Schindler's List (novel)

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Schindler's List (original title of the British and Australian editions: Schindler's Ark , original title of the US edition: Schindler's List ) is a semi-documentary novel by the Australian writer Thomas Keneally from 1982 . Based on official documents, letters, interviews and private records, he tells the story of NSDAP member and entrepreneur Oskar Schindler , how he saved over 1000 Polish Jews from being murdered in the Holocaust during the Nazi regime . The novel formed the basis for the Oscar-winning film of the same name in the German version, Schindler's List , directed in 1993 by Steven Spielberg .


Schindler's desk in his factory

The novel is about Oskar Schindler , who took over a factory in Kraków in 1939, in which around 150 Jews find work. He knows about the dire situation of the Jews in the labor camps and tries to get as many as possible to his factory. Since he has good friends with the Nazis and forges lists to portray untrained Jews as qualified workers, he succeeds in bringing many Jews from the camps to his factory, which is growing steadily. In the following years of the war he also managed to protect the Jewish workers from the Nazis. He saves the lives of over 1,000 Jews. When the war ended, the NSDAP member fled to Argentina.


In 1982 the novel won the Booker Prize .


In the New York Times , Paul Zweig rated the novel "a remarkable book, which has the immediacy and the almost unbearable detail of a thousand eyewitnesses who forget nothing."

In 1983 the news magazine Der Spiegel said about the book that it reported on the good deeds of Oskar Schindler "with unrelenting tension".


Original edition:

German translation by Günther Danehl :


  • The just Goi and the Schindler Jews, in: Der Spiegel No. 7/1983, pp. 171–180 (also online )

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Esther Margolis (ed.): Testimony. The Legacy of Schindler's List and the USC Shoah Foundation , Newmarket Press for IT Books, New York 2014, ISBN 978-0-06-228518-8 , p. 8
  2. Paul Zweig: A GOOD MAN IN A BAD TIME , in: New York Times , Oct. 24, 1982, accessed on Jan. 27, 2019, original quote: “remarkable book which has the immediacy and the almost unbearable detail of a thousand eyewitnesses who forgot nothing. "
  3. The Just Goi and the Schindler Jews , in: Der Spiegel No. 7/1983, pp. 171–180 ( accessed online from Spiegel online on Jan. 27, 2019)