In Poland during World War II, Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazis.
Oskar Schindler: Power is when we have every justification to kill, and we don't. Amon Goeth: You think that's power? Oskar Schindler: That's what the Emperor said. A man steals something, he's brought in before the Emperor, he throws himself down on the ground. He begs for his life, he knows he's going to die. And the Emperor... pardons him. This worthless man, he lets him go. Amon Goeth: I think you are drunk. Oskar Schindler: That's power, Amon. That is power.
Oskar Schindler: I could have got more out. I could have got more. I don't know. If I'd just... I could have got more. Itzhak Stern: Oskar, there are eleven hundred people who are alive because of you. Look at them. Oskar Schindler: If I'd made more money... I threw away so much money. You have no idea. If I'd just... Itzhak Stern: There will be generations because of what you did. Oskar Schindler: I didn't do enough! Itzhak Stern: You did so much. [Schindler looks at his car] Oskar Schindler: This car. Goeth would have bought this car. Why did I keep the car? Ten people right there. Ten people. Ten more people. [removing Nazi pin from lapel] Oskar Schindler: This pin. Two people. This is gold. Two more people. He would have given me two for it, at least one. One more person. A person, Stern. For this. [sobbing] Oskar Schindler: I could have gotten one more person... and I didn't! And I... I didn't!
Itzhak Stern: It's Hebrew, it's from the Talmud. It says, "Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire."
Itzhak Stern: This list... is an absolute good. The list is life. All around its margins lies the gulf.
[Addressing his workers at the end of the war] Oskar Schindler: The unconditional surrender of Germany has just been announced. At midnight tonight, the war is over. Tomorrow you'll begin the process of looking for survivors of your families. In most cases... you won't find them. After six long years of murder, victims are being mourned throughout the world. We've survived. Many of you have come up to me and thanked me. Thank yourselves. Thank your fearless Stern, and others among you who worried about you and faced death at every moment. I am a member of the Nazi Party. I'm a munitions manufacturer. I'm a profiteer of slave labor. I am... a criminal. At midnight, you'll be free and I'll be hunted. I shall remain with you until five minutes after midnight, after which time - and I hope you'll forgive me - I have to flee. [He addresses the factory's SS guards] Oskar Schindler: I know you have received orders from our commandant, which he has received from his superiors, to dispose of the population of this camp. Now would be the time to do it. Here they are; they're all here. This is your opportunity. Or, you could leave, and return to your families as men instead of murderers. [the guards gradually exit; he addresses the workers again] Oskar Schindler: In memory of the countless victims among your people, I ask us to observe three minutes of silence.
Oskar Schindler: Stern, if this factory ever produces a shell that can actually be fired, I'll be very unhappy.
Itzhak Stern: How many cigarettes have you smoked tonight? Oskar Schindler: Too many. Itzhak Stern: For every one you smoke, I smoke half.
Oskar Schindler: In every business I tried, I can see now, it wasn't me that failed. Something was missing. Even if I'd known what it was, there's nothing I could have done about it because you can't create this thing. And it makes all the difference in the world between success and failure. Emilie Schindler: Luck? [Schindler kisses his wife's hand and smiles] Oskar Schindler: War.
[last title card] Title card: There are fewer than 4000 Jews left alive in Poland today. There are more than 6000 descendants of the Schindler Jews.
Amon Goeth: This is very cruel, Oskar. You're giving them hope. You shouldn't do that. *That's* cruel!
Itzhak Stern: By law I have to tell you, sir, I'm a Jew. Oskar Schindler: Well, I'm a German, so there we are.
Amon Goeth: You want these people? Oskar Schindler: These people. My people. I want my people. Amon Goeth: Who are you? Moses?
Oskar Schindler: How are you doing Rabbi? Rabbi Menasha Lewartow: Good Herr Direktor. Oskar Schindler: The sun is going down. Rabbi Menasha Lewartow: Yes it is. Oskar Schindler: What day is it? Friday? It is Friday, isn't it? Rabbi Menasha Lewartow: Is it? Oskar Schindler: What's the matter with you? You should be preparing for the Sabbath, shouldn't you. I've got some wine in my office. Come.
Amon Goeth: Today is history. Today will be remembered. Years from now the young will ask with wonder about this day. Today is history and you are part of it. Six hundred years ago, when elsewhere they were footing the blame for the Black Death, Casimir the Great - so called - told the Jews they could come to Krakow. They came. They trundled their belongings into the city. They settled. They took hold. They prospered in business, science, education, the arts. They came with nothing. And they flourished. For six centuries there has been a Jewish Krakow. By this evening those six centuries will be a rumor. They never happened. Today is history.
Itzhak Stern: There will be generations because of what you did.
Amon Goeth: Oskar, there's a clerical error here at the bottom of the last page. Oskar Schindler: No, there's one more name I want to put there. I'll never find a maid as well trained as her at Brinnlitz. They are all country girls. Amon Goeth: [referring to Helen] No. No. Oskar Schindler: One hand of 21. If you win, I pay you 7400 Reichmarks. Hit a natural and I make it 14800. If I win, the girl goes on my list. Amon Goeth: I can't wager Helen in a card game. Oskar Schindler: Why not? Amon Goeth: Wouldn't be right. Oskar Schindler: She's going to Auschwitz on Number Two anyway. What difference does it make? Amon Goeth: She's not going to Auschwitz. I'd never do that to her. No, I want her to come back to Vienna with me. I want her to come to work for me there. I want to grow old with her. Oskar Schindler: Are you mad? Amon, you can't take her to Vienna with you. Amon Goeth: No, of course I can't. That's what I'd like to do. What I can do, if I'm any sort of a man is the next most merciful thing. I should take her into the woods and shoot her painlessly in the back of the head. Amon Goeth: What was it you said for a natural 21? Was it 14800?
Reiter: I'm a graduate of Civil Engineering from the University of Milan. Amon Goeth: Ah, an educated Jew... like Karl Marx himself. Unterscharfuehrer! Hujar: Jawohl? Amon Goeth: Shoot her. Reiter: Herr Kommandant! I'm only trying to do my job! Amon Goeth: Ja, I'm doing mine.
Amon Goeth: The truth, Helen, is always the right answer.
Oskar Schindler: What are you doing? These are mine. These are my workers. They should be on my train. They're skilled munitions workers. They're essential. Essential girls! [shows the guard Danka Dresner's hand] Oskar Schindler: Their fingers polish the inside of shell metal casings. How else am I to polish the inside of a 45 millimeter shell casing? You tell me. You tell me! S.S. Guard: [to the girls he has been herding away from their parents] Back on the train!
[Touching his reflection in a mirror] Amon Goeth: I pardon you.
[Stern brings a report to Schindler at lunchtime] Oskar Schindler: I could try to read this, or I could eat my lunch while it's still hot. We're doing well? Itzhak Stern: Yes. Oskar Schindler: Better this month than last? Itzhak Stern: Yes. Oskar Schindler: Any reason to think next month will be worse? Itzhak Stern: The war could end.
[to Stern, upon closing the factory deal] Oskar Schindler: My father was fond of saying you need three things in life - a good doctor, a forgiving priest, and a clever accountant. The first two, I've never had much use for.
Mr. Lowenstein: I am an essential worker. First S.S. Guard: Essential worker! Mr. Lowenstein: Yes! I work for Oskar Schindler. First S.S. Guard: Essential worker for Oskar Schindler. Mr. Lowenstein: Yes! Second S.S. Guard: A one-armed Jew. Twice as useless.
Oskar Schindler: Look, All you have to do is tell me what it's worth to you. What's a person worth to you? Amon Goeth: No, no, no, No. What's one worth to you!
Wilhelm Kunde: [Goeth is being driven round the Ghetto in an open top car] This street divides the ghetto just about in half. On the right, ghetto A, civil employees, industrial workers and so on. On the left, ghetto B, surplus labor, the elderly and infirm, mostly, which is where you will want to start. Any questions? Amon Goeth: Ja. Why is the top down? I'm fucking freezing.
Oskar Schindler: [addressing two unco-operative Nazi officers at the train station] Gentlemen, thank you very much. I think I can guarantee you- you'll both be in Southern Russia before the end of the month. Good day.
[the Ghetto is being "cleared out", with machine gun fire all around, two SS Guards stop and listen to a fellow Guard playing the piano] First S.S. Guard: Was ist das? Ist das Bach? Second S.S. Guard: Nein. First S.S. Guard: Ist das Bach? Second S.S. Guard: Nein. Mozart. First S.S. Guard: Mozart? Second S.S. Guard: Ja.
Helen Hirsch: My first day here, he beat me because I threw out the bones from dinner. He came down at midnight and asked for them. And I asked him, I don't know how, I could never ask him now, I said, "Why are you beating me?" He said, "The reason I beat you now is because you ask why I beat you." Oskar Schindler: I am sorry for your troubles, Helen. Helen Hirsch: I have accepted them. Oskar Schindler: Accepted them? Helen Hirsch: One day, he will shoot me. Oskar Schindler: No, he won't shoot you. Helen Hirsch: He will. I see things. We were on the roof on Monday, young Lisiek and I and we saw the Herr Kommandant come out of the house on the patio right there below us and he drew his gun and shot a woman who was passing by. Just a woman with a bundle, just shot her through the throat. She was just a woman on her way somewhere, she was no faster or slower or fatter or thinner than anyone else and I couldn't guess what had she done. The more you see of the Herr Kommandant the more you see there are no set rules you can live by, you cannot say to yourself, "If I follow these rules, I will be safe." Oskar Schindler: He won't shoot you because he enjoys you too much. He enjoys you so much he won't even let you wear the star. He doesn't want anyone to know it's a Jew he's enjoying. He shot the woman from the steps because she meant nothing to him. She was just one of a series neither offending him or pleasing him.
Oskar Schindler: You'd leave a lady alone at a table in a place like this? [to Agnieska] Oskar Schindler: Sweetheart, you're the picture of loneliness.
Chaim Nowak: Not essential? I think you misunderstand the meaning of the word. I teach history and literature, since when it's not essential?
[Goethe admires Schindler's his suit] Amon Goeth: It has a nice sheen to it. What is it, silk? Oskar Schindler: Of course! I'd say I'd get you one but the man who made it's probably dead.
Amon Goeth: I would like so much to reach out to you and touch you in your loneliness. What would it be like, I wonder? What would be wrong with that? I realize that you are not a person in the strictest sense of the word, but, um, maybe you're right about that too. Maybe what's wrong, it's not us, it's this... I mean, when they compare you to vermin, to rodents and to lice. I just, uh, you make a good point. You make a very good point. Is this the face of a rat? Are these the eyes of a rat? "Hath not a Jew eyes?" I feel for you Helen. [leaning forward to kiss her] Amon Goeth: No, I don't think so. You Jewish bitch, you nearly talked me into it, didn't you?
Reiter: [about to be shot] It will take more than that. S.S. Guard: I'm sure you're right. [shoots her]
[last lines] Amon Goeth: [about to be hanged] Heil Hitler.
Emilie Schindler: I will only stay if you promise me, no doorman or maitre d will ever mistake anyone but me for Mrs. Oscar Schindler. Emilie Schindler: [Next shot she is going away on a train] Good-bye! Oskar Schindler: Good-bye!
Oskar Schindler: [Schindler and Stern are writing the list] How many? Itzhak Stern: 400, 450. Oskar Schindler: More. More.
[watching the incineration of Jews' bodies outside Krakow] Amon Goeth: Can you believe this? As if I don't have enough to do, they come up with this? I have to find every rag buried up here and burn it. The party's over, Oskar. They're closing us down, sending everybody to Auschwitz. Oskar Schindler: When? Amon Goeth: I don't know. As soon as I can arrange the shipments, maybe thirty, forty days. That ought to be fun.
Oskar Schindler: Why do you drink that motor oil? I send you good stuff all the time. Your liver's going to explode like a Grenade.
Itzhak Stern: I'm sorry, Herr Direktor, you're running very late. Here, this is for the Obersturmbahnführer and this is for his niece, it's her birthday, Greta. Greta as in Garbo. Oskar Schindler: By the way, don't *ever* do that to me again. Didn't you notice that man only had one arm? Itzhak Stern: Did he. Oskar Schindler: What's his use? [gets into his car] Itzhak Stern: Very useful. Oskar Schindler: [shouts from car window] How? Itzhak Stern: [shouts back] Very useful! Success!
[it's a scorching hot day and the Jews are packed into the cattle cars] Oskar Schindler: What do you say we get your fire hoses out here and hose down the cars? Indulge me. Amon Goeth: Hujar. Albert Hujar: Yes sir? Amon Goeth: Bring the fire hoses. Albert Hujar: Where's the fire? [Schindler and Goeth laugh]
Amon Goeth: [addressing prisoners] Nobody knows who stole the chicken, hmm? S.S. Guard: Tell him about the chicken! Amon Goeth: A man walks around with a chicken and nobody notices this... S.S. Guard: Save yourselves, save yourself. Tell him about the chicken!
Amon Goeth: One of you is a very lucky girl. There is an opening for a job away from all this back-breaking work, in my new villa. Umm, which of you has domestic experience? Ja, on second thought, I don't really want someone else's maid. All those annoying habits I'd have to undo.
Oskar Schindler: I go to work the other day. Nobody's there. Nobody tells me about this, I have to find out. I have to go in... everybody's gone. Amon Goeth: No... no. They're not gone. They're here. Oskar Schindler: They're MINE! Every day that goes by I'm losing money, every worker that is shot cost's me money, I have to find somebody else, I have to train them. Amon Goeth: Don't be making so much money, none of this is going to matter. Oskar Schindler: It's bad business.
[Oskar Schindler has been arrested for kissing a Jewish girl] Julian Scherner: We give you a Jewish girl at five marks a day, Oskar. You should kiss us, not them. God forbid you ever get a real taste for Jewish skirt, there's no future in it. They don't have a future. That's not just good old fashioned Jew hating talk. It's policy now.
Itzhak Stern: Let me understand. They put up all the money. I do all the work. What, if you don't mind my asking, would you do? Oskar Schindler: I'd make sure it's known the company's in business. I'd see that it had a certain panache. That's what I'm good at. Not the work, not the work... the presentation.
Itzhak Stern: The standard SS rate for skilled Jewish workers is seven marks a day, five for unskilled and women. This is what you pay to the Reich Economic Office. The Jews themselves receive nothing. Poles you pay wages. Generally, they get a little more. Are you listening? Oskar Schindler: What was that about the SS? The rate? The what? Itzhak Stern: The Jewish worker's salary - you pay it directly to the SS, not to the worker. He gets nothing. Oskar Schindler: But it's less. It's less than what I would pay to a Pole. Itzhak Stern: It's less. Oskar Schindler: That's the point I'm trying to make. Poles cost more. Why should I hire Poles?
Amon Goeth: They cast a spell on you, you know, the Jews. When you work closely with them, like I do, you see this. They have this power. It's like a virus. Some of my men are infected with this virus. They should be pitied, not punished. They should receive treatment because this is as real as typhus. I see it all the time. It's a matter of money? Hmm?
[first lines] [a Hebrew prayer is chanted, followed by a flashback to 1940s Poland] Krakow registrar: Name?
Wilhelm Kunde: That's what they do. They weather the storm. But this storm is different, this storm is the SS.
Oskar Schindler: They won't soon forget the name "Oskar Schindler" around here. "Oskar Schindler," they'll say, "everybody remembers him. He did something extraordinary. He did what no one else did. He came with nothing, a suitcase, and built a bankrupt company into a major manufactory. And left with a steamer trunk, two steamer trunks, of money. All the riches of the world."
[after Schindler pulls him off a train bound for the work camps] Itzhak Stern: Somehow I left my work card at home. I tried to explain to them that it was a mistake, but... I'm sorry. It was stupid! Oskar Schindler: What if I got here five minutes later? Then where would I be?
[the morning after Schindler leaves Brinnlitz, a Russian officer finds the workers] Russian officer: You have been liberated by the Soviet army! Itzhak Stern: Have you been in Poland? Russian officer: I just came from Poland. Itzhak Stern: Are there any Jews left? Michael Lemper: Where should we go? Russian officer: Don't go east, that's for sure. They hate you there. I wouldn't go west either, if I were you. Chaim Nowak: We could use some food. Russian officer: Isn't that a town over there?
Oskar Schindler: I lost a worker. I expect to be compensated. Rolf Czurda: File a grievance with the Economic Office. It's your right. Oskar Schindler: Would it do any good? Rolf Czurda: [chuckles] Of course not.
Rolf Czurda: A one-armed Machinist, Oskar? Oskar Schindler: He was a Metal-Press Operator! Quite skilled.
Displaced Jew: Last night I dreamt I was living in a room with ten people I didn't know, and I wake up to find I'm living in a room with ten people I don't know! [laughs] Displaced Jew 2: You laugh at this? Displaced Jew: I have to laugh!
Oskar Schindler: [to Emilie Schindler] No doorman or Maitre d' will ever mistake you again. I promise.
Amon Goeth: [about to execute a prisoner when his gun jams] Oh, Christ! Hujar: May I try that, sir? [takes gun while prisoner cowers on ground] S.S. Guard: Check the angle lever, maybe it's bent. Hujar: No, no. You wouldn't hear a "click" if its the angle lever, it's the pin. S.S. Guard: Maybe its the pin. Maybe the pin shaft is greasy? Hujar: What did I just say? Here. [hands back gun and it jams again]
S.S. Guard: Occupation? Moses: I am a writer, I play the flute. Itzhak Stern: But Moses is also a skilled metal worker, he can make pots, he can make tanks, he can make whatever Mr Schindler asks.
Oskar Schindler: I've been speaking to Goeth. Itzhak Stern: I know the destination. These are the evacuation orders, I'm to help arrange the shipments, put myself on the last train. Oskar Schindler: That's not what I was going to say. I made Goeth promise to put in a good word for you. Nothing bad is going to happen to you there, you'll receive special treatment. Itzhak Stern: The directives coming in from Berlin talk about "special treatment" more and more often. I'd like to think that's not what you mean. Oskar Schindler: Preferential treatment. All right? Do we have to create a new language? Itzhak Stern: I think so.
Oskar Schindler: [Puts a a bag of diamonds down as a bribe] I'm not making any judgements about you. I just know that in the coming months, people are going to need more portable wealth. Rudolph Hoss: I could have you arrested. Oskar Schindler: I'm protected by powerful friends. You should know that. Rudolph Hoss: I do not say that I am accepting them. All I say is that I'm not comfortable with them on the table. [pockets diamonds]
Oskar Schindler: I kissed a Jewish Girl. Prisoner: Did your prick fall off? [laughs]
Amon Goeth: Scherner told me something else about you. Oskar Schindler: Yeah, what's that? Amon Goeth: That you know the meaning of the word 'gratitude.' That it's not some vague thing with you like it is with others. You want to stay where you are. You've got things going on the side, things are good. You don't want anybody telling you what to do. I can understand all that. You know, I know you... What you want is your own sub-camp. Do you have any idea what's involved? The paperwork alone? Forget you've got to build the fucking thing, getting the fucking permits is enough to drive you crazy. Then the engineers show up. They stand around, they argue about drainage, foundations, codes, exact specifications, parallel fences four kilometers long, six thousand kilograms of electrified fences... I'm telling you, you'll want to shoot somebody. I've been through it, you know, I know. Oskar Schindler: Well, you know, you've been through it. You could make things easier for me. I'd be grateful.
Oskar Schindler: So the man can turn out a hinge in less than a minute, why the long story?
Itzhak Stern: You're not buying them? You're buying all these names? Oskar Schindler: I don't like to think about it, it's costing me a fortune.
Rudolph Hoss: You shouldn't get stuck on names. That's right, it creates a lot of paperwork.
Itzhak Stern: [Oskar has apparently handed him cyanide capsules] Don't let things fall apart, Oskar, I work too hard.
Oskar Schindler: Cry, and I will have you arrested! I swear to God!
Amon Goeth: That's a nice suit. Is that silk? It's got a nice sheen to it. Oskar Schindler: I'd say "I'll get you one" only the man who made it is probably dead, I don't know.
Amon Goeth: [Loads a rifle and points it in her face] Amon's Girlfriend: Amon, you're such a damn fucking child! Amon Goeth: Wakey-wakey. Amon's Girlfriend: Make coffee. Amon Goeth: Make it yourself.
Itzhak Stern: That's it, there's no more. Oskar Schindler: I will not accept that.