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Restraint From the Master of Razzmatazz: ‘Schindler’s List’ is a major departure for Steven Spielberg

A gambler, war profiteer and lover of alcohol, a convivial sensualist and womanizer who, in Keneally’s phrase, considered sexual shame “a concept like existentialism, very worthy but hard to grasp,” Schindler the quintessential good German was not the ordinary stuff of heroes. “Though he was Jesus Christ,” someone who knew him said, “a saint he wasn’t. He was all-drinking, all-black-marketeering, all-screwing,” a man whose turn to goodness probably surprised himself most of all. Yet, with a combination of nerve, money, attitude and obstinacy, he personally saved 1,100 Jews from death and ended up being what Keneally calls probably the only Nazi Party member to be buried in Jerusalem’s Mount Zion Cemetery.