In Schindler's list there's a scene in which Amon Göth, the commandant of the concentration camp, shoots some prisoners from his balcony. His first victim is a woman that stopped to tie her shoes. He shoots her, and behind her there's a small explosion. Why is that?

I've made a GIF of it:

Explosion behind the woman shot by Amon Göth

It can't just be the result of the bullet hitting the ground - unless he was using some special, explosive bullets. I know nothing about weapons and have no idea whether such bullets can exist, or could at the time of WW2, but shortly afterwards he shoots another woman, and there's no explosion. And if the bullet was explosive, why is there no explosion when the first bullet hits the woman?

Is it simply an oversight on the director's part? I am not convinced, as it is quite visible, and it would hardly go unnoticed.

So what is that explosion? Why is it there?

2 Answers 2


I'd suggest it is an SFX error.

The rifle Göth /Fiennes is using is a 6.5 x 54mm Mannlicher-Schoenauer Sporter.

enter image description here

It is possible for such an explosion to occur if explosive rounds were used.

And, although there were explosive rounds used by German (and Russian) sniper's in WWII--called the B-Patrone--the calibre was 7.92x57mm. Therefore, the only rifles capable of holding these rounds would be the K98 and Vz.24 (both used by the Wehrmacht and in the film).

By order of German High Command the B-Patrone rounds were only allowed to be used on the Eastern Front and not on the Western Front.

That being said, it is perfectly reasonable that someone like Göth could have access to such rounds, but explosive rounds for the rifle he is using did not--as far as I know--exist.


It's a mine. That's a mine field in the background, and the bullet struck a mine upon exiting the woman's head.

  • 2
    Welcome to Movies.SE! This seems like a logical explanation, but is there any evidence that that is indeed a minefield behind the woman, and not just an ordinary patch of dirt?
    – F1Krazy
    Jan 23, 2021 at 9:57

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