Schindler's List  In The Time Of Covid

February 2nd, 2022 | JH

I recently revisited Schindler’s List, a movie I hadn’t seen since the initial release back in 1993. For those readers who don’t remember or weren’t around back then, Schindler’s List dropped like a hammer onto movie theatres late in the year and went on to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards (in the days when the Oscars mattered) in 1994.

The quick movie review is simple, Schindler’s List is a masterpiece, but this is Poletical and, if we’re looking at movies or television shows, we’re going to take a different angle. Here are some takeaways I found interesting upon my revisit to the movie.

1. Parallels to Covid

We’ve all been living through Covid madness for the past two years and too many events have occurred during that time to even recount. One thing most of us agree upon (those who read our site anyway) is that Covid is frightening for what it has revealed to us in regard to the totalitarian desires of not only our ruling class, but our fellow citizens as well.

In Schindler’s List, we are introduced to the world of late-stage Nazi rule in Poland. By this time in world events Europe is already under the jackboot of Nazi totalitarianism, but not yet to the point of the holocaust. Jews in the city of Krakow are being evacuated from their homes and placed into the ghettos.

We now know from history that Jews were vilified by the Nazi’s for a variety of imagined wrong doings. One of the most Covid-related shockers is that they were blamed for the spreading of disease. Because they were a “dirty” and “filthy” people it was suggested that they had higher rates of Typhus and thus, needed to be quarantined from the rest of decent society.

Sound familiar?

The vilification of vaccine hesitant citizens in Canada has been appalling. The speed at which people decided that targeting and vilifying our fellow citizens that can’t or won’t take the Covid vaccine is truly shocking. Polls have shown that people want them punished and excluded from health care and possibly even jailed. This all happened in less than two years.

I used to wonder how the Nazi’s could have come to power in 1933 and raced so quickly to holocaust and global destruction in only ten years.

Now I’m not surprised.

The angry venom and indifferent hate expressed towards the Jews throughout the movie seemed irrational and foreign to me when watching Schindler’s List back in 1993. Knowing what I know today, I understand how people who are so sure they are morally correct and feel completely righteous in their hatred not only justify their behaviour…they revel in it.

The smug sense of controlling people is displayed time and again in the film. One character surmises the consequence of just removing the arm band displaying the Star of David. “What are they going to do about it?” she asks.

“They’ll shoot you,” replies another character.

Watching this film in a time of Covid is essential for our side. Think of the Jews as being anti-vaxxers and the Nazi’s as being the establishment and you’ve got a fascinating illustration of a deep-seated element of the human condition. It serves as both a reminder and a warning…we must stand on guard.

2. Finance during times of collapse

Liam Neeson plays Schindler, and he is the driving force for the plot of the movie. He’s a conniving opportunist looking to get rich off the chaos of the war. While others struggle for survival, he schemes for prospects.

Using what appears to be the last of his cash on hand, he uses it to wine and dine a variety of Nazi officials. He presents himself as a successful and wealthy businessman and makes contacts through socialisation and generous displays of “picking up the bill”.

He then approaches Jewish leaders with a scheme to use their own saved wealth to purchase an abandoned factory for a steal. He will then hire back the Jews (who gave him the money) to work for him, thus giving them both productive use (thus making them more valuable and not destined for the mass graves) and material goods for barter.

The business side of the plot for this film was far more interesting to me in my forties than it was to me in my teens. It showcased how people use ingenuity and deal making to thrive in even the most chaotic of times. This is a good lesson for those of us in the dissident right. It’s important to be flexible and creative and to seek opportunity even when oppressed.

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Schindler constantly uses his image as a successful businessman to acquire prestige and power amongst those whom he has need. He also uses gifts (bribes) to get what he wants.

This leads to another lesson in the film for today’s viewers.

Portable wealth.

Characters are constantly seen emptying out their homes upon being evicted by the Nazi’s. They then lug around carts and suitcases with their worldly belongings. When these are then stripped from them, they are left with the clothes on their backs. Eventually even this is taken from them as we watch them stripped nude in the freezing camps while being processed into “keep or kill” lines.

Some amazing scenes in this film depict a Jewish family cutting up a loaf of bread and laying out their rings and jewels on the table. The Nazi’s are liquidating the ghettos and the Jews know they will be left with nothing, so they take turns swallowing what they have for retrieval later.

Another heart-wrenching shot is that of a Jewish girl desperately holding out a diamond earring in hopes that it can be exchanged for a mouthful of water.

Schindler himself predicts the end of cash and instructs the Jews to adapt to a barter economy. He goes about securing his bribes using watches, luxury food and drink items and in one case, a bag of diamonds.

What does this illustrate?

Don’t put faith in “the system” to protect your wealth. In Schindler’s List we watch step-by-step how “the system” fleeces Jews of literally everything they have…including their own lives. Everyone should have a nest egg of cash, portable/usable valuables, and precious metal coins… especially gold.

Imagine if something crazy happened and you needed to flee. Imagine if the banks just shut down or the government decided to tax your house into oblivion. Imagine if you were legally unable to access healthcare or education in the name of pressuring you for compliance.

I know this stuff sounds crazy, but two years ago so did the idea of arresting Christian pastors for holding church services. Two years ago, who would have thought the Prime Minister would be calling millions of Canadians racists and misogynists because they didn’t want to take a recently invented vaccine to mitigate symptoms of what is basically a bad cold? Who would have thought we’d need travel documents showing our vaccine compliance in order to fly on an airplane? Who would have thought we’d have our children sitting in school wearing surgical masks? Who would have predicted the RCMP breaking down doors because people were celebrating Christmas? Who would have imagined polls showing people don’t want certain citizens getting healthcare because they don’t conform to medical advice? Who would have predicted a $300 billion increase in federal debt in two years? Who would have predicted a mask wearing Prime Minister kneeling before a surrounding mob in order to express shame for his whiteness and show solidarity for the unwarranted death of a drugged-up criminal in a foreign country? Who would have predicted inflation rising to thirty-year highs? Last night I went to the pool for a swim and had to show my QR code and driver’s license to have access to the facilities!

Canada is in the midst of a mass formation psychosis.

Schindler’s List illustrates the end stage of a mass formation psychosis event.

I’m not suggesting becoming a survivalist prepper necessarily, but don’t be the guy in the movie in the frumpy coat wandering around wide-eyed with a silver candlestick and suitcase full of clothes on your way to the concentration camp.     

3. Incredulity of man’s inhumanity to man

Throughout the movie we watch as the characters are dismayed at the latest affront to their dignity and independence. At every step along the way they seem to think, “It can’t get any worse than this!” only to watch as things get worse.

This naivety is seen in the compliance of the people. They follow orders and do as they’re told, in hopes that things will stop getting worse. As a viewer it’s difficult to watch their slow realization that worse is the only way things are going to go, but Spielberg does provide a good illustration of normal people reaching horrible conclusions.

At one point in the film, a character relates to the others that they heard a rumour that the Jews are being gassed at a camp. The other characters weigh and then dismiss the information as being unrealistic since their forced labour is needed for the war effort. It doesn’t make any sense to murder your workforce.

Later we watch as people are divided into workforce worthy and furnace ready in a haunting shot of the elderly and children marching into the basement as the camera pans up to reveal a chimney blasting out black smoke like a deep-sea volcano vent.

Anyone who has studied history thoroughly knows just how horrific real life was, is and always will be. The capacity for man’s inhumanity to man knows no bounds and the peaceful reprieve we have experienced in Canada over the past couple of generations is nothing but a mirage. All it takes is a really bad cold to get people degenerating into 1934 Germany.

"Imagine if you were legally unable to access healthcare or education in the name of pressuring you for compliance."

What will take us to 1944 Germany?

4. Know when to follow orders and when to make a break

The film illustrates many instances when following orders and playing the game within the system is the best course of action, but there are also times when characters need to break with the rules and do their own thing.

The trouble is knowing which situation requires each tactic.

Characters who comply might live to see another day, but they also might just march themselves into a furnace. The characters who hide in the ghetto rather than get on the trains for the camps don’t fare so well. There’s another haunting scene in which children are being rounded up in the camps and taken away to their deaths. A handful of non-compliant children hide where they can, most notably one boy jumps into the septic tank of an outhouse, in which he is chastised by other children already hiding down there for taking their hiding spot as he stands in chest deep sewage and looks up at the light through the seat shining down on him while shaking in fear.

One lesson this film teaches is that fleeing is a great plan. The holocaust didn’t happen overnight and although it was unimaginable for people back then to anticipate the final outcome, this lack of imagination is no longer an excuse for those of us living today. The Jews who were able to flee survived and as is the case with most Jews around the world…they thrived. Being irrationally tied to a place and just hoping things don’t get worse is not a good plan.

Fight back before things get too bad, but be prepared to flee before you’re in a position of losing everything. Difficult to assess? Yes. Necessary to consider? Absolutely.

“Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire.”

Schindler’s List is Spielberg’s masterpiece. Nothing he has done since has come close to achieving the heights of his talents with this film. The fact that this was released six months after Jurassic Park, is a testament to the powers of Spielberg’s mastery over cinema. As a film unto itself it is worth seeing for this reason.

But in light of everything that is happening in the world today, it is worth revisiting for another reason. We need to remind ourselves that life is not always as comfortable as we have so thoroughly taken for granted. Thinking that “It can’t happen here” is a mistake… possibly a deadly one. The lessons of this film are timeless and more timely now than ever.

Watch it. Think about it. Learn.

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