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Some of the film's scenes are given added poignancy in that they are portrayals of actual events. Two examples of these are:
One inmate of the Kraków ghetto, Polish black marketeer Poldek Pfefferberg escaped certain death during a Nazi round up by convincing SS Commandant Amon Goeth that he had been told to clear away Jewish suitcases left strewn in the street by the Nazis, as they evacuated Jews.
Helen Hirsch (Amon Goeth's victimised maid) was saved because Schindler gambled for her life and won, in a game of blackjack with SS Commandant Amon Goeth. A stark illustration of life in the Plaszów prison camp.
During the ten years leading up to the making of Schindler's List, Spielberg developed a strong understanding of the characters through intensive research among holocaust survivors and Schindler Jews. He intended that the film would renew public interest in the holocaust and encourage us to explore its legacy in today's society.
He was orginally attracted to Schindler's List in 1982 when Thomas Keneally's book was published. He felt that the novel's emphasis on the experiences of individual people helped readers to identify emotionally and begin to understand the overwhelming events of the holocaust.