Schindler's List | Study Guide

Thomas Keneally

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Course Hero. "Schindler's List Study Guide." Course Hero. 11 May 2017. Web. 17 Nov. 2018. <>.

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Schindler's List | Author's Note | Summary



Author Thomas Keneally describes how his book Schindler's List came to be. He first hears the story of Oskar Schindler and the Jews he saved during World War II when he visits a store in California run by Poldek Pfefferberg, a Schindler survivor. To write the book, Keneally conducts interviews with dozens of Schindler survivors. He also visits many of the places where the book's action is set.

Keneally writes that he has attempted to tell the true story of Oskar Schindler and his associates, although he uses "the texture and devices of a novel." He assures the reader that while he has made every effort to tell the story truthfully, he has had to fabricate some minor details out of necessity.

Keneally concludes his author's note by acknowledging those individuals who assisted him, whether through their testimony regarding the book's events or their assistance with the manuscript.


The author's note provides the reader with some context for evaluating the events described in the book. Keneally positions himself as a historian who has used the formal structure of a novel to tell a true story in a compelling way. The reader is made to understand that Schindler's List shouldn't be read simply as a novel but rather as an historical account disguised as a novel that, for many, is made more readable.

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