Searching for Schindler: A memoirNovember 1st, 2008 - 8:41 pm ICT by Amrit Rashmisrisethi
A book by Thomas Keneally.
An epic story of a man who kept several hundred Jewish slave labourers alive close by Plaszow, one of the brutal Nazi concentration camps, during the Second World War. Searching for Schindler is Keneally’s own story of accident, literary good fortune. The book opens in 1980, with Keneally entering a Californian leather-goods shop owned by Leopold Page to buy a briefcase.
Poldek, as he is nicknamed, is one of the Polish Jews rescued by Oskar Schindler and he has a single mission - to have Schindler’s courageous exploit more widely known.
Poldek appeared as a young man, once as a teacher, sometimes in an army uniform or even a vivid figure, but not a key player. Thomas loved to research and for all the use he made one of Poldek’s personal memories, and took on board the advice of Moshe Belski, a distinguished moderate of the Israeli Supreme Court, who warns him against accepting all the details of Poldek’s account without corroboration.
The last section of the book takes us behind the scenes of Keneally’s triumph. He is very clear why he chose to have Schindler’s Ark put out as fiction. He did not have the Booker in mind. He simply didn’t want the book to languish on the already packed shelves of Judaica.
Tags: army uniform, briefcase, californian leather goods, exploit, good fortune, israeli supreme court, leopold, memoir, moshe, nazi concentration camps, oskar schindler, personal memories, plaszow, polish jews, second world war, shelves, slave labourers, thomas keneally, triumph, young man