In the movie Schindler’s List, Itzhak Stern refers to Oskar Schindler’s list of workers as “an absolute good.” An absolute good is something that is a perfect form of itself, and in addition, it can benefit someone or something in a positive way. The list is an absolute good because its purpose was to save the lives of hundreds of Jews who would have otherwise died in a Nazi camp. It was perfect because it guaranteed the Jews work and safety, as well as nutritious meals every day, a major contrast with the conditions faced by Jews in the camps. At the end of the film, the Jews on the list did not criticize Schindler for making them work hard every day; rather, they all thanked him and bestowed upon him a parting gift: a golden ring. The list is life because it displayed the names of all the Jews who would survive the Nazi regime and be able to live the rest of their lives after the war. They would give birth to hundreds of new generations that would have otherwise never existed without Schindler. In the same scene at the end, Schindler reckons the methods in which he could have saved more Jews, but his workers mollify him. They wanted to convince Schindler that the tally did not matter as much as his intentions to save as many as he did. In reference to the list, when Stern states that “all around its margins lies the gulf,” he is referring to the fact that many Jews would still die regardless. Although the names are surrounded by this big gulf, the text on the list figuratively minimizes the size of the gulf, or the total death count of the Holocaust. The numerous executions of Jews, like the female architect and the victims of gassing and burning at the extermination camps, greatly outnumber the count of workers on Schindler’s list. The number of executions per day at extermination camps like Chełmno, Treblinka, and Auschwitz was astronomical. The amount of daily torture, starvation, intense, forced labor at camps like Monowitz, and other morbid circumstances was so tremendous that Schindler’s deed might not have seemed to matter too much. However, Itzhak Stern was pointing out that Schindler’s heroic act was very noble and beneficial because the Jews would survive and have descendants. The fact that Schindler accomplished this was all that Stern wanted Schindler to be concerned about.
I believe that the instances of resistance to the Nazi regime in Schindler’s List are evidence of God’s work. Although God has not appeared to a large multitude of people since Biblical times, he has not disappeared. God gave all humans free will so that we could differentiate between good and evil throughout history and achieve great progress morally and socially. He still remains within each and every one of us, though he gives us free will, unfortunately allowing certain individuals like the Nazis to commit evil. The actions perpetrated by the Nazi regime on the Jews were extremely wicked, but they were not a sign of God’s absence. God was truly present in figures of resistance like the Allied forces and Oskar Schindler to combat and resist the overwhelming presence of evil in Nazi-occupied Europe. God’s work to resist the Nazis was not meant to yield positive results immediately. It was supposed to lessen the total count of Jewish deaths so that the Jews could give birth and multiply after the war. Also, God has never allowed an entire race of people to be exterminated. To at least some extent, he always intervenes through people like Oskar Schindler. He remains the guardian of humanity as he has always been.