Schindler's List | Study Guide

Thomas Keneally

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Schindler's List | Chapter 35 | Summary

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Summary

Although it is charged with producing shells for the war effort, Brinnlitz produces very little. What little it does produce fails to pass quality control inspection. In April 1945, after receiving a telegram regarding the abominable quality of his factory's output, Schindler expresses joy that "no poor bastard has been killed by my product."

Since October 1944 when "production" began, the Brinnlitz facility has been subject to regular inspections. Schindler bribes the officials who come to inspect the plant and makes sure they are drunk during the inspections. His workers rig the machine gauges so that they appear to be correctly calibrated when they are not. Schindler placates his detractors with gifts or charms them by wining and dining them. When necessary, he pays off his contacts in Berlin to ensure he isn't removed from his post at Brinnlitz.

Schindler stockpiles weapons. He appoints one of his workers, Uri Bejski, to train a small group of workers in their use.

Analysis

In the past Schindler had been sincerely engaged in war profiteering. In addition to kitchenware, Emalia supplied the German army with munitions. Despite his personal distaste for Nazi ideology, Schindler grew wealthy manufacturing goods that supported the advancement of this ideology by military means. By the time he opens Brinnlitz, such a position is no longer morally tenable for Schindler, and he celebrates the fact his factory's output is useless.

Unlike Emalia, Brinnlitz is nothing more than a sanctuary for Jews. Determined to keep Brinnlitz open, Schindler employs a whole new level of trickery to hide this fact. With the workers, however, Schindler has dropped all pretense of production, and he lets his female workers spend their days knitting. In fact, Schindler and his workers conspire to fool the authorities: Schindler socializes with the bureaucrats while the inmates improperly calibrate the machines on purpose.

Economically, a patron-beneficiary relationship still exists between Schindler and his workers. In other ways, however, the relationship is more like that of equals. There is a high level of trust between Schindler and the workers because they share the same ideology. Schindler cements this partnership by arming them. It is an expression of deep trust as well as of his commitment to their survival.

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