A Hero Was Born

Schindler,_OskarOn this day in 1908 a hero was born – a man who would ultimately save 1,200 lives during the Holocaust.

Oskar Schindler was anything but a moral man as the 1993 movie, Schindler’s List suggests, and which Thomas Keneally’s book emphasizes. He was a womanizer and adulterer. He drank excessively, but never showed signs of drunkenness.

But one wonders if, at least in the eyes of mortals, if those sins can be overruled by his achievements to thwart Hitler’s war efforts and provide a safe haven for hundreds of Jews who would have otherwise been slaughtered in the camps.

Today there are 7,000 descendants of Schindler’s Jews living in the U.S. and Europe, and many in Israel. 

They are all alive because of Herr Schindler’s courageous acts of rebellion against The Party and his ingenious maneuvers to woo himself into the SS men’s good graces (if, indeed, they had any).

The most interesting thing about Herr Schindler is that, though he harbored utter contempt and justified hatred toward the Nazis, he never once showed it. He bestowed upon them grace and gifts and humored them with his charming presence and quick wit.

He was the life of their parties, many of which he threw for them.

And even to their deaths, they claimed that Herr Schindler would vouch for their “humane treatment” of the Jews once the the Soviets took over. This, he did not do.

Despite his personal weaknesses, Herr Schindler is a man worth honoring and remembering.

And for ourselves, let us not allow our shortcomings to get in the way of us doing good for others.

It very well may be that our compassion could “save the world entire.”


Published by Andrew Toy

Writer when I'm not being a husband or dad. So mostly just a husband and dad.

16 thoughts on “A Hero Was Born

  1. I remember seeing the movie years ago. Thanks to you I think I’ll try to find it so that I can watch it again.


  2. Thank you for your Yom Hashoah post. Perhaps you would be interested in a book I reviewed on a similar topic. [http://barbtaub.com/2014/04/28/book-review-lest-innocent-blood-be-shed]


  3. This post reminds me of how many of the great Biblical heroes were really quite flawed. God uses us in our weakness, if we allow Him. Very interesting post!


    1. Exactly. I was going to get into all that, but decided not to. I’m glad somebody picked up on it, though.


  4. What’s particularly glaring for me, a Christian married to a Jewish man, is how this “anything but a moral man” put “The Church” to shame.

    While there were many Christians who did help the Jewish people during the Shoah, there were far many more who did not. Consider that the Jews in Germany were a minute fraction of the population, which was mostly Protestant.

    Perhaps it was because he hadn’t subjected himself to the teachings of anti-Semetic and anti-Judaic reformers or Church Fathers that allowed him to clearly see a shared humanity with the Jewish people.


  5. Schindler kind of reminds me of Martin Luther King, who also was apparently no party to live with and committed adultery repeatedly. It reminds me of the verse that says God works all things together for good. WE may not work all things together, but he does!


    1. Exactly! And… even the best of people can surprise us in unfortunate ways – it keeps me from idolizing as much as I would have otherwise.


  6. Regarding Sara’s statement on April 28 concerning Biblical heroes, my mother’s Sunday School class’s favorite topic was David and Bathsheba. That class could bring those two up, no matter the lesson!! Happy memories. 🙂

    Enjoyed this post…thought provoking.


  7. Very good post!. What a wonderful encouragement to know that despite our sins, God can still use us in great and wonderful ways! As someone else mentioned, I, too, have seen the movie , but want to see it again.


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