Was Schindler Unimportant?

International Holocaust Remembrance Day is January 27. Around that time I got thinking about it and remembered a back and forth I had had a few years ago with a Jewish friend.

I had said that if Hitler had not had gun control, a lot of Jews would have been able to defend themselves. He argued that Hitler’s enforcers had so much power that a few hundred thousand Jews having guns wouldn’t have made much difference. I agreed that we still would have had the Holocaust but that it would have been slightly less bad. A few extra thousand lives, or maybe more, might have been saved.

To him that wasn’t so important.

Since then he has died and so I can’t make this point to him, but I can make it to you. And I’ll make it with the following rhetorical question: Was Oskar Schindler unimportant?

My guess is that you have seen or know of the movie Schindler’s List. This is the 30th anniversary of the movie, by the way. In it we see businessman Oskar Schindler hiring Jews to make pots and pans so he can make money. And then he discovers that he cares about them. Imagine that! An employer caring about employees? What will they think of next?


Because he cares about them, he creates a scheme to save as many of their lives as possible. He ends up saving over 1,300 Jews.

In my view, that’s important. What’s your view?

Original article available at Econlib.


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