In Schindler's List (1993), in a scene where relocated to the labor camp outside of Krakow, Jews who survived the liquidation stand in long rows.

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This scene occured right before another scene where Schindler is chauffeured to Goeth's villa for a fancy meal with high-ranking German officers.

Why did commandant Goeth spare some Jews during liquidation of Ghetto?

  • :/ liquidation of Ghetto was moving people to concentration camp. They were slowly killed off later in the camp.
    – Mithoron
    Commented Oct 14, 2020 at 15:53
  • 3
    Rather than downvote this new contributor, can I suggest someone answer the question. It may seem obvious to you, but I do understand that someone unfamiliar with the history might misinterpret what is going on here. Goeth isn't sparing anyone here - they are going to be worked to death here or exterminated in other camps they are shipped to - people were cleared from the ghettos to these camps, they were not spared by being here. This isn't directed at Mithoron, I've no idea where the downvote came from. The comment is perfectly good - but could definitely be upgraded to an answer.
    – iandotkelly
    Commented Oct 14, 2020 at 17:28

1 Answer 1


The answer is right there in your question: labor camp. The Germans were at war and viewed all potential labor as a military resource. The Germans had competing requirements for war industry labor and military manpower. Making the Jews and other classes of people that were put into camps work freed up German men for military service. Goeth wasn’t sparing them, he was using them for the war effort. That he later murdered some of these workers on whim shows the depths people can sink to when they sufficiently dehumanize others, but his focus was still largely on getting maximum production out of his prisoners. Schindler used this practical imperative to save as many of the people as he could, arguing that he even needed the children because their small hands let them polish the insides of shell casings.

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