Why pupils should continue watching Schindler’s List in History lessons

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Last updated: November 8, 2019

The film Schindler’s List was designed and crafted to be a recreation of The Holocaust, in which millions of Jews were exterminated. It was created to be a complete non-fiction film, therefore was based on memories of those Jews that survived and had an experiance to share. It is a good idea to watch this film when learning about The Holocaust as it is based on real life stories, from people who experianced the tragedy of being sent to Concerntration camps, watching loved ones being sent to extermination camps and being forced to live in gettos, it also expresses the emotional turmoil that these people faced.By using the real people and displaying their situations evidently, makes more of an impact on the viewer than a text book account would as people associate better with things they witness.

The Holocaust is the term used when decribing the extermination of milions of Jews, this hunt of Jews was planned and devised by Adolf Hitler during the Second World War; in an attempt to make the perfect human race. A holocaust is associated with the murder of large amounts of people.This is why the slaughter of the Jews was named The Holocaust, as it was the largest and most publicized slaughter of a group of people known to humankind at the time.

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The only difference between the two is that the murder of Jews is named The Holocaust as it would otherwise be just a holocaust without the benefit of a capital H, which signifies the use of a noun; the name of a place or thing. The word ‘holocaust’ stems from the 18th century, this means that it was not designed purposely to decribe the Nazi Holocaust.The Holocaust was the extingishment of a certain type of people, in this case it was the sending Jewish people to Concerntration and Extermination camps. Also the segragation of Jewish people, by sorting through them, dehumanizing them and treating them no better than cattle, this is evident by the use of Cattle trucks that were used to transport people of Jewish origin.

Auschwitz was the first concerntration camp and extermination camp documented in history, it was the centre headquaters for the whole project.All concerntration and exterminaton camps were called Auschwitz, these contributed to the slaughter of approximatly 1. 1 million prisions, 90% of whom were of Jewish origins. The Auschwitz camps were only designed after Hitler decided on ‘The Final Soultion’ which consised of erradicating the entire Jewish population. This was the most deadly phase of the Holocaust. The affects of a holocaust are shown throughout the film Shindler’s List.They are displayed at various scenes, a common example used throughout the film is when the Jews are made to form lines to sort essential workers from others, enslaving those who could be useful and killing off those who aren’t. Also by eterminating children and seperating men from women to stop reproduction, efficently tryng to wipe out an entire group of people from history.

Photographs, books, Rabbis and Synagogues were closed down, burned and killed, along with any other referances to the Jewish religion and its followers.This was because the German Nazis wanted no evidence that there ever was a group of people called Jews, Hitler wanted to earse them from history and to do this killed anyone or anything that could be used to prove their existance. The Jewish graves were dug up as Hitler aimed to wipe generations of Jewish people from the world, to accomplish this further he ordered the Jewish cemertaries to be destroyed, using the headstones and corpse’s bones to make pavemant for a road, this accured in 1940.These show different aspects of a holocaust as they cleary show the demoralization of Jews and the murder of large amounts of people. Watching the film Schindler’s List helps learning as it is clearly laced with emotions, facts and shows the actors relationship with the real people at the end, this shows that this film was strategically planned to combine the stories of those Jewish people who surivived.

It also gives insight to what life with a German officer would have been like, which was shown through Helena’s actress and account of living with Goth.Seeing the trials the Jewish people faced makes it easier to empahize with them, it also gives a clearer understanding, something as complex as stark fear would be easier to display through the actors actions, emotions and facial expressions, when reading a text book none of the above are avaible therefore making it harder to associate with the situations the people faced and their feelings towards each seperate occasion.Things such as hope cannot be portrayed through factual writings as these types of text lack opinion and humanane feelings Therefore the structure of the film, using the black and white colourings gives the impression of the dreary world these people faced, then by picking out and emphasising certain aspects such as; the little girl in red and the candle flame to be in colour shows the tiniest glimmer of hope that Jewish people had.Even those two events that were chosen to be in colour they were chosen carefully, as children represent the furture, a thing that Jewish people believed they couldnt have, so seeing a bright feature surround by dark would give the impression of hope to the viewer. Lights and flames are also thought to be symbols of hope, they are used to guide a person through the dark back to a positive life.At the end of the film, it slowly returns to colour, this is to show that hope is fully restored to the Jewish community, and that they once again have a chance to rebuild their lives and live as free humans.

By seeing such events unfold and representations such as the minipulation of colour makes the film more understandable. The film aids learning by showing things that a factual text book couldn’t express due to its formailty and genre.The actions some characters take during the film, such as using a church to conduct their bussiness, displays the sheer desperation that this group of people faced as it is against their religion to enter another place of worship for a different faith, this shows that to achieve the minimal amount of safety they had to become sneaky. The black market trades that Jewish people used to help the Germans showed the fact that their situations were so diar that they even had to form alliances with the ememy to keep themselves safe in the early days of the Jewish prosicution.

By showing this in the film viewers develope a deeper understanding of how desperate the situation for Jews was. Bribary was key feature displayed constantly throughout the film, it showed that Jewish people had no other means of survival apart from to barter what little thay had, and that they would go to extrem extents to protect those valuable possessions that could be the only thing standing in the way of their demise and living one more day. This is shown in the scene in which a family fold jewellery in bread to swallow so that it would not be discovered.This shows that to earn some special treatment Jewish people would have to bribe the soliders to get them to do what they wanted.

However this coud only be done by possessions as touching or becoming involved with a Jew was punishible by death as they was seen as dirty and the eqivilant to pets and slaves, which is evident from the scene where Helana is beaten by Goth because he lusts after her. The scenery displayed throughout the film is in context with the time period it was set in.It also is evident as to what conditions Jewish people would be living under during their stay in the Getto and Auschwitz Camps. The film also shows in detail the varies and many hiding places that Jewish people were forced to find to stay alive.

They would fit themselves into any gap, alcove and under any cover avaible at the time, however good these places were they were sometimes found in vain as the Nazis knew that many Jewish people would attempt to hide themselves and would return later in the night to re-raid the area.This effectively makes the viewers emphasis with the Jewish population and makes them feel emotional by seeing their desperate attemps to just survive, it would also make the viewers feel digusted at the harsh reality of the brutual attacks the Nazis forced upon the Jews. The accurrate descriptions of the living conditions, Jewish peoples clothes and the Nazi uniforms add to the impact that this film is acutally based on real accounts, and that every situation that these people faced, no mater how degrading is not in the slightest fictional in any way.The factory scenes provided an insight to the lives of these forced labourers, and the fact that at any time they could be dragged off and killed for any minor offence. The dress code for the Jewish community shows the fact that they were belittled as they were forced to wear the Star of David to mark their hertiage.

This shows in depth the slavery that the Jewish people were forced into because they were of different opinions. The film Schindler’s List provides real accounts from real people that suffered through these times, it also provides a more accurate picture of Oskar Schindler, who is referred to in every other text as a criminal.When in actual fact he saved all the Jewish people who worked for him. Schindler’s List gives detailed events, provokes emotions, is a factual retelling and details life from both Jewish and German points of view. Other films related to the Second World War, such as Saving Private Ryan are about the War and fighting it, and is either from one point of view or the other, Schindler’s List gives a balanced view which gives an unbiased opionion, just like that from a text book However the emotions this film provoke make it easier for a person to understand each seperate situation.

Therefore Schindler’s List is the best way to learn about The Holocaut, as people assocaite better with emotions than hard facts, and when seeing situations displayed they can decide their own feelings towards the treatment of Jews, helping them develope a better understanding of life and morals.The film also gives a detailed account of The Holocaust, from both perspectives, this therefore balances the film, leaving an unbiased opinion and complete facts about life during the Holocaust. By ending the film with the actors accompanied by the real person they portrayed reinforces the fact that these events were real, that people did suffer at the hands of Nazi Germany and this is all made easier to understand by seeing it acted out and each situation form and unravel.

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