Schindler's Ark Summary and themes

 Schindler's Ark Summary and Themes -  Schindler's Ark by Thomas Keneally is a novel based on the true story of Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saved more than a thousand Jewish lives during the Holocaust.

Schindler's Ark Summary and themes

The Title - Schindler's Ark

The novel was first published in 1982 in England under the title Schindler’s Ark – the ark refers to the ark of Covenant which in Judaism symbolically refers to God’s promise of security to the Jews. The title metaphorically stands for Schindler’s assurance of protection to his Jewish workers.

The publishers also worried that the title might incur the wrath of people as the ark might be mistaken as Noah’s ark – a huge boat which was built under God’s order to save all the creatures of the world from the huge deluge. Also they felt that comparing Jews with animals would be humiliating. Finally it was released in the United States as Schindler’s List. Schindler's Ark Summary and Themes

Germany was defeated in World War –I which ended in 1919. They were held responsible for the maximum damage of the war and were asked to pay compensation to Great Britain and France. Their economy was worst affected as strict sanctions were imposed on them. As a result, the people had to fight against poverty and unemployment. Amidst this atmosphere of anguish and frustration, Adolf Hitler, an Austrian by birth who served the German army, became the leader of the Nazi party. Schindler's Ark Summary and Themes, Through his rhetorical speeches he aroused the spirit of German nationalism and his Nazi party emerged victorious in the 1932 elections.

Next year Hitler became the chancellor of Germany and very soon his rule became a dictatorship. Nazis considered Jews as the reason for all the miseries of Germany after the World War-I. Hitler considered Jews as an inferior race who posed a threat to his vision of establishing Aryans, the German race as the superior race. His national and foreign policy clearly stated his futurist plans for imperialist Germany which would uphold the superiority and glory of the Aryan race.

The Nazis passed Anti- Semitic laws which restricted the rights of Jews. The first concentration camp was set up by Nazis in southern Germany – which was followed by many other camps throughout the country for the imprisonment of Jews.

Schindler's Ark Summary and themes

Schindler's Ark Summary


Schindler's Ark Summary and Themes  - The novel begins in Krakow, Poland in 1939, when Schindler, a member of the Nazi party, arrives to take advantage of the cheap labor available in the Jewish ghettos. However, as he witnesses the brutal treatment of Jews by the Nazis, Schindler becomes increasingly sympathetic to their plight.

Schindler decides to use his factory and connections to protect as many Jews as possible. He spends his fortune bribing Nazi officials and providing his workers with better living conditions, food, and medical care. He even goes so far as to falsify documents to protect his Jewish workers from being sent to concentration camps.

As the war progresses, Schindler's actions become increasingly risky, as he risks his own life to protect his workers. He arranges for his Jewish workers to be relocated to a safer location and convinces the Nazis to allow him to take his workers with him to his home in Germany. Schindler's actions ultimately save the lives of more than 1,000 Jews.

The novel also explores the various characters and personalities that Schindler encounters during his journey. The author depicts the various struggles and challenges faced by the Jewish people during the Holocaust, as well as the cruelty and indifference of many of the German officers and soldiers.

Throughout the novel, Schindler struggles with his own personal demons and moral dilemmas. He begins as a self-interested businessman, but as he witnesses the horrors inflicted upon the Jewish people, he becomes increasingly aware of his own moral responsibility to act.

The novel concludes with Schindler's emotional departure from his workers, who thank him for their lives and give him a letter signed by all of them. Schindler is later tried and acquitted by a post-war tribunal for his actions during the war.

Overall, "Schindler's Ark" is a powerful and moving portrayal of one man's heroism in the face of overwhelming evil. The novel highlights the bravery and compassion of Schindler, as well as the resilience and courage of the Jewish people during the Holocaust. The novel is a testament to the power of human kindness and the triumph of good over evil, and has become an important work of historical fiction that has captured the hearts and minds of readers around the world.

About Writer Thomas Keneally

Thomas Keneally is an Australian author and playwright. He was born in Sydney in 1935 and grew up in a Catholic family. Keneally studied at St. Patrick's College and the University of New England before becoming a schoolteacher.

Schindler's Ark Summary and Themes  Keneally's writing career began in the early 1960s with the publication of his first novel, "The Place at Whitton," followed by "Bring Larks and Heroes" and "Three Cheers for the Paraclete." However, it was his sixth novel, "Schindler's Ark," published in 1982, that brought him international acclaim.

"Schindler's Ark" won the Booker Prize and was later adapted into the Academy Award-winning film "Schindler's List" directed by Steven Spielberg. Keneally has since written numerous novels, including "The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith," "Confederates," and "The People's Train," as well as non-fiction works such as "The Great Shame: A Story of the Irish in the Old World and the New."

Keneally is known for his historical fiction and his ability to bring historical events and figures to life through his writing. He has also been involved in social and political activism, particularly in support of indigenous Australians and refugees.

In recognition of his contributions to literature, Keneally has received numerous awards and honors, including the Order of Australia and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize. He continues to write and publish new works, and his books have been translated into many languages and sold millions of copies worldwide.

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