"Schindler's List" revisited

Riveting, and moving. I had tears welling up in my eyes at the closing scenes.

I’m reminded of this because the actual “list” is back in the news, and Schindler’s widow thinks that it rightfully belongs to her.

But that is not the point that I would like to bring up.

It’s this: In the movie, when the war is over, a soldier rides up and says, “You have just been liberated by army of Soviet Union.” The Soviet Union? The SOVIET UNION??? When did they ever liberate ANYONE?

IMHO, that was tantamount to saying, “We have crushed Nazi dictator, who wanted to persecute Jews. Now you belong to Soviet Union, where everyone is persecuted equally–some more equally than others.”

OK, that was only a few seconds in a long movie–but that few seconds was a joke. Doesn’t Spielberg know how evil these guys were?

The USSR’s other political leanings aside, they were our Allies in the war and indeed they did liberated a great many concentration camps.

You know what Atlas did, with the weight of the world pressing down on his shoulders, his blood running over his chest for his efforts and the world continuing to bear down without concern for his efforts? He shrugged.

I think Soviet treatment of Jews was part of Spielberg’s larger point, too, albeit slipped in as an aside. The Schindlerjuden looked none too happy to have been liberated by them (“Oh boy, yeah, the Russians really love the jews . . .”); and when they ask where they can go, they are told by the Soviet soldier that the people in both directions don’t particularly like them.

“I love God! He’s so deliciously evil!” - Stewie Griffin, Family Guy

You have to look at it as a commentary on the rest of the Allied forces, as well. The liberating ‘Soviet Army’ is one guy on horseback - the gist being that such ‘liberations’ (particularly where Jews were concerned) were not exactly Item 1 on the priority list.

This is a reflection of the larger reluctance or refusal of the nations who later “rescued” the Jews, to address the question of Jewish emigration from Germany and Europe before the war began. Most flatly refused.


“Diplomacy is the art of saying “nice doggy” until you can find a rock.”

  • Will Rogers

I don’t know, but if Spielberg is serious about this film (and why would he not be), he’s just portraying history. Yes, the Soviets liberated some concentration camps and were probably the major force in bringing down Berlin - along with Hitler, who just happened to be there at the time :wink:

No jokes, references, gists or puns there. No way. No symbolic in it being just one man on horseback. I don’t buy that for a minute.

The Russians didn’t liberate the Netherlands though. The credit there goes to the slick cooperation of Americans, Canadians and Brits along with the Dutch underground resistance.
Back in 1995, the 50th Anniversary of our liberation was held. I lived in the city of Maastricht at the time, the first city to be liberated in Holland. A huge parade of vintage army vehicles from said armies paraded through the streets, loaded with war veterans that liberated our cities in '45. At one point, I was watching the parade when it got to a halt because of some congestion further ahead. A Canadian Jeep stopped right in front of me. An emotional, heavily decorated old man was sitting in the passenger seat and smiled at me. I walked up to him, shook his hand and thanked him and his mates for liberating our country and giving our freedom back. The man was moved to tears, as was I. Although I was 22 at the time, both he and I realised that the impact of this war spans more than one generation.

I’ll be eternally grateful for those courageous men that beat our opressor. No, I don’t hate Germans. Not in the least. Today’s generation cannot be blamed for what their ancestors did. But we must never forget what happened here, all so relatively recently, in a seemingly civilised part of the world.

If any of you guys have WWII veterans in their families, send them my salute. In a way, they are responsible for me as a person: there’s no way of telling in what sort of country I would have grown up in if Hitler wasn’t stopped by them.


“You know how complex women are”

  • Neil Peart, Rush (1993)

Coldfire, my father-in-law carries metal around in his body that was a gift from the Germans at Normandy. His car license notes that he is a “Purple Heart Veteran.” Many’s the time I’ve been with him when someone has come up to him and asked to shake his hand, and to say thank you. It always brings tears to my eyes.



Thank the guy for me. He’s been at the foundation of the openminded and liberal country The Netherlands are today.
I’m so glad you understand this, in your case because your father-in-law was there to witness it first hand.
My grandfather, who’s a decorated WWII veteran himself (got to be Commandor in the Order of Orange Nassau, one of the highest royal ranks awarded to a civilian in NL, for blowing up an armoured vehicle with 16 Germans in it in the battle over “A Bridge Too Far” [some might know the film] near Arnhem), will literally stop in the street and salute an allied war veteran.

It is not often spoken about these days, but it must be said: we Dutchies must be very grateful for what the Allied Forces did for us.


“You know how complex women are”

  • Neil Peart, Rush (1993)