Schindlers List

1-2013 SchindlerThe movie Schindler’s List, the true story about the German citizen Oskar Schindler who harbored Jews as employees in his factory with the consent of local Nazi commanders, is a testament to one man’s decision to risk everything including his life and fortune in order to save others—over a thousand mostly Jews, who without his intercession would have certainly been exterminated.

Truth be told, he didn’t risk everything in the beginning, and in light of the consequences to the Jews, the phrase “risking everything,” is certainly an overstatement. He is portrayed at the beginning as a war-profiteer who gradually becomes disillusioned, then horrified at the treatment of the Polish Jews of Krakow, Poland.

A scene in the end of the movie has always had an impact on me, and one brought back to my mind especially at the times I feel I have fallen short.

Despite saving hundreds of Jews, Schindler has made something of a fortune through his factories. As the story unfolds, however he begins losing it, mainly thru payments and bribes to his Nazi overseers who toward the end of the war are trying to erase any remaining Jews. One of the ending scenes has Schindler, himself a Nazi, who now has to escape the coming Russian army, saying farewell to the Jews he has helped. The man who had saved over a thousand Jews, and now has little to his name, breaks down in regret that he could have done more. He brings out a gold badge and admits he could have sold it to save one more Jew. He laments that he could have sold the car he is escaping in and saved more.

I know that one day, our tears will be wiped away, that there will be no mourning or pain, but the thought still confronts me whether on that day, even if for an instant, I will have the regret of Schindler.

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5 thoughts on “Schindlers List

  1. Steve Post author

    Thanks for the great comments. There’s no doubt that we all have regrets over things we have done in the past, and will have regrets in the future over things we do now. The song expresses
    it well—”It’s two steps forward, one step back and a stumble now and then.” In the end, we will find how great and forgiving God’s grace is.

    I think the value of the scene in Schindler’s List lies not in heaping guilt on ourselves now in anticipation of remorse we will feel then.

    Rather, it can serve as a depiction and reminder that we only get one shot at this life. We have the opportunities now that we won’t have then. We see before us the badge, and the car, and we can still choose what to do with them.

    We can see the example of Schindler, and let him serve as a motivation to do every thing we can now for the cause, so that when we get to that scene in the movie, God in His grace can say, “You fought the good fight.”

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    I think most loving, caring, generous souls will always want to do more…make more of an impact. Reminds me of a great song by Avalon called “The Greatest Story.” Here are the lyrics:

    Some days your own resolve is strong and other days you bend
    It’s two steps forward, one step back and a stumble now and then
    You wonder if you’ll ever really make the difference
    You’ve prayed that you will, well, I know that prayer will be fulfilled ’cause

    Your life woven day by day is a new design of the glory, God displays
    On the canvas of creation through the poem of history
    In the pattern of redemption running through the tapestry
    Your life in Christ can be the greatest story ever told

    You cannot see the hands of God or feel the grace that flows
    From Him through you to those you touch in ways you’ll never know
    you cannot measure worth by human standards
    That’s always a lie, oh, you have to see through heaven’s eyes, how

    Your life woven day by day is a new design of the glory, God displays
    On the canvas of creation through the poem of history
    In the pattern of redemption running through the tapestry
    Your life in Christ can be the greatest story ever told

    In the light of eternity, standing face to face you will finally see
    For the very first time you’ll understand
    Your perfect place in the master plan and how

    Your life woven day by day is a new design of the glory, God displays
    On the canvas of creation through the poem of history
    In the pattern of redemption running through the tapestry
    Your life in Christ can be the greatest story ever told

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      More thoughts as I ponder this post:
      Regrets aren’t really about “failure.” They are about “heartache”…a yearning to do more, to see more goodness/more love…knowing our life was meaningful and that we did what we could at the time, but yearning for more, hurting for what we couldn’t do. That takes a tender, loving heart.

      Reply
  3. Anonymous

    Leon Leyson is the youngest of those that Schindler rescued. 13 when he came to be part of Schindlers list. He died this weekend at the age of 83. He came to America in 1949 and lived in the LA area, teaching in Huntington Park for 40 years. He had a good life. He had a son and six grandchildren.
    • The point? Yes, when our day comes there will certainly be regrets…we are just human. But, we can’t comprehend how God works in our lives for the generations. After all, because of Schindler, a young boy survived…a son and six grandchildren were born…and countless others were impacted by Leon’s life. His is just one story, out of the billions, of how God’s ways will forever be a wonderful mystery.

    Reply

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