Schindler´s List Comes to Schindler´s Homeland

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter

Abstract

This text is an analysis of the reception of Steven Spielberg´s film Schindler´s List in the Czech Republic. Being a Sudeten German, Oskar Schindler, the hero of the film and the rescuer of hundreds of Jews from the Nazi destruction machinery, made Czechs aware not only or primarily of the atrocities of the Holocaust, but of several Czech-German troublespots of the past, including those related to the Sudeten German area that became an apple of discord between Czechoslovakia and Germany on the road to the Second World War, and from which millions of Germans were expelled at the end of and immediately after the war. For many Czechs with nationalist and communist sympathies, who dismissed the rescue mission as directed by economic interests and mythical in its character, Schindler represented the Sudeten German prototype of a "well-known Nazi hangman." For other, more liberal-minded Czechs, the important Schindler legacy was one of hope of interethnic rapprochement and reconciliation. For a very few, Schindler´s List served to promote the "pure" memory of the Holocaust.

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Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • History and Archaeology
  • History

Keywords

  • Holocaust, Schindler´s List, film, historical consciousness, historical culture, genocide, Czech Republic, Czechoslovakia, Sudeten German, memory
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe holocaust on post-war battlefields : genocide as historical culture
EditorsKlas-Göran Karlsson, Zander Ulf
PublisherSekel Bokförlag
Pages161-190
ISBN (Print)91-975223-5-X
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes