Schindler's List
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A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Schindler's List can be found here.

The little girl's jacket is red so that she stands out from the masses and the image makes a point and an impression. Schindlers soul is touched by the child, he feels her pain, cries for her. The plight of the one little girl in red touches him in a way the sheer numbers make unreal, it is easy to get lost in numbers. He transforms the faceless mass around him into one real palpable human being. This one child is a symbol of all the 6.000.000 victims, exposed to ruthless slaughter. The little girl in the red coat footage gives a feeling of hope. You think that she may be able to get away, that she has a chance. The girl in red is also alluded to in the book, and was called "Genia." She was brought to the ghetto by a Polish couple, who had been looking after her for her parents, who were hiding out in the countryside -- but had planned to head for the ghetto themselves. She was delivered to the Dresners, as her mother was the first cousin of Mrs Dresner. She's said to have been very fond of the colour red, and was known as "Redcap." Another reason for the red coat may be Spielberg's way of addressing the book "Night" by Elie Wiesel. Wiesel's youngest sister, Tzipora, who was killed upon arrival at the concentration camp, was holding her red jacket, which was the last image Wiesel had of her. Spielberg may be paying tribute to this amazing novel.

Primarily for reasons of authenticity, realism, and also to make it feel like a historic documentation, since it is a true story. Spielberg himself has given this explanation as well, further motivating this artistic choice with the fact that almost all real documentation of the Holocaust he has seen has always been in black and white. To enhance the documentary feeling, the movie was primarily shot with handheld cameras, and contains no crane shots. Director of photography Janusz Kaminski has further added that black and white contributes to the agelessness of the movie, something the makers strove very hard for. For symbolic reasons, the little girl in the red coat, the tribute at Schindler's grave, and the beginning (the flames from the candles) are the only bits of color in the movie and it makes things stand out a little bit more.

They are real Schindler Jew survivors accompanied by the actors that portrayed them. Laying stones on a grave is a traditional sign of respect for Jewish people and is done especially when the individual was not present at the funeral of the deceased.

Contrary to popular belief, it is not director Steven Spielberg. It is Liam Neeson, the actor who portrayed Oskar Schindler, for respect and the fact that he was proud to portray such a historical figure. If the lone shot of Neeson is examined closely, he's obviously too tall to be Spielberg. In the blu-ray release of the film, it's a little bit easier to see Neeson's face.

Yes, both were very real. The Plaszw labor camp was located in a southern suburb of Krakw and was presided over by the real Amon Gth. Under Gth's command, many thousands of Jews were killed there, it is documented that Gth was every bit as cruel and psychotic as the film depicts him. Schindler's factory, Deutsche Emaillewaren-Fabrik, also existed in the Krakw city limits. Schindler's efforts to bring Jewish prisoners to work in his factory are also documented.

Today, Deutsche Emaillewaren-Fabrik is a museum.

Yes & no: Spielberg had a "mirror" camp built just outside of the famous archway that led into Auschwitz. Prisoners brought to Auschwitz for extermination arrived by train & the tracks led under the archway where they were unloaded & "processed" for death in the fake showers. Spielberg got permission to film within the walls of the actual camp but decided against it out of respect for the victims that had died there, so he had his production designers create a camp that closely resembled the interior of the camp on the outer side of the archway so a train could be used to depict the Schindler Jewish women being brought there. The actual camp is hidden through clever photography & cinematography.

Probably for dramatic effect, the pistols not firing were probably supposed to represent a miracle that saved Lewartow with some sort of mechanical failure of the Luger Gth 1st used & the CZ-27 he pulls out of his pocket. Speculation on those mechanical failures can be found here for the Luger and the CZ-27. It's also possible that both guns were loaded from the same box of ammunition (as they both use the same type of ammunition), which may have been defective.

If you watch closely right after Gth gives up, the pistol he drops on the ground as he walks away is a large revolver & not the CZ-27 he'd been using -- a continuity error in editing.

The scene can also be interpreted as a foreshadowing of sorts for what Schindler says near the end of the film when he has his workers making ammunition: "...if this factory ever produces a shell that can actually be fired, I'll be very unhappy."

Schindler was schmoozing with the local Nazi & SS officers to build a customer and contact base. He'd already made plans to open the Emailwarenfabrik factory & supply the German army with cookware but he needed to find the right people to sell his product to, IE, all the officers that frequented the restaurant. You can see him working up the chain of officers that come into the place. Schindler (at least in the film) is presented as not only very charming but also very cultured -- he orders appetizers & entrees that appear to be crowd-pleasing & converses with the Maitre'd about the right wine for his guests. At the end of the scene we see him having a drink with Oberfhrer Julian Scherner, who is the highest ranking officer that enters the place -- his rank is that of a senior colonel. If Schindler is able to, at the very least, strike up a friendship with this man, then Scherner will be likely to throw business Schindler's way through the other officers under his command. Schindler's strategy pays off well; he picks up a lot of business & begins making a lot of money.

Schindler wasn't completely broke when he arrived in Krakow. You can see, while he picks out his outfit for the evening, that he has lots of Polish zlotys stashed in various places. Schindler is also a very shrewd businessman, as we see throughout the course of the film. He'd be the type of person to know how to stretch his money during dinner to accommodate his guests, however he did lavish on them quite a lot to gain their trust and friendship. Also, the restaurant management might also have, later in the evening, to be a trustworthy customer and may have let him run a tab for his dinner expenses. Schindler could have easily paid them back later.

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