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.
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.”