Sunday, April 18, 2010

Schindler's List

Schindler's List by Thomas Keneally

Most of the world has seen the film, but not read the book. I saw the film years ago and remember not really liking it. So when I picked up the book to read, I was a bit nervous that I wouldn't like it. I started reading Schindler's List in February and during that month something serendipitous happened. I was asked to chaperone a trip to the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. This was a dream come true for me. Literally books can bring you to magical places and bring new opportunities to your life. This is one instance.

It took me about two months to finish Schindler's List. This is not an easy read. The first 200 pages were difficult mainly because of all the Polish and German words and then trying to connect all the different people. I ended up taking a month long break from the book. I never do this, I always read a book cover to cover. But this was the right choice and I when I went back to reading it, I was prepared to finish it.

I read the book on the plane to and from the Holocaust Museum and I am so glad I did. The Museum was such an emotional and moving testament to the people of the Holocaust. Schindler's List really prepared me for what I would see there. Afterwards, it helped me to reflect on the importance of continuing to read about the Holocaust and other difficult life matters, so that we as a world community never forget and we tell our secrets without shame.

While in the bookstore at the Holocaust Museum I found the book THE GIRL IN THE RED COAT by Roma Ligocka. The girl in the red coat is in the story of Schindler's List. So I was immediately drawn to it. The back cover said that the author recognized herself in the film and was then forced to confront her past which inspired her to write this memoir. This book is now on my to be read list.

This book definitely deserves its status as one of the 1001 books you must read before you die. I would definitely recommend this book but give yourself plenty of time to read it. It is not a book that you travel through quickly or easily but it is truly memorable and inspiring.

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