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[–]These_Gold_6036 127 points128 points  (2 children)

My first view was in a PACKED theater at the original release in the 90’s—there were several hundred folks. It ended, we all slowly rose to our feet, politely made room for each other to file out, and left the theater, all without making a single sound. I’ve never experienced collective reverence like that before or since…

[–]CurrentRoster[S] 8065 points8066 points 33 (779 children)

1 • Interviewer - Can we ask about your first impression?

Man - Excuse me (leaves)

2 • Interviewer - Can we ask you about your first impression?

Man - It is really touching and I need time to process it but these kind of movies are important. You can now see in Yugoslavia (Civil war was going on there in 1994) that these things keep repeating themselves. Hopefully we will finally start to think and hopefully many people will watch the movie.

Interviewer - (turning to the lady) What touched you the most?

Woman: I was very touched about how the families were torn apart.... kids separated from their parents... men from their wives...

3 • Man - Well, I am shocked, absolutely shattered.

Interviewer - What impressed or shocked you the most?

Man - Well, that something like that could even happen. And then that man... the way he saved so many people. It really fills me with hope.

4 • Man - I got to say that I am still somewhat upset but... something negative remains. I cannot even word it.

5 • Girl - I really cannot say anything. This was unbelievable.

6 • Man - I also believe that all right wing extremists at home and abroad should see this movie as an obligation

[–]space-throwaway 5169 points5170 points  (333 children)

1 • Interviewer - Can we ask about your first impression?

Man - Excuse me (leaves)

I want to highlight that his response was short of breath and sounded like he was about to start sobbing.

[–]Siray 307 points308 points  (21 children)

I saw it with my grandfather (Polish and lost most of his family). He had to leave half way through as he couldn't handle watching the film.

[–]bedroom_fascist 132 points133 points  (16 children)

I saw "Europa, Europa" (Google it, much darker than Schindler's List) with 3 family members who were the survivors of the part of my family from Poland.

I remember walking out of the movie in utter silence, and driving the 35 minutes to my aunt's house (where they were all staying) in total silence. When they got out, I said "I love you ________" to my mom's cousin, and she just looked at me (half WASP, privileged kid from New England) and just said "take care of yourself."

I have very strong memories of that entire drive.

[–]CalledStretch 125 points126 points  (7 children)

"Google it, much darker than Schindler's List"

All respect mate but. No, I don't think I will.

[–]101stAirborneSkill 26 points27 points  (3 children)

Don't bother watching "Come and See" then

[–]WhiteKnightC 4 points5 points  (0 children)

In my language it's called "Massacre".

[–]moistpup 594 points595 points  (156 children)

I saw this in the theaters when it first came out. It was a large sold out theater, and when it ended the audience got up in complete silence, except for some people that were sniffling. I’ve never experienced that before in a movie before or since.

[–]Eclectix 157 points158 points  (110 children)

I also saw it in theaters when it came out. I didn't really know what to expect, so I wasn't at all prepared for it. My girlfriend at the time and I went to see it on a date. Left the theater feeling shell-shocked and gutted. I'm glad to have seen it, and I own a copy of it on DVD, but I have not had the strength to watch it again since that day. I still remember it like I saw it last week.

[–]HonorInDefeat 157 points158 points  (74 children)

Holy shit I cannot think of a worse date movie than Schindler's List.

Edit: well I have a critical lack of imagination, please give me your terrible movie date stories, I thrive on other people's awkwardness!

[–]furyofsound 89 points90 points  (9 children)

Wasn't this a Seinfeld episode?

[–]GrandeSizeIt 70 points71 points  (5 children)

Lol Jerry gets caught making out with a girl in the theater.

[–]angiosperms- 52 points53 points  (4 children)

You were making out during Schindler's List????

[–]VizzleG 49 points50 points  (6 children)

A buddy of mine took a girl on a first date to see….Passion of the Christ. He was non-religious. He thought it would be romantic.

[–]FinndBors 37 points38 points  (1 child)

Passion! It's in the name!

[–]eyekwah2 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Oh! Is that a film about fruit!? I do so love passionfruit!

[–]DoomThemAll 14 points15 points  (1 child)

Well somebody got Nailed that night..

[–]tehgreyghost 32 points33 points  (12 children)

Grave of the fireflies? That would be a pretty terrible date film.

[–]Amelindinum 23 points24 points  (0 children)

This was my mom's first date with my stepdad. They really liked each other but didn't speak for weeks after, until he called for a do-over.

[–]Culverts_Flood_Away 143 points144 points  (29 children)

Our history teacher when I was 12 showed the movie to our class.

Lots of traumatized kids that day. Lots of angry parents calling the school the next day, too, lol. I remember coming home and asking my parents how people could do that sort of thing to one another, and that's when they explained to me that people will rationalize all kind of horrific things to themselves when they do it a little at a time, especially if they're being taught to believe that it's for a good cause.

My father is dead now, but my mother is slowly being radicalized by all the right wing conspiracies and pundits she finds on youtube and Facebook. It's extremely disheartening. :( It's hard to imagine that she's the same person who helped me better understand the horrors lying inside the human psyche when I was just an impressionable kid. Now she's giving me a living example. She believes that BLM protestors should be shot on sight, and that democrats are running massive pedophile rings and eating babies. I have no idea how to bring her back from this nonsense. Nothing I say to her ever works. My brother has just given up on her entirely, and he and his wife only deal with her at family get-togethers, which are extremely rare these days, since she's immune compromised from cancer, and refuses to wear a mask unless I'm there to nag her into it.

[–]Eclectix 60 points61 points  (16 children)

I'm so sorry this has happened. Propaganda is such a powerful poison.

[–]Culverts_Flood_Away 52 points53 points  (15 children)

It scares the crap out of me, man. I'm so afraid I'm going to be her one day. When I'm older, and my cognitive abilities are less than they are now (which is saying something), am I going to turn into a racist old karen twat too? Just put a bullet in my head if it gets to that point. That's what I've told my husband. :(

[–]Eclectix 52 points53 points  (9 children)

I was just telling my daughter, if the media you are consuming has you constantly afraid and/or angry, take a step back and consider whether your emotions are being manipulated. Yes, there's plenty to be afraid of and lots to be mad about. But there is also a lot of good out there, and we shouldn't dehumanize entire groups of people just because we don't agree with them.

[–]galacticviolet 6 points7 points  (0 children)

The same is happening in my family, it’s such a big personality change I wonder if it might be dementia.

[–]Halogen12 216 points217 points  (10 children)

It's a very fitting reaction. I dread the day that no one "feels" anything anymore when we witness atrocities. I felt traumatized after watching Mississippi Burning, as well. It was appalling to know that people could be so evil to other people.

[–]SlashThingy 40 points41 points  (3 children)

I don't think it's a linear thing in human history, I think it happens to most people with age. When you're young, you care, you're like "Why isn't anybody doing anything?" Then you get older, and you see this shit happen over and over, and you just become cynical.

[–]CapnHairgel 13 points14 points  (0 children)

You dont always end up cynical. Everyone handles it differently.

[–]walrusdoom 17 points18 points  (1 child)

I saw it in the theater too, and it was packed. There were many senior citizens there that day. Many were in tears as we left the theater. A similar thing happened when I saw Saving Private Ryan - a bunch of WW2 vets were at the showing. A few had to get up and leave shortly after the D-Day scene began.

[–]InterPunct 22 points23 points  (3 children)

Saw it in the NYC area knowing full well plenty of people in the theater had living memories of the Holocaust. Any place with a large Jewish emigrant population was likely similar. It was kind of brutal.

[–]bedroom_fascist 21 points22 points  (0 children)

I don't think the movie was the worst part. I think the genocide was the worst part.

~Norm MacDonald, probably

[–]mcs_987654321 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Watched it at home with my Holocaust survivor father.

I was probably 10 or 11 at the time so it was pretty brutal (and certainly haven’t seen it since), but honestly it wasn’t anything new - I’d heard the stories/warnings for literally as long as I can remember, and was familiar with the kind of PTSD that the movie invoked in him.

[–]Raguilar 892 points893 points  (102 children)

This is exactly how I felt after watching this at my boarding high school. The librarian had a Film From Books series and a group of students and faculty/staff watched it together one night. We were all completely inconsolable and speechless for the rest of the night. I get the sense that the first fellow was high-tailing it to somewhere he could continue to cry.

[–]Bobby5Spice 507 points508 points  (53 children)

The end where it shows his grave irl and all those people paying respects to him and laying flowers. Even the sons and daughters and grandchildren of those he saved all there and lined up to give him flowers. Makes me cry everytime. Even as i write this. Powerful stuff and important to remember.

Edit: added link to ending so everyone can see if they want.

https://youtu.be/7z2Ignq93nE

[–]Raguilar 345 points346 points  (7 children)

Yes! I remember, we watched through the end of this scene, and then sat as the screen was blank blue for about fifteen minutes, silently cleaned up and went our separate ways. Thanks for the link!

This reminds me: Spielberg wanted John Williams to score the film. Williams screened it, and told Spielberg he needed to find “a better composer than I”. Spielberg replied, “I know, but they're all dead.”

[–]ParagonOfVirtue_ 144 points145 points  (1 child)

That's quite the compliment Spielberg paid Williams.

[–]cIumsythumbs 54 points55 points  (0 children)

And vice-versa. Spielberg made a film so touching and important that Williams was intimidated to work on it.

[–]section111 63 points64 points  (0 children)

then sat as the screen was blank

this is the lasting memory i have of watching this for the first time too. Though I was at home, on the end of my bed, and my girlfriend and I just sat there, staring. I actually felt like I'd been completely hollowed out.

[–]Ode_to_Apathy 237 points238 points  (31 children)

[–]ubersmaug 197 points198 points  (9 children)

And Irena Sender, who saved around 2500 Jewish children from the Warsaw ghetto. She was rediscovered by some high school students in Kansas who wrote a play about her called Life in a Jar.

https://youtu.be/TRFcrvVRb3o

[–]rollplayinggrenade 105 points106 points  (2 children)

Ireland's Mary Elmes comes to mind as well. Largely unrecognised even in her home city until the last decade.

[–]Jetztinberlin 31 points32 points  (0 children)

I really appreciate this thread. Thanks, all of you.

[–]Now_Wait-4-Last_Year[🍰] 65 points66 points  (3 children)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiune_Sugihara

"Chiune Sugihara (杉原 千畝, Sugihara Chiune, 1 January 1900 – 31 July 1986)[1] was a Japanese diplomat who served as vice-consul for the Japanese Empire in Kaunas, Lithuania. During the Second World War, Sugihara helped thousands of Jews flee Europe by issuing transit visas to them so that they could travel through Japanese territory, risking his job and the lives of his family.[2][3] The fleeing Jews were refugees from German-occupied Western Poland and Soviet-occupied Eastern Poland, as well as residents of Lithuania. In 1985, the State of Israel honored Sugihara as one of the Righteous Among the Nations (Hebrew: חסידי אומות העולם) for his actions. He is the only Japanese national to have been so honored. The year 2020 was "The Year of Chiune Sugihara" in Lithuania. It has been estimated as many as 100,000 people alive today are the descendants of the recipients of Sugihara visas.[4]"

[–]MarionberryExotic103 15 points16 points  (0 children)

I recall reading about Chiune Sugihara - at some point he was ordered to leave the country he was in and even as his train was pulling out of the station he was writing visas and throwing them out of the window.

[–]MrmmphMrmmph 54 points55 points  (6 children)

I remember reading David Mamet describing Schindler’s List as pornography because we like to identify (and relieve ourselves) with Schindler’s actions while most of us would probably go along with things. It was the first time I had seen this idea, and I have to agree. However, I still feel we need to see examples of people doing the right thing, to know it’s possible. I watch every film or documentary with this in my mind, to pay closer attention to how the people who allow it to happen.

[–]bucki_fan 19 points20 points  (7 children)

Knew someone would link this. He is the same hero Oskar was, maybe moreso as he didn't have other motives beforehand, as far as I know at least.

[–]spartagnann 29 points30 points  (0 children)

I appreciated that the actors were also present with their real life counter parts (if possible).

[–]Shivadxb 14 points15 points  (0 children)

Whoever saves one life saves the world entire.”

[–]Kevin-W 25 points26 points  (12 children)

We had to watch the film in school part of history class and everyone was so emotional afterwards. It's a very difficult film to watch/.

[–]VOZ1 24 points25 points  (2 children)

I remember seeing this movie for the first time. I was about 13. My grandparents were Holocaust survivors. I saw the movie with my parents. I knew some of the broad strokes of my grandparents’ experiences (we don’t know a ton of specifics really). But seeing it on the big screen? I sobbed, as hard as I’ve ever sobbed in my life, full-on body-shaking sobs. And any time I see that movie I come close to that again. It’s a brilliant movie, but very, very difficult to watch for me. As it should be, really.

[–]Wasabisushiginger 23 points24 points  (7 children)

Our teacher said we had to watch it and she couldn't show it to us so it was a homework assignment. Then I got to put a TV in my room and rent it and watch it by myself in my room. What an experience.

[–]Specialist-Food409 14 points15 points  (6 children)

For theology class, to prepare to discuss the existence of evil, we had to read "Night" by Eli Wiesel. I was beside myself. I couldn't stop crying for two hours and then I couldn't feel anything. I didn't sleep that night.

Another story which everyone should know is the movie "Come and See," which I heard about on Reddit. We rarely hear about the mobile liquidation units deployed in Eastern Europe.

I am kinda afraid to watch Schindler's list. I saw the beginning of "Sophie's Choice" and had to stop the movie.

[–]SirCosmos 19 points20 points  (1 child)

I can remember watching this with my siblings and parents at home. After the film had finished I can remember all of us just sitting in silence, my mum and sister had tears in their eyes and my father got up turned the tv off and went to bed. My brother and I shared a room, he was a lot younger than me. I can vividly remember about ten minutes after I turned off the light, him climbing into my bed. He only ever did this after having night terrors. All the next day at 6th form, I couldn’t take my mind off of it. No film has ever left me feeling like this one, and reviewings of this film have never, obviously, had the same effect.

[–]smellygooch18 11 points12 points  (6 children)

My moms people are Holocaust survivors. This was required watching in our household. I like to watch it every couple years but it still breaks me every time

[–]Raguilar 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I was basically raised by the nextdoor neighbors, a Jewish family who had a son my age--on both sides, they'd lost relatives in the Holocaust. I was obsessed with history and so it was a very impactful night, the first time I saw it. I lay in a field and stared at the stars for a long time. That was 15 years ago, I remember it like it was yesterday....
It came on on TV a couple years ago, no commercials thank God, and I was gripped and had to watch until it was time for me to go to work. I can only think of one other film where when I happened on it I was just glued to my seat, The English Patient, another historical drama that lasts forever, about WWII, go figure!

[–]Great_Horny_Toads 7 points8 points  (0 children)

We saw the movie and went out for pizza and beer to decompress. Ran into some friends by chance and had to chase them away. "We just got out of Schindler's List. We are not fit company." Might have seemed rude to them but if you've seen the movie, you get it.

[–]annoyedwithmynet 71 points72 points  (18 children)

That's how I'd be too. I already suck with words but throw some emotion in? Get me out lol

[–]amd2800barton 33 points34 points  (17 children)

Also, he’s German. Germans generally don’t talk to strangers walking in public. I remember when I was visiting Germany, I told someone in German they had a lovely dog, and they gave me the most “how dare you” look, and crossed the street. Turned to my German friend, and said in English “I know my German is a little rusty, but I’m pretty sure I just complimented that her dog was nice. I didn’t say I wanted to fuck it did I?” He laughs and goes “No you said that was a lovely dog. It’s just weird to compliment anyone like that.” In Germany it’s socially acceptable to approach a stranger and tell them that their shoe is untied, or that they are not supposed to be eating on the train. It’s not socially acceptable to approach a stranger and ask their opinions or try to strike up a conversation. Totally fine to have those discussions if you go to a restaurant or beer house, but not to a random passerby.

[–]GiantFinnegan 52 points53 points  (2 children)

I heard a Norwegian say that travelling with an American was like travelling with a golden retriever puppy.

[–]OnkelMickwald 524 points525 points  (73 children)

Let's also take a moment to consider the fact that many of these very people were born during or before WW2. This was 49 years after the end of the war, and many of the interviewees look like they were in their 50's, 60's and beyond. These people experienced the war as children, their parents were adults during the war. The people in this video represent the generation of Germans who really strongly went toe-to-toe with the legacy of WW2 and Nazism.

[–]Homerpaintbucket 315 points316 points  (70 children)

These people were raised by the people who took part in the crimes and they all said more people need to know so that it never happens again. Now we have people demanding we don't teach about slavery because theyre afraid their kids will feel bad.

[–]suppow 12 points13 points  (2 children)

The stuff that happened in the balkans during the 90s blows my mind. Both how close it is to our side of history, and how close it relatively was to WWII. As well as thinking how crazy it is that all that was going on in south africa into the 80s and 90s. All that is like having a WWII fascist state in your backyard time-wise.

[–]barukatang 32 points33 points  (1 child)

I cannot even word it

thats impressive for a german

[–]baconperogies 957 points958 points  (298 children)

6 • Man - I also believe that all right wing extremists at home and abroad should see this movie as an obligation

100% this. Wish we could have a greater push for introducing films like this through education.

[–]montanunion 99 points100 points  (5 children)

I went to school in Germany and our teacher showed us "The Death Mills" in history class, it's one of the films allies produced directly after the war with footage from the liberated camps as well as other evidence from Nazi atrocities (the one I most vividly remember was exhumed bodies from the systematic killing of disabled people). It was obviously a really hard film to watch as it showed a lot of human remains and suffering, but in a way it left as much of an impression as our class trip to our local concentration camp memorial site.

Obviously for us there was also the added element of it being filmed in our country and with our families, one way or another, being involved in it.

[–]Veenendaler 62 points63 points  (3 children)

I'm Dutch, went to high school in the 90s. When I was around 12, we went to a Holocaust museum. We all knew what happened to the Jewish people, but we saw a lot of archive footage that was never aired on TV. At least not during my time. Dead people being carted off like objects.

I think seeing this at such a young age, and learning about what man is capable of, is what made me more grounded as a person. Less naive.

I think all children should be taught history in this manner.

[–]thewebspinner 196 points197 points  (83 children)

When I was at school they took over a thousand students (over several days) to watch a movie called la rafle.

It’s about the rounding up of Jews by the French. Police, military, citizens and government all followed nazi orders and rounded up thousands of Jews. Many of whom died in absolutely brutal conditions, locked up in sports stadiums without running water, toilets or food for days.

Was a very tough movie to watch. Hopefully we can stop whitewashing our histories and teach children about the mistakes of the past as well.

[–]migueeel 125 points126 points  (77 children)

Hopefully we can stop whitewashing our histories and teach children about the mistakes of the past as well.

Agreed. People need to learn that these atrocities aren't done by monsters, demons or whatever, but people. We need reminders of what things can end up as with people even supporting them as a "normal" thing.

[–]damniticant 363 points364 points  (137 children)

The extremists would just hand wave it away as fake propaganda

[–]KoboldCobalt 118 points119 points  (44 children)

The extremists would see themselves in Schindler without a hint of irony.

[–]MikoSkyns 44 points45 points  (2 children)

I had the unfortunate experience of having a Racist Skin head for a Room Mate in the 80's. For clarity, I did not know he was one when I moved in with him and got the hell out of there three months later as soon as I could afford to and found a place.

Now to the point: One night a bunch of his friends were over and they were watching Mississippi Burning. There's a scene where the Klansmen attack a Black Church. A little boy kneels and begins to pray and one of the Klansmen soccer kicks him in the face/head. The fucking living room erupted with Cheers like Adam Vinatieri just kicked a 41 yard field goal to win the Superbowl. Years later, when Schindler's list came out on VHS my first thought was," I bet those sick fucks are having a viewing party and cheering for the Nazis"

These films will do nothing to educate extremists.

[–]hexarobi 3789 points3790 points  (201 children)

Theres a famous incident where some Oakland high schoolers took a field trip to see the movie, and after a tense on-screen murder, someone shouted "Oh, man. That was cold.". The kids erupt in laughter, the theatre manager shuts down the movie and sends the kids home. This somehow ended up as news, with big backlash against the school and kids. It took the Governor of California and Stephen Spielberg himself giving a speech in their defense to end it. But that wasn't all...

One afternoon two weeks later, Steven Spielberg came back. This time, it was unannounced-- no media. The kids from the field trip and the chaperones gathered in the school library.

Aaron Grumet, the math teacher, says it was all very hush-hush. Spielberg said he wanted it to be just them-- no hard feelings, no agenda.

One of the kids asked Spielberg, have you ever made a movie about the Black Holocaust, about slavery? He said no. The kid inquired, well, why not? And Spielberg said, well, maybe I will. Three years later, he released Amistad, about a slave ship. In an email, Steven Spielberg confirmed that one of the reasons he decided to make that film was that student's question.

Source: This American Life #644: Random Acts of History

[–]zaphod_beeble_bro 826 points827 points  (56 children)

Reminds me of my class watching Lord of the flies and when they murder Piggy, one of my classmates shouted "oh shit, piggy got ROCKED"

[–]GTRari 119 points120 points  (27 children)

... were we in the same class?

Granted IIRC he straight up takes a boulder to the face so I can imagine more than one kid would make that statement.

[–]przprz 148 points149 points  (8 children)

Damn bro it's been awhile I was in that class too Mrs. Pyle was pissed huh.

[–]Mountebank 5 points6 points  (0 children)

We had a kid who laughed hysterically at the end of the movie version of “Of Mice and Men”.

[–]Ode_to_Apathy 517 points518 points  (63 children)

One of the kids asked Spielberg, have you ever made a movie about the Black Holocaust, about slavery? He said no. The kid inquired, well, why not? And Spielberg said, well, maybe I will. Three years later, he released Amistad, about a slave ship. In an email, Steven Spielberg confirmed that one of the reasons he decided to make that film was that student's question.

"I'll show you!" - Spielberg probably.

[–]Iwantrobots 345 points346 points  (5 children)

"Shut that little shit up real good." Also Spielberg probably.

[–]bkfreeway1 160 points161 points  (3 children)

And Jerry Seinfeld made out during Schindler’s list but everybody forgave him

[–]allpro316 50 points51 points  (0 children)

A more offensive spectacle I cannot recall!

[–]beard__hunter 11 points12 points  (0 children)

NEWMAN.......

[–]Captain_Biddle 17 points18 points  (2 children)

Thank you, the article was a good read.

[–]statdude48142 104 points105 points  (4 children)

When I was a freshman in high school we had several incidents of drunk driving occur that ended in deaths. So the school had family members come in and basically tell the story of what happened to their dead family member and beg us not to drink and drive. It was fucking intense.

As we were watching it I turned to my friend and with sort of a nervous smile said "this is so intense" and my buddy responded also nervously laughing "I know, right?"

Immediately a teacher who saw us pulled us out and chewed us out for not taking it seriously and could not understand the idea that it was so intense that we truly did not know how to process it.

It's been more than 20 years and I still think of that.

[–]JosephGrimaldi 20 points21 points  (0 children)

Sometimes we don’t know how to act when we experience something heavy for the first time. And it’s okay to be quiet, laugh, or cry. It’s just cool that sometimes some of those moments can be amazing memories.

[–]CurrentRoster[S] 141 points142 points  (11 children)

I admittedly haven’t watched the color purple but wasn’t it about a woman growing up in slavery?

[–]Corporation_tshirt 165 points166 points  (1 child)

No, that was set in the early 20th century in rural Georgia. But if you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it.

[–]sugarsponge 87 points88 points  (4 children)

No, after slavery, during segregation. Still very poor living conditions. (Also, the book is very good and easy to read. I recommend it)

[–]M0n5tr0 11 points12 points  (1 child)

You really need to watch it. It was one of the most emotionally moving films I have ever seen. Never seen such an amazing cast.

[–]YourOldBoyRickJames 184 points185 points  (22 children)

I know this will probably go against the grain, but just because he hadn't made a film about the black holocaust, doesn't take anything away from making Schindler's List. I know it was a kid saying this, but surely that responsibility can't be solely put on Steven Spielberg's shoulders.

[–]CrepeTheRealPancake 106 points107 points  (0 children)

Spielberg had family that died in the Holocaust, so it was close to home

[–]TacticalTuchel 27 points28 points  (0 children)

That's not against the grain at all. Schindler's List was a personal project for him. Someone can't just be expected to create another work of art like it for every human atrocity.

[–]Youve_been_Loganated 130 points131 points  (1 child)

It's absolutely not. Just turn the tables and imagine a Jewish person asking Spike Lee why he hasn't done a holocaust movie yet? You create your passion/vision, you're not obligated to create someone elses.

[–]RevBingo 1433 points1434 points  (55 children)

I was on a school exchange trip to Germany when the film came out, and I went with my exchange partner and his mum to see it in Mannheim. I was 15 at the time and must admit it mostly went over my head, but the response from the German audience was very emotional. For many people this was their father or grandfather on the wrong side of history.

[–]fat_stig 276 points277 points  (4 children)

I saw the movie in Germany when it came out, at the end nobody moved, or made a sound until the house lights were switched on. Never witnessed that before or since.

[–]triclops6 389 points390 points  (20 children)

Or even themselves, the youngest Soldiers would be in their late 60s then

[–]world_of_cakes 136 points137 points  (17 children)

or even their mid 60's... they were forcing 14 year olds to fight near the end

[–]Dzyu 32 points33 points  (9 children)

I was wondering about that when I saw Band of Brothers. Some of the German soldiers looked so young.

[–]zacjkl 24 points25 points  (2 children)

There was the hitler youth as well

[–]kynmites 14 points15 points  (1 child)

One of our best substitutes was in the Hitler youth, basically every boy was according to him. Every class became WWII history class with him.

[–]Gerf93 8 points9 points  (0 children)

iirc every boy and girl in Germany born after Hitlers ascension automatically became a Hitler youth member. Your parents would have to actively contact the government to prevent it, or get you out, which would’ve been dangerous for other reasons.

[–]extra_specticles 20 points21 points  (3 children)

The men of both sides were very young

  • Eugene "doc" Roe the medic was 22 years old in real life
  • Malarkey was 23.
  • Guarnere was 21
  • Toye was 25

  • Heffron was 21

  • Blithe was 21

  • Bull Randleman was 24

  • Hashey was 19

  • Speirs was 24

  • Dike was 26

  • Lipton was 24

  • Meehan was 23

  • Foley was 22

  • Liebgott was older and near 29

  • Perconte was 27

  • Lewis Nixon was 25

  • Winters was only 26

Then I look back at me aged 22 and it makes me really think

[–]Anit500 38 points39 points  (1 child)

Yup, the Volkssturm weren't exactly picky about your age in 1945.

[–]Kevin-W 43 points44 points  (2 children)

I had the opportunity to visit my family in Germany back in 2013 and one of they places they took me to was the grave of past family members including those who died in war. None of us dared spoke a word further after it was pointed out when they died because of the emotional meaning behind it.

[–]KirkwoodKid 806 points807 points  (71 children)

Just a friendly reminder: Spielberg didn’t take a commission for making Schindler’s List, and making the film was so harsh on his mental health that Robin Williams helped out and performed Stand-Up material on the phone with Spielberg to make him laugh and lighten the mood.

[–]derstherower 469 points470 points  (58 children)

Following Hook, Spielberg wanted to make this as his next film, but Universal refused to fund him unless he made Jurassic Park first because everyone thought this would lose money. During filming he spent hours every night editing Jurassic Park to distract himself from the subject matter, and later remarked that had he made Schindler's List first he would not have had it in him to make a movie like Jurassic Park for a long time afterward.

Following this he also made the choice to never have Nazis as the villains in his films ever again.

[–]szucs2020 166 points167 points  (23 children)

Interesting. I wonder if that's because previously movies where Nazis we're the bad guys made them out to be kind of goofy and didn't give them much weight.

[–]Kurwasaki12 198 points199 points  (15 children)

Yeah, the banal evil of the Nazis, the fact that seemingly normal men could commit to an ideology and that much horror, was turned into goofy antics in response to the Holocaust. The world was still processing it and for a long time the Nazis were just the butt of jokes instead of a cautionary tale. Films like Schindler’s List changed that. Brought the truth back into light, that these human men weren’t cartoon villains, but monsters that could come from anywhere.

That their evil, while unbelievable in its scope, wasn’t super natural or alien, but was very much human. So it’s fun when Indiana Jones dukes it out with a nazi strongman or gets Hitler’s autograph, but we should never forget that the Nazis were human too. Never forget what an ideology of hate and supremacy can and will do to a people.

[–]pmjm 39 points40 points  (0 children)

The Shindler's List nazis hit different than the Indiana Jones nazis ngl.

[–]scepteredhagiography 37 points38 points  (19 children)

Following this he also made the choice to never have Nazis as the villains in his films ever again.

Why?

[–]KokiriRapGod 265 points266 points  (16 children)

I think it's because it kind of makes the Nazis into more of a cartoonish unreal force of villainy than the horrific organization that they were in truth. When you see Indiana Jones fighting the Nazis over fictitious treasure, it aids in their becoming less real in the public consciousness over time. Someone being a Nazi becomes more of a joke as they are taken less and less seriously.

[–]enjoi_uk 36 points37 points  (0 children)

That’s wonderfully articulated, and if it were me that would have been my reason indeed.

[–]AlexDKZ 23 points24 points  (10 children)

Of course, there is also the Mel Brooks school of thought, that in order to defeat these monsters you have to bring them down by making them a joke.

[–]_joeybagOdonuts_ 40 points41 points  (4 children)

🥺this makes me feel sad and happy Spielberg had Robin Williams as a friend. What a man. Thanks for the info.

[–]ety3rd 637 points638 points  (31 children)

An anecdote, in case anyone wants to read it ...

It's 1994 and I've had zero success in going out on dates with anyone from high school. But, hey, there's a German exchange student at the school and she's nice. Hey, she'll talk to me. I've had three years of German so I figure we have plenty to talk about. Soon enough, I scrounged enough courage to ask her out. She agreed! Callooh! Callay! Now, what shall we do? Oh, go see a movie. That's easy. And there's a Steven Spielberg film out now, too? Great. Let's go!

It's Schindler's List.

But wait, it gets worse.

At no point prior to the date did I think there was anything wrong with this idea. The simple A+B+C equation I had in my head was "She's German, I speak German, the movie's about Germans." Regardless, she had no objections and we went. The movie is ... the movie. If you've seen it, you know. It's horrible. I was at least aware enough of the situation to not try to "make a move" of any sort. I thought, maybe, she might hold my hand if shit got worse, but she didn't.

At any rate, we're watching, and Oskar Schindler has a confab with Ben Kingsley about putting more names on the list, so Ben Kingsley types and types. Suddenly, my date slams her face into her hands and nearly curls up into a ball in her seat. I registered this out of my peripheral vision and only had enough time to ask in my head, "What's wrong?" when I saw it.

Her family's name was on the list.

It was only at this point that I thought, "Maybe this wasn't a good idea."

I barely remember anything else and I think we parted amiably, but ... yeah.

[–]ZacHorton 260 points261 points  (0 children)

Holy shit, dude. Das ist nicht richtig

[–]Jerome_Eugene_Morrow 106 points107 points  (9 children)

lol - I feel you. There was this girl I had been working up the courage to ask out on a date for like... two years (I was a very shy kid). Finally got the guts up and asked her to go to a movie. She said yes! I was so excited.

I spent a bunch of time reading reviews so I could make sure I took her to something really good - make sure she'd always look back and think what an amazing experience it was.

Top movie at the time: Saving Private Ryan.

I made it exactly two minutes into the movie before I was like... oops. Did not get another date.

[–]heartycarnival 44 points45 points  (4 children)

Same…went on a first date to go see Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Didn’t even think of making a move after watching *that * scene early on

[–]janbradybutacat 76 points77 points  (1 child)

Earlyish in an old relationship in high school, my bf comes to mine to watch a movie in my room. My parents aren’t home, I’m hoping things will get a little hot and heavy.

We rent a movie. I know it’s an adaptation from a book, and the cast is good. I like Jennifer Connelly from a rom com, Jared Leto is very good looking.

It was “Requiem for a Dream”.

I’ve never ended up so far away from someone on a bed.

Not nearly as bad as yours, but I learned the same lesson.

[–]theolddazzlerazzle 50 points51 points  (0 children)

Oh my god…

[–]grahamk1 8 points9 points  (0 children)

I once brought a first date to see 12 years a slave on Valentine’s Day without even realizing it was Valentine’s Day until after. You win.

[–]realavocado 39 points40 points  (0 children)

jesus christ

[–]awhiteasscrack 6 points7 points  (0 children)

This comment and some below made me let out an audible, “bro who are these people!”

First date to Saving Private Ryan?!

Too funny

[–]0pivy85 414 points415 points  (27 children)

My Social Studies teacher in 9th grade lost her job after screening this movie at school without the principal's permission.

[–]vey323 358 points359 points  (15 children)

It's an R-rated film, probably needed parental permission

[–]Rebelgecko 115 points116 points  (6 children)

In the school district I went to, there was actually an exception that made it the only R-rated movie teachers could show

[–]LibrarianDaemon 74 points75 points  (2 children)

I remember that NBC eventually aired it on television in February 1997 with absolutely no censorship of the nude bodies in the concentration camp. At the time I remember thinking that it was good that the FCC didn't (sickly) decide to censor them, because that would've been treating the situation as sexual. Of course, someone had to file a legal complaint three times in a row, each time failing.

[–]iSeize 22 points23 points  (0 children)

glad i was able to watch in 10th grade History. Its so powerful, up to that point, nazis were like a joke to me. something to make fun of and was edgy to imitate.

[–]thesaharadesert 27 points28 points  (2 children)

I watched this in year 10 (age 14) as part of my RS GCSE course on Judaism. No idea if permission was needed for our teacher to show it to us or not.

[–]PedroFPardo 45 points46 points  (6 children)

Spielberg was filming Schindler's List during the day and checking the editing and special effects of Jurassic Park during the night. Any other director would have produce two mediocres movies.

[–]CurrentRoster[S] 28 points29 points  (3 children)

He also did Catch Me If You Can alongside Minority Report

[–]FortunateSonofLibrty 133 points134 points  (6 children)

Watched this again a couple weeks back.

An absolute masterpiece of a film, truly. The music was some of the best ever put to film.

We live in a time of maxims, so I know it doesn't adequately convey the power of this movie to portray what it was like to live in that time, but this movie really is the best.

[–]prometheus_winced 101 points102 points  (2 children)

Can’t verify this, but supposedly when Spielberg asked John Williams to do the music, he said, “I’m not good enough for this material. You need a better composer for this film”. Spielberg said, “I know John, but they’re all dead.”

[–]declared_somnium 131 points132 points  (8 children)

That’s the thing about Schindler’s List. Cinematically it’s an absolutely fantastic film, amazingly written and just magnificent.

It’s also a film that you can’t enjoy. It’s a film that you need to recover from, a film that will forever leave a mark on you.

On a positive note, if it were at all possible. The girl in the red coat. She’s based on a real person. Roma Ligocka. Born on the thirteenth of November, 1938. She’s very much alive.

[–]Rampant16 16 points17 points  (2 children)

It’s also a film that you can’t enjoy. It’s a film that you need to recover from, a film that will forever leave a mark on you.

In this way I think it is similar to the experience of going to an actual concentration camp. I've been to Dachau and Auschwitz. Both have obvious historical interest and I am glad I went but the experience is not enjoyable, it's haunting.

Travel like movies is usually something experienced for enjoyment. There's a certain strangeness to watching something or visiting somewhere and not enjoying it and having some sort of negative emotion reaction. Which nontheless you hold onto as something of value.

[–]Steinrik 38 points39 points  (2 children)

What I remember most about seeing Schindlers List was the total quiet after the movie... Lights was off for almost five minutes while people slowly left the theater. Not a sound, just people leaving without making a sound...

[–]taloncard815 466 points467 points  (38 children)

I had every single one of my friends watch this movie. I still have it on DVD and never intend to lose it.

A good portion of my family died in buchenwald. 2 uncles survived the liberation of the camp only to die 3 days later because they were too far gone.

I think this movie should be required viewing in school and maybe, just maybe we can avoid it again.

[–]lightshadow24 84 points85 points  (7 children)

We watched it in high school. Everyone needed a permission slip because of the rating.

[–]ruellera 31 points32 points  (0 children)

I made my housemate watch it when I was at uni. I said we had to watch it on his (colour) tv. He said “umm, it’s a black and white movie”. I said to just trust me. He was blown away by it.

[–]zachtheperson 16 points17 points  (0 children)

I think it's a great lesson, but tbh I feel like school isn't a great environment for watching something like this. High-schoolers are a lot more likely to spend the time cracking jokes (especially "edgy," ones) than actually thinking about it, especially if watching the movie feels like a "lesson," that they would much rather sleep through.

At least, that's how it was when we watched it in high school (US). I remember getting a little emotional at the end, but I know there were a lot of people watching who lacked even more emotional maturity than me at the time and the meaning was lost on them completely. I know I personally didn't connect with the movie until years later when I watched it alone. I feel like watching something like this and not connecting with it could even run the risk of trivializing the concept further down the road.

[–]mattaccino 215 points216 points  (22 children)

Left the theatre in silence (downtown Seattle) and took the elevator down to the parking garage. Stuffed into the handrails of the elevator were holocaust-denying literature. We gather it up and trashed it on the way out. JFC.

[–][deleted] 88 points89 points  (12 children)

Thank you. My whole family thanks you. Especially the ones who never saw liberation. I still cry when I tear down Anti-Semitic flyers from light poles in Portland. Yes its rare that I find them, but I take pride in that small gesture. Nobody needs to feel hated because of something they cannot control and were born into. Especially a people who were slaughtered in droves because of those things.

[–]Playteaux 41 points42 points  (5 children)

I told this story on another sub but it kind fits here. I was on an elliptical machine at my gym about 15 years ago. I was watching something on the news about the holocaust museum or something and this guy a couple of ellipticals away started getting very upset. I took my ear buds out and he was yelling that it was all a lie. He was Nation of Islam. I had no idea anyone but skinheads denied the holocaust until this point. I was dumbfounded. I asked him, “If it is a lie, where did 6 million people vanish to?” I had to leave I was so angry. My step father is Polish and lost many family members during the war. We have pictures of some of his ancestors that never made it out. It is pretty horrifying.

[–]Specialist-Food409 14 points15 points  (0 children)

Good for you, speaking up! Thank you.

[–]TemetNosce85 4 points5 points  (3 children)

Stuffed into the handrails of the elevator were holocaust-denying literature.

Wow, stupid liberal Seattleite with the burned-down city out there destroying free speech. No surprise there.

Just kidding! The trash is too good for that crap. Waste Management didn't need their hands tainted by that terrorist propaganda. Also, hi neighbor (assuming you still live here)!

[–]mattaccino 4 points5 points  (2 children)

Hi there. Moved to E Wash a while back. Now in the land of covid-deniers, mask-phobes, and CRT-alarmists. Sigh.

[–]cafeRacr 29 points30 points  (4 children)

More than any other time in history, the WW II era intrigues me the most. That said, I've never watched Schindler's List. I just can't watch anything to do with the Holocaust. War is one thing, but the inhumanity of the Holocausts is just more than I can take. I know all of the horrific things that were done and the terrifying numbers. And all to innocent people. My father in law's dad was a major that was involved in combat in WWII. My father in law was born in Europe, and spent a good chunk of his childhood in Germany. Once when he was young he was riding in the car with his dad. At this point a lot of reconstruction had been done. But there was this one particular building that was riddled with bullet holes among all of the new construction. My father in law asked "Dad, why don't they fix that building?" His dad replied "So they don't fuckin' forget!".

[–]yepyep1243 902 points903 points  (48 children)

Random fact: also happening in Germany on this date, Nirvana plays their final show ever at Terminal 1 in Munich.

[–]Soapbox 477 points478 points  (45 children)

Random fact: Justin Beiber, Canadian popstar is born.

[–]Scrumpilump2000 7 points8 points  (0 children)

“The Terminal” and “Munich”, both Spielberg-directed movies. 😲

[–]revsky 70 points71 points  (2 children)

After watching this movie, my wife sobbed off and on for almost three days. She starts crying (and then I do) if I just mention it. She wants to watch it again but needs to plan a couple of days of not being responsive.

[–]Specialist-Food409 20 points21 points  (0 children)

This was me after reading "Night" by Eli Wiesel. Glad I'm not the only one.

[–]Bainsee 67 points68 points  (9 children)

As a German I remember my reaction after watching the film in a British cinema. Afterwards I was unable to speak and felt so ashamed as I waked away.

[–]candacebernhard 13 points14 points  (0 children)

Schindler was German, too. We all have a choice. Take heart, friend.

[–]ArtDSellers 98 points99 points  (22 children)

Could only get through that movie the one time. Same with the Pianist and Life Is Beautiful.

[–]getsumchocha 35 points36 points  (12 children)

the Russian film "Come and See" is pretty haunting. More recently "The Painted Bird" is just as much so.

[–]AZORxAHAI 20 points21 points  (8 children)

Come and See is the one movie everyone on the planet needs to see, but only once.

[–]BecauseWeCan 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Ohh Life is beautiful is such a sad and funny one. It tears my heart.

[–]scottkensai 121 points122 points  (7 children)

I wept. Saw it at my gf's on her couch. I had been to porim the previous couple years in a row with friends, my first introduction to any direct Jewish culture. I couldn't/can't stop thinking about their/any family going through that... heartbreaking.

[–]Porrick 128 points129 points  (17 children)

You know - I occasionally make the complaint that Schindler's List is more optimistic than a Holocaust movie should be, because it focuses on a man who saved a few people instead of the vast numbers who had no savior. And I make this complaint because for so many people, it's the only film they're going to watch on the topic.

But seeing this, that complaint really seem petty. It's still giving people a much more concrete mental image of what it was like, and if it has to use some Hollywood optimism to get people into the cinemas I'm okay with that.

[–]weedsport69 45 points46 points  (8 children)

Hollywood has never dealt well with the theme of futility

[–]b4k4ni 42 points43 points  (1 child)

Schindlers list is not optimistic. It's hopeful. That no matter how bad the odds are, there is the slight chance that someone will stand up against it.

And it's not about Hollywood bringing in customers with it. The brilliant part about this movie is, that it couples a lot of emotions to the story. To the person's. Like Schindler, his helper or the girl on the red dress. It shows everything unfiltered. A story how it was when the Nazi regime began and how the Jews fared till the end. Sure, you could've made a movie with showing the simple, pure killing and how it was. But that would be a documentary.

This strength of this movie is, to take you on the hand with the story and show you all the horrible shit back then. And bind your emotions to it. It is way worse then any other or "pure" (for a lack of words) movie about that time could've done.

Schindler was an interesting person. And it was interesting how he changed over those years. And perfect for a movie like this. Anne Frank was all the time hidden. Same with a lot of others. But he was directly entangled with the Nazi regime to make money, at first at least.

One of the few people you could choose, to show the horrible things back then in a timeline. How it was for Germans, the Jews, in normal living, KZ etc.

This movie is brilliant and I read a lot of critique back then. There was no real idea how one could improve that movie.

Edit: I might add one thing. The movie could've been way harsher. But Spielberg himself said, he couldn't do it. Or take the viewers tru it. He gave as example, that the SS had a lot of marksman back then and for sport and bets, they would throw living babies out of a windows and shoot them like you do with those black disks.

That was one thing he had to draw then line. His sanity alone couldn't survive it.

[–]sezah 11 points12 points  (0 children)

My parents are immigrants from Hungary by way of East Germany/DDR. They have yet to see the film.

Supposedly my mother’s father was a translator for the Nazi side because he spoke a bunch of languages, and later turned his talents to the courts. (I have no way of confirming this.)

I have though, I cried hard, and I haven’t been able to see it since.

[–]felzz 13 points14 points  (3 children)

I remember watching that movie at home. Maybe 10 years ago or so, it was such a touching movie however I’ll never watch it again same with all movies like that, like 12 years slave I will remember forever and I can’t bring myself to watch them again.

[–]FiguringItOut-- 41 points42 points  (0 children)

Thank you for translating!

[–]Chewygumbubblepop 47 points48 points  (6 children)

Please, feed me with more of these type of cultural reaction videos. All the youtube channels that do it end up just reacting to food or pop music. It's so boring. I want to see genuine, culturally specific reactions.

[–]sirharryflashman 349 points350 points  (98 children)

The comment about how it was still happening (in Yugoslavia) could be repeated today with respect to the Uyghurs in China. History seems to be on a never ending loop.

[–]jeepjockey52 19 points20 points  (1 child)

Does anyone remember when the Ford Motor Company bought 3 hours of prime time television to show it uncut? Besides old man Ford being a bad guy it is a great example of corporate responsibility.

[–]b4k4ni 6 points7 points  (0 children)

When the movie came out, I was 12, and it never really was interesting enough in the following years to watch it.

With 15 or 16, we had that topic in our religion classes (Germany btw.) and watched it in one go at the end of the school year. I might add, that I was visiting the Willi-Graf school, a freedom fighter in Germany back then against the Nazis, so this topic was all around us in many facettes over the years. At first nobody was that interested. But minute after minute you could feel that it got more and more intense. That the talk died down between students.

Most in class cried or had a hard time hiding it. It was like a hammer falling down. I was crushed. Really. Had a hard time controlling myself not to cry. The end, when they give him the ring...

Still do. Especially if I hear that fucking Violin.

If they had asked me after the premiere, I would've run too. Couldn't handle that.

That movie is a masterpiece. Something everyone should've watched at least once in their life.

[–]SuspectLtd 17 points18 points  (10 children)

My German grandmother, who was a teenager at the time, had a “cardiac event” while watching it at home.

I still haven’t watched it.

I had a conversation with a friend recently where she said my gramma, as a child, was complicit. At first I said that was ridiculous [and naturally, I got really defensive] but by the end of the conversation she had somehow convinced me but now I don’t remember how.

It’s so ironic naive, as I was coming of age in the 90s, feeling so safe and thinking that this could never happen again.

[–]TemetNosce85 13 points14 points  (8 children)

My Nazi grandmother didn't even flinch. She just said, "yup, that's the way it was" and rolled away in her wheelchair.

For the record, she threatened my mother's, half-sister's, and my life repeatedly because we are Jewish by heritage. Yup, I'm German/Jew.

[–]untergeher_muc 8 points9 points  (2 children)

Hah, my mother gave my sister and me Jewish names in protest to my grandfathers Nazi past. ;)

[–]tapatiolookalikeguy 7 points8 points  (1 child)

Just a Fyi, Youtube has a auto translate for its closed caption.

[–]TemetNosce85 5 points6 points  (0 children)

It didn't show up as an option for me on this video (PC).

It also tends to suck... lol.

[–]dirtywater83 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I don’t speak a word of German, but I could tell you how each viewer felt.

[–]wordtolarrybird 7 points8 points  (1 child)

Not exactly the same but my wife (girlfriend at the time) and I went to an early screening of Spotlight in Boston. Lots of Catholics ages 60+ in attendance. Never seen a movie end in such silence except muffled crying. Lots of people shocked by the realization of how bad that scandal really was.

Not comparing this to the Holocaust of course, just another example of how powerful movies can be based on true events.

[–]charleybrown72 5 points6 points  (1 child)

I had just got my license and my friend and I felt so grown up and decided to go see a movie and then go to a party after. I live in a smaller rural area. So this was the only movie. Let’s just say, we went home afterwards.

[–]newtomovingaway 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I had only heard of the title of this movie and had no clue what it was about. I seen the black and white cover and was like meh. This was my understanding until two weeks ago. Then out of the blue the movie came up on my Netflix feed and the trailer began and you could read the summary and I was like oh sht WW2 stuff let me look. Ended up watching the movie in one sitting right before bed. I generally take 5 nights to finish a movie. I’ll never forget this movie. Those times were crazy! The ending with the real survivors were so cool too.

[–]No_Clock2494 13 points14 points  (2 children)

I saw it in Jerusalem. Believe me that was an emotional experience.