler prevails upon Göth to let him keep 'his' workers. With the Final Solution now fully underway in occupied Poland, Schindler and Stern assemble a list of workers that should keep them off the trains to Auschwitz.




  • A Study Guide to Spielberg's Film 'Schindler's List,' by Richard McRoberts and Marcia Pope, was published by Wizard Books (Bendigo, Victoria) in 1996.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Works about this Work

The Aesthetics of Conservatism Dean Biron , 2013 single work essay
— Appears in: Overland , Autumn no. 210 2013; (p. 72-79)
Publishing in the Big Apple : Thomas Keneally's Amazing American Adventure David Carter , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: Telling Stories : Australian Life and Literature 1935–2012 2013; (p. 385-391)
A Story for You : Thomas Keneally, Stephen Spielberg Ruth Franklin , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: A Thousand Darknesses : Lies and Truth in Holocaust Fiction 2011; (p. 143-161)
Myth, Reality and Oskar Schindler Brett Jenik , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Quadrant , June vol. 54 no. 6 2010; (p. 30-41)
y separately published work icon Searching for Schindler Thomas Keneally , North Sydney : Knopf Random House Australia , 2007 Z1433134 2007 single work autobiography A memoir of Thomas Keneally's journey around the world to discover the complete story of Oskar Schindler and those Jews whose names were included on his now-famous list. In 1980, Keneally walked into a store in Beverly Hills owned by Polish Jew Leopold Pfefferberg Page to buy a new briefcase. For the next few years, Keneally's life was taken over by this charismatic and driven man, known as Poldek, and the story he wanted to share. The resulting book was Schindler's Ark, which went on to win the Booker Prize and ultimately became the Oscar-award-winning film Schindler's List. Keneally and Poldek travelled across the United States, Germany, Israel, Austria and Poland, interviewing survivors and discovering their extraordinary stories. Searching for Schindler is very much Thomas Keneally's journey; he reflects on his early days as a successful but less than confident writer, and how this book, the film it became and the people he met, changed his and his family's lives forever. (Source: LibrariesAustralia)
Screening the Disaster Anthony O'Donnell , 1994 single work review
— Appears in: Arena Magazine , April/May no. 10 1994; (p. 48-50)

— Review of Schindler's List Steven Zaillian , 1993 single work film/TV
Zeugen befragt – Buch über Schindler Peter Baier , 1994 single work review
— Appears in: Münchner Merkur , 2 March 1994;

— Review of Schindler's List Steven Zaillian , 1993 single work film/TV
Hope Hunter Cordaiy , 1994 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Review , January-February no. 61 1994; (p. 16-17)

— Review of Schindler's List Steven Zaillian , 1993 single work film/TV
Gruelling Drama of Human Suffering Tom Ryan , 1994 single work review
— Appears in: The Sunday Age , 6 February 1994; (p. 5)

— Review of Schindler's List Steven Zaillian , 1993 single work film/TV
Hell in Black and White Evan Williams , 1994 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 12-13 February 1994; (p. rev 11)

— Review of Schindler's List Steven Zaillian , 1993 single work film/TV
'Herr Direktor' : Biography and Autobiography in Schindler's List Clifford J. Marks , 2000 single work criticism
— Appears in: Biography , Winter vol. 23 no. 1 2000; (p. 49-70)
The List Is Life : Schindler's List as Ethical Construct Kenneth Womack , Todd F Davis , 2001 single work criticism
— Appears in: Mapping the Ethical Turn : A Reader in Ethics, Culture, and Literary Theory 2001; (p. 151-164)
A Decade Since Schindler's List Tom Tugend , 2004 single work column
— Appears in: The Australian Jewish News , 26 March vol. 70 no. 26 2004; (p. 19)
Schindler's List Takes Golden Globe Awards Shane Burke , 1994 single work column
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 24 January 1994; (p. 11)
Schindler's List Puts Spielberg on Top Shane Burke , 1994 single work column
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 24 January 1994; (p. 5)


1994 winner International Awards University of Southern California Scripter Award
1994 winner International Awards Golden Globes (USA) Best Screenplay - Motion Picture
1994 winner International Awards Chicago Film Critics Association Awards Best Screenplay
1994 winner International Awards Academy Awards Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium
1994 winner International Awards Writers Guild of America Award Best Adapted Screenplay
Last amended 11 Nov 2013 12:00:22
  • c
    Eastern Europe, Europe,
  • c
    Western Europe, Europe,
  • ca. 1930-1949
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