American Rhetoric: Movie Speech

"Schindler's List" (1993)


Oskar Schindler Addresses 1200 Jewish Brunnlitz Factory Workers And Nazi Guards

Audio mp3 delivered by Liam Neeson


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 [Itzhak] Stern --

and others among you who worried about you --

and faced death at every moment.


I am 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.


[Turning to the Nazi guards]

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 turn and leave, first the SS guards, followed by their officers.]


In memory of

the countless victims

among your people,

I ask us to observe

three minutes of silence.


[The Kaddish - Jewish Prayer]


Text of the Kaddish (nusach ashkenaz)


[Text translation and transliteration of traditional Kaddish below]

Yisgadal v'yiskadash shmai raba. Magnified and sanctified be His great name.

Congregation: Amen.

Mourner: B'olmo deev'ro chir'usai, In this world which He has created in accordance with His will, v'yamlich malchusai, b'chayechon u'vyomechon, may He establish his kingdom during your lifetime, u'vchayai d'chol bais Yisroel, and during the life of all the House of Israel, ba'agolah u'vizman koriv, v'imru amen. Speedily, and let us say, Amen.

Mourner: Y'hai shmai rabah m'varach, l'olam u'lalmey olmaya! Let His great name be blessed for ever and to all eternity!

Cong: (Repeats above verse.)

Mourner: Yisborach v'yishtabach v'yispa-er v'yisromam; Blessed, praised, glorified and exalted; v'yisnasai v'yishadar v'yisaleh v'yis-halal, extolled, honored, magnified and lauded, shemei d'Kudsha, b'rich Hu. Be the name of the Holy one, blessed be He.

Cong: B'rich Hu. Blessed be He.

Mourner: L'aila min kol birchasa v'shirasa, tushbechasa v'nechamasa, He is greater than all blessings, hymns, praises and consolations, da'amiron b'olmo; v'imru, Amen. Which can be uttered in this world; and let us say Amen.

Cong: Amen.

Research Note 1: For source details concerning the Kaddish click here.

Research Note 2: Click here for a TEXT version of the actual speech delivered by Schindler.

Research Note 3: Click here for the list of Deportees (pdf) to Brunnlitz as compiled in 1945 and provided to courtesy of Yad Vashem (registered under P.41/44).  A second list, compiled in March 1944 by Mordechai Lustig ( who is on the list but was later removed), was taken from Krakow to Budapest and then to Turkey. It finally reached [what was then] Palestine and thereafter printed in the Davar daily Hebrew newspaper.

See also: Yad Vashem - The Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Authority

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