Archive for December, 2011

Searching for Schindler



The first of two posts from me.

Just finished reading Thomas Keneally’s “Searching for Schindler” – a memoir on the rather amazing ‘journey’ the writer took that lead him to unearth the (at the time in 1980) little-known story of the paradoxical, confusing Oskar Schindler – Schindler who would save 100s of Polish Jews from perishing amid the Nazi Holocaust during WW2.

In short, a chance visit by Keneally while in Beverley Hills, Los Angeles to purchase a replacement briefcase leads to a 20 year friendship with Leopold (‘Poldek’) Pfefferberg – one (with his wife Misia) of the Schindlerjuden.

The book details how one thing led to the next and “Schindler’s Ark” was written – only after visits to Krakow, Auschwitz & numerous other places; alongside countless interviews with men and women – scattered across many countries and continents – who owe their survival to Schindler. In its latter pages the process leading to the production and release of Spielberg’s film “Schindler’s List’ is described

All in all, a moving read. Moving because not only did it hit home to me both the immensity of Schindler’s compassion for those Jews who worked his factories, but with it the tragic inhumanity meted out to the Jewish people and others inEurope by an evil Nazi regime.

Moving because it brought back to me the time I read Kenneally’s original book – away in Canberra in 1993 at a youth ministry conference, I came down with a bad case of the flu and found myself confined to bed for a couple of days. I had brought with me a copy of Schindler’s Ark, knowing that Spielberg’s film adaptation was only months away from hitting the movie screens worldwide.

I read that book in those two days. I was reduced to tears; never had I been so moved by a piece of writing – by the humanity and actions (in an earthly sense) of one man … one very imperfect man.

To think that prior to the book’s 1983 release and movie’s 1993 release few had even heard about Schindler!



on the way … to Frontier Services song

A while since the last posting and this one needs to be short.  Full-on times leading up to Christmas.

On the music front, a few things happening:

  • Dale and I have finally completed a vocal track for On the Way – my reflection on paragraph 3 of the Uniting Church’s Basis of Union.  I know; doesn’t sound all that riveting – until one actually reads para 3 – and then it’s actually mind-blowing.  Past posts unpack that somewhat.  Anyhow it’s great having a vocal track in the can, and Dale as usual did a great job with the recording.  I’ve recently upgrading (or downgraded, depending on your perspective) to Outlook Express, so the first project with the new software.   Check out the vocal track. It’s in many ways an Affirmation of Faith, Uniting Church/David Mac-style.
  • I’ve been invited to write a special song – to be sung by all present – for Frontier Services 100th birthday celebrations next September. Yes; truly honoured by this!  While up at Noosa recently some melody-line thoughts have started to emerge.  Kinda want this to have a bit of an Australian folksong feel – though in a contemporary sense.  My hunch is that post Christmas Day, things will start coming together.  “Mantle of safety” will be in the chorus somewhere, that’s for sure.
  • Christmas Day, we’re doing my Celebrate Emmanuel from a few year’s back.  I’m taking my Yamaha keyboard so as to add in a synth/trumpet part in the refrains.

Christmas blessings,everyone.


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