Thomas Keneally

Australian novelist
(Redirected from Schindler's Ark)

Thomas Michael Keneally AO (born 7 October 1935) is an Australian, novelist playwright, and essayist. His best-known work, Schindler's Ark, won the Booker Prize and was adapted as the film Schindler's List directed by Steven Spielberg.

Thomas Keneally in 2012


From 1993 onwards, the book has been published under the title Schindler's List.
  • Fatal human malice is the staple of narrators, original sin the mother-fluid of historians. But it is a risky enterprise to have to write of virtue.
    • Prologue
  • In times like these, he said, it must be hard for the churches to go on telling people that their Heavenly Father cared about the death of even a single sparrow. He'd hate to be a priest, Herr Schindler said, in an era like this, when life did not have the value of a packet of cigarettes. Stern agreed but suggested, in the spirit of the discussion, that the Biblical reference Herr Schindler had made could be summed up by a Talmudic verse which said that he who saves the life of one man, saves the entire world.
  • The more Orthodox of the ghetto had a slogan—"An hour of life is still life."
    • Ch. 16
  • The list is an absolute good. The list is life. All round its cramped margins lies the gulf.
    • Ch. 31
  • In those uneasy two days, between the declaration of peace and its accomplishment, one of the prisoners, a jeweler named Licht, had been making a present for Oskar, something more expressive than the metal stud box he'd been given on his birthday. Licht was working with a rare quantity of gold. … Licht melted the gold down and by noon on May 8 was engraving an inscription on the inner circle in Hebrew. It was a Talmudic verse which Stern had quoted to Oskar in the front office of Buchheister's in October 1939. "He who saves a single life saves the world entire."


  • Peter Thompson: Was one of the things that really attracted you to the story, the obvious moral ambiguity of Schindler?

    Tom Keneally: Absolutely, it was the fact that you couldn't say where opportunism ended and altruism began. And I like the subversive fact that the spirit breatheth where it will. That is that, good will emerged from the most unlikely places.

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