Schindler's List | Study Guide

Thomas Keneally

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Schindler's List | Characters

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Character Description
Oskar Schindler Oskar Schindler is a Sudeten German businessman born in Czechoslovakia who employs Jews in his factory in Poland. In the face of increasing Nazi brutality against the Jews, Schindler treats his workers humanely and eventually moves his operations to Moravia to save the lives of his workers. Read More
Amon Goeth Amon Goeth is a Schutzstaffel (SS, the paramilitary organization of the Nazi Party) officer who, after participating in the liquidation of the Cracow ghetto, is appointed commandant of the forced labor camp Płaszów. Widely feared by his prisoners for being excessively violent, he is eventually arrested for black-marketeering and executed for his crimes after the war. Read More
Itzhak Stern Itzhak Stern is a Jewish accountant and intellectual who works closely with Oskar Schindler throughout the war. A major spiritual influence and confidant of Oskar Schindler, Stern is imprisoned at the Płaszów labor camp and is later moved to Brinnlitz as one of the Jews on Schindler's list. Read More
Poldek Pfefferberg Poldek Pfefferberg is a Schindler survivor whose chance meeting with the author decades after the war prompts the writing of the book. Subversive, confident, and clever, Pfefferberg is a leader in the Cracow ghetto, at the Płaszów labor camp, and at Schindler's Brinnlitz camp. Read More
Emilie Schindler Emilie Schindler, a reserved woman of Catholic faith, is Oskar Schindler's wife. She tolerates Schindler's extramarital affairs and lives separately from him until he moves his operations to Brinnlitz, at which point she joins him and becomes the camp nurse. Read More
Sepp Aue Sepp Aue is appointed by the Nazis to be the accountant for J.C. Buchheister & Company, a business formerly owned by Jews. Oskar Schindler meets Itzhak Stern, the company's original Jewish accountant and a man who will become one of Schindler's most important contacts, through Aue.
Bachner Bachner is a young Jewish pharmacist who is shipped from the Cracow ghetto to the concentration camp at Belżec. Narrowly escaping death in the gas chambers of Belżec by hiding in a latrine pit, Bachner manages to return to the ghetto, bringing the horrifying news of mass exterminations with him.
Abraham Bankier Abraham Bankier is a Jewish businessman and the former office manager of Rekord, the enamelworks that Oskar Schindler takes over and renames DEF. He helps Schindler find investors for DEF, recruits new DEF employees from the Cracow ghetto, and is one of the Schindler Jews taken to Brinnlitz.
Josef Bau A young Jewish artist from Cracow, Josef Bau works as a draftsman at the Płaszów labor camp, where he falls in love with and marries fellow prisoner Rebecca Tannenbaum. He is one of the Schindler Jews who ends up at Brinnlitz.
Uri Bejski Uri Bejski is a Schindler Jew at Brinnlitz and a personal favorite of Oskar and Emilie Schindler. After stockpiling guns in anticipation of end-of-the-war chaos, Oskar Schindler places Bejski in charge of his arsenal and has him select and train 15 prisoners in the use of the weapons.
Dr. Alexander Biberstein Dr. Alexander Biberstein is a gentle doctor working in the Cracow ghetto and the brother of Marek Biberstein. He is a Schindler Jew and works alongside Emilie Schindler in the clinic at Brinnlitz.
Marek Biberstein Marek Biberstein is a Jewish politician who becomes the first president of the Cracow Judenrat. He serves a two-year prison sentence for bribing SS officials to allow Jews to remain in Cracow and later becomes a prisoner at the labor camp Płaszów, where, dying of heart failure, he is mercifully euthanized by colleagues of Jewish doctor Idek Schindel.
Franz Bosch Franz Bosch is a Cracow businessman and the economic adviser to Julian Scherner, head of the SS for the Cracow region. He manages several workshops inside the Płaszów labor camp and makes profits on the black market.
Oswald Bosko Oswald Bosko is an SS officer stationed at the Cracow ghetto who works to undermine the regime by smuggling Jews out of the ghetto. After leaving the SS to fight the regime with the partisans in the countryside, he is shot for treason.
Wilek Chilowicz Wilek Chilowicz is a Jew who works for Amon Goeth at Płaszów as the chief of camp police and as a black market agent. Fearing that Chilowicz will expose his black market activities, Goeth entraps and executes Chilowicz along with his family.
Rolf Czurda Rolf Czurda is the head of the Cracow SD (Nazi intelligence agency) and one of Oskar Schindler's important contacts. When Schindler is imprisoned for kissing a Jew, Czurda releases him and warns him the Jews have no future.
Danka Dresner Danka Dresner is a Jewish teenager imprisoned at Płaszów who is later taken to Auschwitz along with the rest of the women on Schindler's list. She survives Auschwitz and is taken to Brinnlitz.
Janek Dresner Janek Dresner, a young Jew working in the factory at Brinnlitz, is accused of sabotage in Oskar Schindler's absence after he accidentally damages some machinery. Schindler cleverly saves his life by punching him and calling him stupid during the hearing.
Mrs. Dresner Mrs. Dresner, a Jewish woman, is Danka Dresner's protective mother. She narrowly escapes death in the Cracow ghetto and at Auschwitz and makes it to Brinnlitz.
Governor Hans Frank Hans Frank is appointed Governor General of Poland after the Nazi takeover in 1939. A believer in the idea that Jews should be exiled to Madagascar, one of various schemes at the time to remove them from Europe, Frank passes many edicts restricting the freedom of Polish Jews.
Adam Garde Adam Garde is a young Jewish engineer who supervises construction at Płaszów—where Amon Goeth intentionally shatters Garde's hand with a beam—and at DEF. Later, at Brinnlitz, he comforts Oksar Schindler when Schindler expresses his despair at the Nazi regime.
Genia Nicknamed "Redcap" for her penchant for red clothing, Genia is a Jewish toddler taken to live with the Dresners in the Cracow ghetto. After witnessing an execution in the streets of Cracow, Genia survives the Aktion by hiding under the bed at her uncle Idek Schindel's house.
Roman Ginter Roman Ginter is a businessman, a member of the Cracow Judenrat, and one of the Schindler Jews who ends up at Brinnlitz. He helps convince Oskar Schindler and Julius Madritsch to employ Jews for their safety.
Marcel Goldberg Marcel Goldberg is a personnel clerk at the Płaszów camp who alters Schindler's list, accepting bribes from other prisoners who want to be added to the list. When the shipment of Schindler men is taken to the camp at Gröss-Rosen instead of Brinnlitz due to the list not having been sent with them, Goldberg is forced to type the list from memory.
David Gutter David Gutter, the last president of the Cracow Judenrat (a council of Jews forced to work with the Nazis) and a black market agent for Franz Bosch, cooperates fully with the SS in order to secure immunity for himself and his family. Despite his cooperation, Gutter and his family are executed at the Płaszów camp under orders from Bosch.
Hassebroeck Hassebroeck is the commandant of the labor camp at Gröss-Rosen. He orders Commandant Liepold of Brinnlitz to execute the Brinnlitz prisoners before the Allied forces reach the camp, but the communication is intercepted by Mietek Pemper, and the execution is avoided due to Oskar Schindler's influence.
Heinrich Himmler Heinrich Himmler is head of the SS, the powerful paramilitary organization largely responsible for the systematic violence in German-occupied territories. Hoping to secure his own political future by appeasing the Allies, in October 1944 Himmler orders that the gassing of Jews at the concentration camps be stopped. At the conclusion of the war, he is captured by British troops and commits suicide by swallowing a cyanide pill.
Helen Hirsch Helen Hirsch is Amon Goeth's much-abused Jewish maid. Oskar Schindler secures her place on his list by wagering her freedom in a game of blackjack, and she survives the war to testify against Goeth.
Dolek Horowitz Dolek Horowitz is a prisoner of Płaszów who petitions successfully for his family's transfer to DEF. A Schindler Jew, he survives the war despite being taken to Auschwitz with his son for use in medical experiments.
Niusia Horowitz Niusia Horowitz is the teenage daughter of Dolek and Regina Horowitz. A Schindler Jew, she survives Auschwitz by pretending to be older than she is.
Regina Horowitz Regina Horowitz is a Schindler Jew, the wife of Dolek Horowitz, and the mother of Richard and Niusia Horowitz. Barely escaping Auschwitz with her life after she lies about her daughter Niusia's age to protect the girl, Regina survives the war and is eventually reunited with both her husband and son.
Richard Horowitz Richard Horowitz is the young son of Dolek and Regina Horowitz. He is among the children taken from Brinnlitz to Auschwitz for medical experiments, but he survives the war, is liberated by the Russians, and is eventually reunited with his parents.
Ingrid Ingrid is a young Sudeten German woman and Oskar Schindler's long-term live-in girlfriend. She works in his office at DEF and later at Brinnlitz.
Szymon Jereth Szymon Jereth is a Jewish businessman and former owner of the box factory next to DEF. A Schindler Jew and close associate of Schindler, Jereth donates his gold dental fillings to be made into a ring for Schindler in the final days of the war.
Dr. Felix Kantor Dr. Felix Kantor is the next-door neighbor of the Schindler family in Zwittau during Oskar Schindler's youth. A progressive, liberal rabbi, Kantor and his family escape the Nazis by fleeing to Belgium.
Dr. Rezso Kastner Dr. Rezso Kastner works for a Jewish rescue organization in Budapest. When Oskar Schindler travels to Budapest, Kastner is one of the men who hears his testimony regarding the brutal crisis in Poland.
Victoria Klonowska Victoria Klonowska is Oskar Schindler's Polish secretary and long-term lover. When Schindler is arrested, she makes calls to his influential contacts to secure his release.
Wilhelm Koppe Wilhelm Koppe is an SS police chief. In defiance of official policy, he gives Amon Goeth permission to execute Płaszów prisoners whom Goeth suspects of fomenting rebellion.
Rabbi Levartov As a prisoner of Płaszów, Rabbi Levartov is spared his life when two of Amon Goeth's guns fail to fire. At Brinnlitz, Oskar Schindler encourages him to perform Sabbath ritual and to bury the dead in accordance with Jewish custom.
Licht Licht is a Schindler Jew and a jeweler. In the final days of the war, he uses another prisoner's dental work to make a gold ring for Oskar Schindler.
Edith Liebgold Edith Liebgold is a young Jewish mother who begins working at DEF during the days of the Cracow ghetto. A Schindler Jew, she is part of a group of women to whom Oskar Schindler makes his first-ever promise of safety and salvation.
Liepold Liepold is an SS officer assigned to be the commandant of Brinnlitz. Fearing that Liepold will follow orders to execute the population of Brinnlitz in the final days of the war, Oskar Schindler has him removed from his post at Brinnlitz and sent to the military.
Lisiek Lisiek is a young Jewish prisoner and Amon Goeth's orderly. He is executed by Goeth in 1943 for harnessing a horse without Goeth's permission.
Julius Madritsch Julius Madritsch, a businessman sympathetic to the plight of the Jews, runs a uniform factory inside the Płaszów camp. Despite petitioning by Oskar Schindler, Madritsch does not move his operation to Moravia, as he believes such a move would not succeed in saving the lives of his workers.
Tadeus Pankiewicz Tadeus Pankiewicz is a Polish pharmacist who runs a pharmacy inside the Cracow ghetto that doubles as a relay point for Zionists and partisans. He witnesses the extraordinary violence of the Aktion roundup in June 1942.
Mietek Pemper Mietek Pemper, a Schindler Jew, is Amon Goeth's typist at Płaszów. Pemper's photographic memory and unparalleled access to the internal communications of the regime allow him to bring highly detailed testimony against Goeth after the war.
Regina Perlman Regina Perlman is a young Jewish woman living with forged Aryan papers in Cracow. She successfully petitions Oskar Schindler to arrange her parents' transfer from Płaszów to DEF.
Mila Pfefferberg Mila Pfefferberg is Poldek Pfefferberg's wife. Along with the rest of the women on Schindler's list, she spends time at Auschwitz before being taken to Brinnlitz.
Mina Pfefferberg Mina Pfefferberg is Poldek Pfefferberg's mother. When Oskar Schindler visits her Cracow residence in 1939 to request that she decorate his apartment, she is fearful he has come to displace her from her home.
Diana Reiter Diana Reiter is a Jewish architectural engineer charged with supervising the construction of the barracks at Płaszów. After she criticizes the methods of construction as unsafe, Amon Goeth executes her in front of the workers.
Edek Reubinski Edek Reubinski is a Schindler Jew and one of the group of eight former prisoners accompanying Oskar and Emilie Schindler in their flight from Brinnlitz after the end of hostilities. When the group is imprisoned and interrogated by French officials on the Swiss border, Reubinski's testimony secures their release.
Henry Rosner Henry Rosner is a violinist and a Schindler Jew. After being taken from Brinnlitz with his son, Olek, Rosner survives both Auschwitz and Dachau.
Leo Rosner Leo Rosner is an accordion player and Henry Rosner's brother. He survives the war thanks to his place on Schindler's list.
Manci Rosner Manci Rosner is Henry Rosner's wife, Olek Rosner's mother, and a Schindler Jew. She is reunited with her husband and son after the war.
Olek Rosner Olek Rosner is the young son of Henry and Manci Rosner. Taken from Brinnlitz to Auschwitz for use in medical experiments, he survives Dachau with his father and is reunited with his mother after the war.
Julian Scherner Julian Scherner, head of the Cracow SS, is a figure of authority for the Cracow ghetto as well as the camp at Płaszów. When he visits Oskar Schindler in prison after Schindler's third arrest, he expresses disgust for Amon Goeth and promises Schindler he will be released.
Idek Schindel Idek Schindel is Genia's uncle and a young Jewish doctor who works at the ghetto hospital before becoming a prisoner at Płaszów. Denied a position on Schindler's list by Marcel Goldberg, Schindel survives the war without the help of Oskar Schindler.
General Julius Schindler General Julius Schindler is the head of the Armaments Inspectorate, the agency that awards contracts to various manufacturers to produce goods necessary for the war effort. He is unrelated to Oskar Schindler.
Hans Schindler Hans Schindler is Oskar Schindler's father. Although Hans and Oskar are similar both in temperament and career choice, they are estranged for many years until a chance reunion in a Zwittau café.
Louisa Schindler Louisa Schindler is Oskar Schindler's mother. A devout Catholic of ascetic temperament, she is divorced by Oskar's father in 1935 and dies shortly thereafter.
Sedlacek Sedlacek is an Austrian dentist who works as a courier for a Zionist rescue organization based in Budapest. He makes contact with Oskar Schindler, who astounds him with details of the humanitarian crisis in Poland, and begins smuggling cash into Poland for distribution to Jewish prisoners.
Symche Spira Symche Spira is an Orthodox Jew who rises to power in the ghetto as the head of the OD Political Division, the Jewish ghetto police force founded in March 1941 with the ostensible goal of protecting Jews inside the ghetto. Despite his enthusiastic cooperation with the regime, he is executed along with his family after the ghetto is dismantled.
Samu Springmann Samu Springmann is a Hungarian Jew who works for a Palestinian Zionist organization. He recruits Sedlacek to travel to Poland to obtain information and later hears Oskar Schindler's testimony regarding the crisis there.
Clara Sternberg Clara Sternberg is a Schindler Jew segregated at Auschwitz for being in poor physical health. After it is announced that the Schindler women will be taken to Brinnlitz, she forces her way through the barbed-wire fence to rejoin them.
Sussmuth Sussmuth, an engineer at the Armaments Inspectorate, helps Oskar Schindler find a suitable location for his operation in Moravia. Later, he works with Schindler to save the lives of 3,000 female Auschwitz prisoners by moving them to camps in Moravia.
Rebecca Tannenbaum Rebecca Tannenbaum is a prisoner at Płaszów who marries fellow prisoner Josef Bau in the women's barracks after an extended traditional courtship. Unlike her husband, she is not given a place on Schindler's list.
Raimund Titsch Raimund Titsch is a Catholic and the manager of Julius Madritsch's uniform factory inside Płaszów. In addition to smuggling in food for the prisoners and keeping Amon Goeth calm by purposely losing their chess matches, Titsch photographs the camp extensively.
Herman Toffel Herman Toffel is a policeman who works at SS headquarters and is a friend of Oskar Schindler's. Despite working for the regime, he is critical of its actions.
Mordecai Wulkan Mordecai Wulkan is a Jewish jeweler forced by SS guards to sort through piles of valuables, including teeth, stolen from the Jews. Later, aware of the impending liquidation of the ghetto, he arranges for his family to be smuggled out by the OD, the Jewish ghetto police force founded in March 1941 with the ostensible goal of protecting Jews inside the ghetto.
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