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!



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