If you have ever watched and enjoyed the fil, you need to read this book. It's much more personal with the various stories, and I feel like I really got to know the true character of Schindler. Worth a read.
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Not a lot you can say about this except ‘read it’! You can’t really describe Schindler as ‘inspirational’ – that would imply that you felt that you could emulate him. He was a light of hope in a darkness of unspeakable evil – whatever you may think about his methods or personal failings. Perhaps the most striking thing about the story is that he was able to pull it off at all – it is almost miraculous that he got away with it, despite his contacts, charm and backhanders. Despite their fanatical ideology many SS men were quite happy to turn a blind eye in return for a fine whisky or a set of crockery. It was even possible to sue the state if your Jewish workforce was interfered with and you lost production. The story is unbelievable on so many levels. As I said, read it!
Another one to read on the bus to work, it had been on my shelf for a while but I never got around to it.
Overall, I would really recommend this book, but it does lose a lot of pace towards the end and becomes a bit of a hagiography, which doesnt seem to gel with the realistic tone of what has gone before. It felt like the writer was trying to tie up too many loose ends to complete a narrative ark rather than let the story play out naturally. This was because Schindler was a failure after the war, so he wasn't the natural hotshot that we were told he was throughout the book.
The descriptions of what the Nazis did in Cracow is harrowing, as is the depiction of Amon Goethe's mad behaviour. It's incredible this actually happened not so long ago and involved Europeans.
After reading all that, I was actually fighting back tears when Schindler and the Jews were picked up by an American patrol in the woods. The poor Jews went through so much and they hadnt done anything to hurt anyone. It was all so senseless
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Schindler's Ark is a remarkable novel that details a remarkable story. Oskar Schindler's rescue of thousands of men, women, and children from the Nazi death machine, is one of the most familiar narratives to arise out of the terrible events of the Holocaust and World War II. Yes, the novel details the appalling machinations that one culture employs to destroy another culture, and those details will have you reeling in horror. You will meet figures of appalling brutality; normal men and women who live only half a normal life, the other half being devoted to becoming creatures of nightmares. But you will also meet Oskar Schindler and his friends, people who give lie to the claim 'there was nothing we could do', who will reaffirm you faith in your fellow man, even as the other side seeks to destroy it. There is something gloriously anarchic in the joie du vivre with which Oskar sticks two fingers up to his own society, and tries to undo some small corner of its evil scheme. You'll cry a lot as you read, but occasionally you'll laugh, and with real pleasure. And you'll ask the question 'what would I do?'