Schindler's List | Study Guide

Thomas Keneally

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Course Hero, "Schindler's List Study Guide," May 11, 2017, accessed June 23, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Schindlers-List/.

Schindler's List | Epilogue | Summary

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Summary

Schindler maintains close relationships with many of his former workers after the war. However, he never again attains a level of prosperity. He launches several business ventures—a nutria farm in Argentina and a cement factory in Germany—but ends up bankrupt. Jewish organizations as well as some of his former workers provide financial assistance until the German government awards him a pension. He receives international attention and numerous honors for his efforts during the war but also experiences anti-Semitic harassment in the streets of Germany for these same efforts. He begins splitting his time between Germany and Israel. He participates in the conviction of various Nazis by offering his testimony. Otherwise, his later life is largely unremarkable. After his death in 1974, according to his wishes, he is buried in a Catholic cemetery in Jerusalem and widely honored and mourned.

Amon Goeth is captured by the Americans, imprisoned in Dachau, and tried by the new Polish government. At his trial Goeth claims he was merely following the orders of his superiors. Mietek Pemper, Dr. Biberstein, and Helen Hirsch all testify against Goeth. Never once expressing remorse, Goeth is sentenced to death and hanged in 1946, giving a final Nazi salute.

Analysis

After the war, Schindler seems to have lost his entrepreneurial acumen. The sharp business sense that was one of his greatest strengths is gone, and poor business decisions lead him into bankruptcy. This is perhaps not surprising, given the radical nature of the identity shift he experienced during the war years. Rather than continuing to engage in profiteering, Schindler chose to answer the call of his morality. By the time he established Brinnlitz, he was no longer a businessman but a humanitarian. Fortunately, the investments he made in the Jews during the war pay dividends sufficient to sustain him, emotionally as well as physically, throughout the remainder of his life. Schindler and many of his former workers participate in the justice they dreamed of during the war by testifying against Goeth and other regime officials.

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