A Holocaust Hero (Argumentative Essay), by M-chan
A golden ring bestowed upon Oskar Schindler was engraved with the words, “He who saves a single life saves the entire world.” This gift was in honor of Oskar Schindler’s actions during the Holocaust. His resolve in the face of danger saved around a thousand Jewish lives. To the Jews, his efforts were enough for them to say that he had saved the world. Thus, the engraved ring bestowed upon Schindler was a true portrayal of the feelings the Jews felt for him. In all honestly, I feel that the view that many Jews had on Oskar Schindler is correct. Oskar Schindler’s selfless determination in the face of a life-risking situation, noble sacrifices to aid his cause, and endless passion to save the Jews that he called his “children” make him a remarkable and heroic figure from the Holocaust.
The most notable quality of Schindler’s actions during the Holocaust is his selfless determination, despite the risk he faced of being caught and killed. Schindler himself was a Nazi officer, and thus knew the what the consequences of his actions would be, should he be caught or ratted out. Furthermore, Schindler was rich, and popular with most Nazi officers. Really, he could have ignored the plight of the Jews. Yet, despite these facts, Schindler still worked to save the Jews. A prime example of Schindler’s unwavering resolve is the night that a Nazi officer came to Schindler’s factory in search of a Jewish family. Fully knowing that he may be punished for his actions, Schindler did not give the officer what was asked of him. Instead, he asked the officer to stay and have a few drinks. By doing this, Schindler exposed himself to the possibility of being punished for not immediately obeying the orders given to him. However, the officer stayed and had a few drinks. About an hour later, the Nazi officer left Schindler’s factory, drunk and without the Jews he was looking for originally. In the end, Schindler’s courage and resolve helped him save a few more lives.
Schindler did not only persevere through danger, though. He also sacrificed a great deal for the Jews he was trying to save. Seeing the sacrifices Schindler made, it’s hard to think that he isn’t hero. For one thing, Schindler gave up the ability to live in comfort and safety. Every day, I’m sure he worried about the possibility of the Nazis finding out what he was doing. Even after the war, former Nazi Party members were after him because of his role in helping Jew, and everyone else was after him because he was a member of the Nazi Party. Aside from that, Schindler also forfeited his money and belongings. He spent large sums of money on bribing Nazi officers. Other amounts of money were spent on food, clothing, medicine, and other necessities that the Jews needed for survival. In the end, Schindler had to sell many of his and his wife’s belongings to pay for everything. Schindler sacrificed everything – time, money, and a normal life.
A persevering and sacrificing attitude wasn’t the only thing about Schindler that helped save lives, though. Schindler had a passion about him to save the Jews. This passion gave Schindler the ability to push through the thought of possibly being caught aiding the Jews. If you think about it, a person really cannot take the risks that Schindler took unless he or she has a passion and willingness to do so. A person cannot risk his or her life without reason. Knowing this, I think you can easily see the willingness Schindler had to help the Jews. Furthermore, you can see Schindler’s love and inclination towards his cause in how he treated the Jews. For one thing, he used all of his money and sold all of his things to take care of them. He wanted to be sure that they had food, clothing, medicine, and other necessities. Additionally, he even called the Jews his “children”. He considered them as such, protecting them and providing them with what they needed to survive. He went so far that he was poor and without anything when the war was over. In this, I see no reason to question Schindler’s dedication and love towards his cause and the people he was protecting.
Despite all of this and more, Schindler is still arguably one of the antagonistic figures of the Holocaust. While many believe that Schindler is a hero, many more think that he is a villain. Most argue that someone such as Schindler could not be a hero, no matter how many lives were saved. After all, he was a known gamble, drinker, and womanizer. Furthermore, he was also a popular member of the Nazi Party. With such a reputation, it would be hard to think of Schindler as a heroic figure of the Holocaust, mainly considering that he was a member of the group that was trying to exterminate the Jews. However, I find it hard to measure Oskar Schindler by his actions before the Holocaust, by the positions he held. Instead, I look at the change in him during the Holocaust. Certainly, Schindler repented for his actions after seeing the horrors of the Holocaust. At least, you can see the shift inside of him. If Schindler were as bad as many people make him out to be, then why would he waste time on the Jews? Why would he call the Jews his “children”, and treat them as such? Why would Schindler as much as glance at the Jews if he was a horrible Nazi at heart?
Thus, you see the examination of Oskar Schindler, and I find it hard that you would disagree with me. Through looking at the facts, and digging a little deeper, you can see that Schindler was a remarkable and heroic Holocaust figure. This is supported by Schindler’s self-sacrificing determination in the face of danger, admirable sacrifices in the name of his cause, and passionate and loving attitude towards his “children”. As I mentioned before, Schindler’s golden ring, was given to him by his children, was engraved with the words, “He who saves a single life saves the entire world.” In this case, I see what the Jews meant. It means that one life is that important, that it matters that much if you put the efforts in to save someone versus not trying at all. Despite any claim otherwise, I feel that Schindler’s selfless and parent-like actions towards the Jews make him a person who should be remembered forever.