Itzhak Stern

Portrayed as Schindler’s right-hand accountant throughout the film, Itzhak Stern was also his connection to Jewish investors, the first step on  Schindler’s path to leaving a legacy. These investors helped Schindler jump start a new business during the peak of anti-Semitic action, which was the product later responsible for saving thousands of Jews. Throughout Schindler’s List, Stern worked as Schindler’s managing bookkeeper over the company.

Something that needs to be understood is Stern’s influence over Schindler’s progression from corrupt profit-seeker to “righteous gentile,” a non-Jew who risked his own life saving Jews during the Holocaust. Though Schindler did approach Stern seeking a new, experienced accountant, Stern was first to inform him that Jewish slave labor would cost less than labor from the Polish. Because Schindler was so focused on making money, he sought out Jewish individuals to work for him. This began his relationship with his Jewish “family,” reaching numbers over 1,000. He would eventually save his workers’ lives.

When Stern was buried in 1969, Schindler was seen crying at the graveside.

Itzhak Stern was exemplified throughout Schindler’s List as a composite of Mieotek Pemper, Marcel Goldberg and Stern. Goldberg, Jewish himself, has been recognized for organizing a male and female “list” of Jews that were meant to be saved through the use of Schindler’s factory. Goldberg is known as having been Schindler’s “personal clerk,” but displayed purely corrupt morals within Nazi Germany, despite his Jewish descent. Steven Spielberg omitted Goldberg from Schindler’s List in order to give audiences a more wholesome “fairtale” story about Oskar Schindler’s moral growth due to his relationship with the Jewish workers. Therefore, Stern’s character was an all-encompassing concept of the numerous Jews who had an influence over Schindler and the lists recognized in his name.

 

 

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