The title of the movie Schindler's List became this for this Swedish troper. When the movie was released most foreign movies were given Swedish titles, and with this film they simply dropped the apostrophe, making its Swedish title "Schindlers list". Which translates into "Schindler's Plan/Strategy", or "Schindler's Cunningness". I always thought the title referred to the clever way in which he outsmarted the nazis and saved a lot of Jewish lives. It wasn't until I actually saw the movie, years after its release (I was too young to see it when it first came out), that I found out that the original title was "Schindler's List" and that it referred to the actual list he makes. My reaction was pretty much: "Holy shit!" That was a very clever way of giving the film a Swedish title, and to this day I prefer the Swedish to the original. - Pingvin.
This Dutch troper thought that the title has a double meaning, since indeed in Dutch the word 'list' means something like a cunning plan as well. But I also realized that there is a list in the film. It was only later that it dawned to me that there is no such meaning in English.
During the liquidation of the Krakow Ghetto, a German soldier is seen anmd heard playing the piano, and two other soldiers look in, one wondering "Who is this, Bach?" with the other saying "Nein, nein, it's Mozart." It actually is Bach, and the throwaway lines do not appear in the script, so this is Spielberg's attempt to show how the German culture has given the world such wonders as Bach and Mozart, but then devolved into the culture of the Nazis, and by then could not even recognize their culture's own beauty.
This postwar joke might add an element of Black HumorHilarious in Hindsight: "Austria's greatest success is convincing the world that Mozart is Austrian and Hitler is German." note Mozart was born in Salzburg in modern-day Austria, but identified as German during his lifetime. Hitler was born and raised in Austria, only moving to Germany in 1913 at the age of 24.
Schindler and Stern shaking hands at the end of the film is especially poignant when one realises that, until 12:00 on that night, throughout the course of their friendship, it had been forbidden for a German to shake hands with a Jew.
During the brief period of time when Goeth is practicing being merciful by pardoning the Jews (at Schindler's behest) for what they do wrong, he starts to verbally berate a boy for not cleaning his bathtub properly, then sends him away. While the boy is walking away, Goeth stares at his reflection, whispers to himself, and then takes his rifle and snipes the boy. What does he whisper? "I pardon you." Goeth is pardoning himself for his own behavior, and then goes back to business as usual.
A bit of self-inflicted Fridge Horror Schindler puts on himself is that he believes the little girl in red is safe. After all, he turns away from the horrible scene when he spots her hiding in a building unnoticed. When she turns up at the cremation scene, he is struck with how merciless the Nazi's efforts are...
Meta Fridge Horror. The book Night by Elie Wiesel also details the horrors of the Holocaust. In it, his younger sister Tzipora (who died in the camps) is described wearing a RED COAT. Tears.
A very scary thought is that if others had witnessed the atrocities being committed firsthand as Schindler did during the liquidation scene they too may have made an effort to defy the Nazis. Remember that racism and prejudism had been a normal part of society around the world for millennia. The Nazis just took it to an extreme point. Many Europeans knew Jews were being rounded up and forced into Ghettos and work camps. They did not know they were being tortured and systematically exterminated. Most Americans weren't aware until many years after the war.
That said, the world leaders were well aware of what was going on but didn't do anything until the US founded the War Refugee Board in 1944, 2 years after the Nazis had made their intention for a Final Solution official.
Chances are that there were many other people who, like Schindler, tried to save a lot of innocent Jews. Unfortunately, many of those heroes were caught early on, and their plans failed, and no one ever made a movie about them.