Life makes sense as long as you save people

As you might or might not know, Sig and I went on a holiday to Krakow, Poland. I bet most of you have seen or at least have heard of the movie Schindler's List. As I already told in preconceptions, I made an exception for Schindler's list (I usually don't like watching black and white movies). But I really wanted to watch this movie. And rightly so: It's was a really good movie. I will talk about the movie in this article, even though this is not a movie review. It's more of a movie and background article. 

As you might or might not know, Sig and I went to Krakow (Poland) for 12 days in September. There, we also visited Auschwitz and Schindler's factory. And we learned so much. I'll tell you more about what we saw in Schindler's factory in this article. 

The movie: Schindler's list

I'll start with the movie. The film is set during World War II. The location is Krakow, Poland. Poland is occupied by the Germans. Oskar Schindler arrives in Krakow, hoping to make a lot of money and find cheap manpower. He becomes the head of a factory. Itzhak Stern, a Jewish man, helps Schindler with arranging finances by getting in contact with some businessmen. Stern keeps doing the administration while Schindler runs the factory and has good relations with the Nazis. At first, he doesn't do anything when he finds out that Jews are being deported. But gradually, he becomes concerned with the people that work for him. He realizes he can ave hundreds of Jews.  He bribes Germans to allow him to build a sub-camp at this factory. He does this so he can protect his workers better. From there on, he tries to keep them safe. 

Schindler's Factory

First, let's get the preconception out of the way. I know many people think that Schindler's factory is about the movie. Or at least completely about the factory Schindler had. I can tell you: It's not. Schindler's Factory is a museum. And it covers World War II in Poland. On Tripadvisor I read quite some people were disappointed about that. I wasn't disappointed at all. I knew on forehand, because I always do some research before visiting a museum. And besides that: Even though the story of Schindler is a highly interesting one, it's a part of World War II. the museum shows you WWII from a Polish perspective and gives context to Schindler's story. In my opinion, the museum is excellent. There is so much information and they give it to you in different forms: By video, audio, via photos, posters and letters. That made it easier to absorb all the information. For me, it was one of the best museums I've ever visited.  

Schindler's story

Since this article is about the movie and giving some background, I will concentrate now on the part that was about Oskar Schindler. 2 rooms were dedicated to Schindler's story. There was a lot of information and some videos. I listened to/ watched some of the videos. In these videos, people who worked for Schindler tell their story. It was very interesting. These people knew who he was and what he did. One woman told: Yes, Schindler joined the Nazis. And then he came to Poland to make a fortune. But: He was someone who cared. Who had compassion. By doing so, he saved lives. He made money. But also spent it on saving people. 

A man told you'd be lucky to be assigned to Schindler's factory. Schindler created a sub camp and would bribe Nazis for more workers. The workers had to work 12 hours a day. But they had better hygiene and food than at other places. Schindler would also protect the people in his factory. There was medical help and there was a Jewish doctor. No one would die in the factory. There was no nee to be afraid, there was no shooting.  

Schindler's actual list

What I learned at the museum was that the scene from the movie where Oskar Schindler dictates to Stern the names of 1000 people to be transferred to Brünnlitz  is fiction. Detailed records were kept of all labour camps though. There were some Schindler's lists, just not exactly like the one in the movie. Two lists are still in existence. The first one contains the names of 700 Jews that were to be sent to the camp in Brünnlitz. The other one has 1200 names on it. It's a list of all inmates of the Brünnlitz camp.     

After all this information, the museum proceeds with providing information about World War II until the end of the war. The museum ended quite abruptly though. Even though you follow the timeline, it still felt a bit sudden. When we left, we saw a quote of Schindler on the wall: "Life makes sense as long as you save people."



Write a comment

Comments: 26
  • #1

    Ana (Sunday, 06 November 2016 11:27)

    That is a great lesson! It was such a heroic deed. It simply means that no matter how many crimes are there, there are still people who have a good heart. I think people should have compassion for each other. After all, we are brothers and sisters and we should love one another. Great blog!

  • #2

    Jenny (Sunday, 06 November 2016 13:19)

    I have a family member who visited Auschwitz recently. I think it's so interested to hear and read about, even though some parts can be really scary. They didn't tell me about a museum, that can be something I would be interested in visiting. Thanks for sharing this from your trip.

  • #3

    Jasmin N (Sunday, 06 November 2016 15:08)

    I'm a huge fan of b&w movies & that movie is so good.
    How wonderful that you've got to visit there :-)

  • #4

    Hang Around The World (Sunday, 06 November 2016 15:21)

    Krakow and Poland in general are on our travel list, we love historical places like it.
    We have seen Schindler's list several times and everytime it hurts... But this movie is so real.

  • #5

    Imaobong (Sunday, 06 November 2016 15:52)

    The world war II in general has always been a particularly intriguing topic for me for so many years, and this movie sounds really good -- black and white movies are discouraging for me but I'd definitely watch this one :-)

  • #6

    Nya (Sunday, 06 November 2016 16:49)

    I love that quote and honestly I love the Schindler's list movie. I had no idea that that scene was fiction and actually so many of the things you've mentioned, so thanks for clearing all the myths surrounding the movie. This was certainly an interesting read and made me feel I've learnt something today.

  • #7

    ROBERT LEE (Sunday, 06 November 2016 17:12)

    Schindler's is an excellent movie based on the true humanitarian story during some of the worst times in the history of mankind. It's great that you took the time to write a brief intro because there are still people who do not know his story. Here is a person who cared and saved lives. What is better, be wealthy and die and be forgotten; or be a person who is remembered and revered decades after?

  • #8

    Dreammerin (Sunday, 06 November 2016 19:05)

    Very informative post!! Love that quote: "Life makes sense as long as you save people" and I love Poland. <3

  • #9

    Fenrile (Sunday, 06 November 2016 23:53)

    I knew a bit about the story but I never actually had the opportunity to watch the movie even though I was always interested to. I like to learn a lot about World War 2 in general about what and how everything happened. Your post is full of interesting facts and that's the kind of museum I like, and I would like to do in the future when I will visit "those areas"

  • #10

    Chessica Mirasol (Monday, 07 November 2016 04:16)

    I have to be honest, I don't know about this. But your brief makes me want to watch and read more about this! Thank you for sharing!

  • #11

    blair villanueva (Monday, 07 November 2016 08:53)

    The only black and white movies I like most are the old movies starred by Audrey Hepburn, and some selected silent movies (that I forgot the titles). Do you also watch her movies?

  • #12

    Airina Desuyo (Monday, 07 November 2016 12:02)

    Woah, this looks like an interesting movie. I am actually tired of watching love stories and this one would probably be one of my soon to watch films. Nice review, two thumbs up!

  • #13

    Teresa (Monday, 07 November 2016 14:51)

    There may be bad people. But there are still many good people who are willing to put their lives on the line to save others. Some become famous or known. But there are many others who remain anonymous. I'd love to watch this movie again. :)

  • #14

    Sonnie (Tuesday, 08 November 2016 06:17)

    Saving human lives outside the judicial system, when it is in our power to do so, is a moral obligation. When apathy (or discrimination) settles in, society will lose concern for fellow human being.

  • #15

    ROBERT LEE (Tuesday, 08 November 2016 17:04)

    I would also like to add. After watching a movie based on true story, I always try to read up more. As always, movies are not entirely accurate due to cinematic considerations. At times they may even introduce characters that are not real. Having said that, I encourage everyone who watched this movie to check out Wikipedia and read the real story. No matter how good a movie is, the real story is even more astounding.

  • #16

    Fiona (Tuesday, 08 November 2016 23:18)

    I'm so pleased that I came across your post. A friend and I are visiting Auschwitz very soon but I hadn't heard of the Schindler's Factory museum. I hope we'll be able to make a trip there too. I will try to watch the movie before we go too. Thank you x

  • #17

    Veethee (Wednesday, 09 November 2016 03:22)

    This makes me believe that there are still some good people in the world who actually care about others!

  • #18

    Indrani (Wednesday, 09 November 2016 03:48)

    I got attracted to the title of the post. So meaningful!
    I have not seen Schindler's list yet. But knowing that a whole museum is dedicated to it sounds exciting. Marking it up in case I visit Poland.

  • #19

    Alyssa tuangco (Wednesday, 09 November 2016 05:59)

    I've watched this movie a lot of times and it was phenomenal. I didn't know they have a museum! A lot of people were saved and it was geniously done. I'd like to know more about this story.

  • #20

    Maria (Thursday, 10 November 2016 10:18)

    I've tried watching this movie because I got curious as well after I read Anne Frank's Diary. I've learned so much from your post and the biggest so far is that some are just there ready to help. We may think that their ways be not the usual ones but what matters the most is they did try to help people to get better or feel better.

  • #21

    Dominic (Thursday, 10 November 2016 11:13)

    Wow that last line and quote from Schindler: "Life makes sense as long as you save people". That's powerful. Honestly, I haven't really watched Schindler's list yet. When it was shown here, I was still pretty young and we're not allowed to watch it. With the background story you just shared, my perception about the movie really changed. All the while, I thought Schindler was an enemy and thanks to you and the stories you shared, Schindler saved lives. Made money but still cared for the people. And that's more important.

  • #22

    Melissa (Friday, 11 November 2016 15:32)

    This is crazy. I've never heard of the movie but I feel like I should really watch it. I got goosebumps as I was reading the whole post and that last line, "Life makes sense as long as you save people", just wow. I think more people should know about this. Thanks, really.

  • #23

    Katherine (Sunday, 20 November 2016 14:56)

    Schindler's List has long been on my list, and now I'd totally forgotten about it. This story seems gut wrenching and heart breaking and in a way also inspirational because it affirms the truth that there are always brave people willing to save others. We can learn so much from history. I'm curious about what Robert said, I'll probably watch this movie first and then read up more about this person's story.

  • #24

    Angelie Pangilinan (Monday, 21 November 2016 11:36)

    It was such a heroic deed! I guess it's pretty much saying that we should never lose hope in humanity. Despite all these crimes, there are still some people with a golden heart.

  • #25

    ROBERT LEE (Wednesday, 23 November 2016 07:35)

    That is why when watching a movie based on true people or events, I always make sure to read up more. Usually, it is because of curiosity, which is a great way for me to learn more, actually. Anyway, I understand that because of cinematic considerations, they do need to introduce non-factual information or situations.

  • #26

    Flordeliz fullo (Friday, 25 November 2016 12:55)

    This was one of my most favorite movies of a lifetime. Thank you for telling us the real facts you have learned when you visited the museum. I think if I would have the chance to visit Krakow someday, my heart would be in awe and mixed emotions. The man who has heart for humanity. The generation today should be informed how a great man he is.

    Floree of