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Thomas Keneally's Schindler's List (Book Review)

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Schindler's List, Thomas Keneally's 1980 non-fiction "novel" about Oskar Schindler's transformation from a bon vivant German (actually, Sudeten German, born in what is now part of the Czech Republic) war profiteer to savior of over 1,000 Jews during World War II, is one of the most fascinating accounts about the darkest chapter of that global conflict, the Holocaust. It vividly portrays the horrors of the Nazi effort to exterminate the Jewish inhabitants in German-occupied Europe while at the same time proving that one person, no matter how flawed and contradictory in nature he or she is, can rise to the occasion and make a difference.

In his Author's Note, Keneally explains that he uses the oft-used technique of telling a true story in the format of a fictional account, partly because he is primarily a novelist (Confederates, Gossip From the Forest) and "because the novel's techniques seem suited for a character of such ambiguity and magnitude as O…