Schindler's List, the award-winning film directed by Steven Spielberg from a screenplay by Steven Zaillian based on the book by Thomas Keneally, tells the story of Oskar Schindler, a war profiteer and member of the Nazi party who saved over 1,000 Jews during World War II. The movie explores the human capacity for monumental evil as well as for extraordinary courage, caring, and compassion. And by revealing how fragile civilization truly is, it turns history into a moral lesson.
Schindler's List provides a unique opportunity to both preserve and judge the past through a medium that is accessible to every high school student. This study guide is designed to help teachers make the most of that opportunity by fostering reflection and discussion. Because the film is 3 hours and 17 minutes long, it also provides a unique opportunity to break the artificial divisions of the school day and promote interdisciplinary learning. Many teachers who have viewed Schindler's List with their students have come away profoundly impressed with the way their classes have responded.