There have been numerous documentaries and dramatic productions focusing on the Holocaust and World War II. The Holocaust is a dark and touchy subject for many. Many believed it never happened, despite meticulous records kept by the Nazis themselves. Those who lived through it were scarred forever, and even now can barely bring themselves to discuss its horrors. Despite the controversy around the event, there is one thing for certain, Steven Spielberg created a masterpiece with Schindler’s List.

The relocation of Polish Jews from surrounding areas to Krakow begins in late 1939, shortly after the outbreak of World War II when the German Army defeats the Polish Army in three weeks. Businessman Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) arrives in Krakow, ready to make his fortune from World War II, which has just started and sees an opportunity to make money from the Nazis’ rise to power.

After joining the Nazi party primarily for political expediency, he staffs his factory with Jewish workers for similarly pragmatic reasons and brings in accountant and financier Itzhak Stern (Ben Kingsley) to help run the factory. By staffing his plant with Jews who’ve been herded into Krakow’s ghetto by Nazi troops, Schindler has a dependable unpaid labor force.

When the SS begins exterminating Jews in the Krakow ghetto, Schindler arranges to have his workers protected to keep his factory in operation, but soon realizes that in so doing, he is also saving innocent lives.

By the time Germany falls to the allies, Schindler has lost his entire fortune – and saved 1,100 people from likely death. Schindler’s List was nominated for 12 Academy Awards and won seven, including Best Picture and a long-coveted Best Director for Spielberg, and it quickly gained praise as one of the finest American movies about the Holocaust.

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