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Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy Giveaway: 20th Anniversary Edition of SCHINDLER’S LIST

Schindler’s List is a film that really doesn’t need much of an introduction from me. If you’ve seen it, you’ve seen it. If you haven’t, you probably should. Perhaps more than any other piece of moving-image media it has contributed to the “media construction” of the Holocaust for contemporary audiences, taking its place alongside Night and Fog, Shoah, The Holocaust, The Diary of Anne Frank, and joined more recently by The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. What helps distinguish Steven Spielberg’s film in terms of cultural impact is the way that it inspired him in 1994 to start The Shoah Foundation; today its Visual History Archive is “the largest digital collection of its kind in the world,” boasting more than 50,000 personal stories and 100,000 hours of video testimony about episodes of genocide from around the world. The Shoah Foundation’s new IWitness program is an interactive tool with a built-in video editor that allows students to connect with 1,300 testimonies in ways that can extend learning far beyond the feature films and documentaries they may have already seen.

In the following days we’ll be examining this incredible edtech resource and its potential applications for student research, core curriculum projects, and media literacy. But for now, thanks to the generosity of Universal Studios Home Entertainment, there are five copies of the above-pictured combo pack (which happens to include some interesting bonus features on The Shoah Foundation and IWitness). Here are the rules to claim one:

1. Double-check that you live in the U.S. or Canada.

2. Leave a thoughtful comment here (through 11:59 pm ET March 7) about either Schindler’s List, The Shoah Foundation, or any media text (including books) that deal with the Holocaust.

3. If you don’t see your comment, just contact me via email or Twitter (see below).

4. I’ll email the five winners, who’ll then be asked to provide (via me) their mailing addresses to the distributor. If I don’t hear back from you within 48 hours of notification, I’ll simply draw another name.


About Peter Gutierrez


  1. Jacqueline Piin says:

    Peter, just seeing the DVD box of this film reminded me of my parents taking me to see it when I was younger. I remember them sitting me down and explaining the historical period and that we were going to see some difficult things. But they insisted that I see the movie. They felt I needed to learn about what happened and how it affected people.

    I will admit I did have nightmares for a while but I am forever thankful to my mom and dad for making the movie a family teachable moment. To this day I will read anything and everything about the Holocaust and actually am considering doing a reading promotion website based off of Schindler’s List. It’s a great way to teach children about the period once they are ready.

    Thank you for this giveaway because it’s already given me programming/booktalk ideas even if I don’t win.

  2. Jacqueline Piin says:

    Schindler’s List is a movie that has memories for me that I can’t even explain but I’m going to try. I went to see it with my parents. They insisted we go, in fact, feeling it was a movie my brother and I needed to see. But they made the experience even more teachable because they sat down with me first. They explained the period and that I was going to see some upsetting things, but that it was important I see and learn.

    I am beyond grateful to them for that and to this day Schindler’s List has become a family event. We watch it whenever it’s on taking to heart the words “Never Forget.” Just seeing the DVD box has already given me an idea for a book talk, so thank you Peter for this giveaway.

  3. I’m glad that you mention and highlight the Shoah Foundation, it’s perhaps the most important project that Spielberg has taken on and one I neglectfully glossed over in my retrospective on him last year. It’s great that he wanted to created something beyond just the one film, something that would live on as a testament, tribute and a preservation of memory. It’s putting the words “never forget” into action and doing something to assure that never happens.

  4. i recently was talking to a friend on my podcast about something that really changed my perspective on the Holocaust, and it has since made me view outbreaks of violence with a new reluctance. i was watching a PBS series (i think) a few years ago called Auschwitz, about the death camp and the ramifications of the Holocaust. it was sponsored by the Shoah Foundation and the Holocaust Museum. on the program, the host had a roundtable with children on one side, and representatives of the Shoah Foundation and Israeli civil rights organizations on the other. after the program presented a documentary on a certain year in the Auschwitz Camp, they had a roundtable discussion on what the children learned, and given context by the representatives. at a certain point, they got on the topic of “understanding”; that understanding violence leads to a societal exploration in how to prevent it. the representative from the Shoah Foundation surprised me by saying “no, we should not try to understand it.” i was taken aback. this was the first time i ever heard someone rally against the sympathy and compassion of the dark part of the human condition when tragedy strikes. he went on to explain that, when we understand something, we can write off tragedy, destruction, violence, mass murder and anything a human being does, because we are given a doorway into his/her psychology. understanding is compassion. understanding is calm. and when we understand, we can let it go and forget. so then, when another violent outbreak occurs, we simply return to our former understanding: “he was abused as a child,” “he had too much availability of guns in his life,” “he wasn’t loved enough,” etc. etc.

    what understanding does, as the representative said, was apply a salve to our wound. and he continued to say that the Holocaust should never be forgiven (not in a religious aspect, but in a “society learning to forget” aspect). and this truly touched me. it shocked me and opened my mind to the topic of Jewish history and the Holocaust that i find fascinating. we shouldn’t try to “understand” Hitler, the SS or the Final Solution in a way that waters down our perspective of violence. it SHOULD hurt. it SHOULD shock. it SHOULD make us sick to see what extent the human mind can go to to obliterate a people through racism and mass violence.

    it should be pain. it should be sadness. through this lack of this “understanding,” there will be less compassion to the killers and more to the victims. our society will have a document of true evil. it will not be watered down. and in a way that might deter. maybe.

  5. David H. says:

    Schindler’s List is one of the all-time greatest films. It is a film you really can’t describe in just one sentence. Not only was it one of the best films of the 1990s, but it was a cultural milestone in the cinematic art form. It described in very honest detail, one of the most horrifying events in human history: the Holocaust.

    It was one of Spielberg’s most ambitious projects, and one of his better films. If you should see a film about history, the people behind it, and the witness of human courage, you see this film, because it is one of the most accurate depictions of what is was really like for a people.

    It is also one of the most stunning, stark, and challenging black-and-white films ever made, and of the reasons that b&w films really also matter. Film history just wouldn’t be complete without this important masterpiece.

  6. Bitsy Griffin says:

    I usually take a crate of books on vacation and read them all, except for the summer I took Schindler’s List. It was the second book I pulled out and nothing else was read. It was too thought provoking and took too much energy to be a sail-through book. In hindsight, I don’t know why I thought it would be. In a rare turn, I’d actually seen the movie before reading the book. I knew it would be daunting and devastating and exhausting when I picked it up. I remember the images from the movie that kept coming back to me as I read. I’d have to stop and process and reread, stop and process and reread.

    As a librarian, I’m thrilled with the desire so many students have to read historical texts. AND even more thrilled when they want to discuss them. This year, my school has placed an emphasis on reading historical fiction in conjunction with related non-fiction. Students have been drawn to certain time periods, and the Holocaust has been a favorite. I say favorite because of the sheer numbers of requests. Most students only have an small notion of what the time period is really about before choosing a book set in WWII. War is extremely fascinating. I’m so grateful for the wealth of older and newer materials for young adults that accurately portray this terrible time in history. I’ve tried to provide multiple copies of books like The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Number the Stars, The Life and Death of Adolph Hitler, etc. so that students can read books together to discuss their content in addition to reading multiple texts about the same time period. But, when they come back to me and want to continue discussions about hate and desire and cruelty and all the unanswerable questions begging to be understood by preteens, I know there’s a chance that history might not repeat itself because we have future leaders who truly want to understand the hows and the whys of some of the hard, painful questions of the past.

  7. Shockingly I have yet to see this. I’ve wanted to see it for so long because I’ve heard it is an amazing movie!

  8. Shemp DeYoung (@shempgames) says:

    I think one of the things that Schindler’s List accomplished was that it presented a very real portrayal of what life was like during that period in history. It was also important for those of us who grew up in parts of this country where there were no Jewish people and very few people who could share the kind of real world tales with us.

  9. Donna Phillips says:

    This is a film students in our history classes see every year, with parent permission. I always feel that those who don’t see it are missing out on an important visual representation of the holocaust that they just can’t wrap their minds around in any other way. The discussion that results from viewing the film shows how much students are impacted by the experience.

  10. I think Schindler’s List is so important, because so many people only get information on the Holocaust from movies, and whereas many people would be unlikely to sit through Claude Lanzmann’s 9 1/2 hour documentary, they would go see a Steven Spielberg film. But the fact that it is 20 years old means that there are many who have never seen this film. I am so glad there is an anniversary edition!

  11. Gabrielle Sobilo says:

    For me, the Holocaust has been one of the most fascinating time periods in history. Though I have read many books such as Number the Stars, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, A Diary of a Ann Frank, MAUS, The Book Thief, Night, and seen movies such as, The Pianist, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and went to a concentration camp in Auschwitz Poland, I still have not seen Schnindler’s List. Schindler’s List has been highly recommended to me by both my colleagues and friends, and I really want to see it, but I just have not found the time for it yet.

  12. Gabrielle Sobilo says:

    The Holocaust has been one of the most fascinating time periods in history for me. Though I have read many books such as Number the Stars, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, A Diary of a Ann Frank, MAUS, The Book Thief, Night, and seen movies such as, The Pianist, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and went to a concentration camp in Auschwitz Poland, I still have not seen Schnindler’s List. Schindler’s List has been highly recommended to me by both my colleagues and friends, and I really want to see it, but I just have not found the time for it yet.

  13. My sixth graders are a bit young to for us to go too deep into the Holocaust, but I have used the Paper Clips story ( in the past as a way to explore the concept and to connect it to our understanding of the world.
    For me, personally, the movie — Schindler’s List — still resonates years after I watched it, as much for the theme as the film’s art. Is there anything more powerful or surprising to see that splash of color in the movie. It’s like some gentle jolt to the audience, a reminder of the emotional underpinnings of the movie.

  14. Paul Saunders says:

    I’m a deaf teacher who works at a school for the deaf. I work with students that are deaf/hard of hearing with a wide variety of disabilities. The classes I teach are:US History, World History. I believe the website would provide my students the needed tools that are visual (events of the Holocaust and the impact of Nazism in Germany) My students need visual instruction along with printed words and the movie would provide that along with subtitles and closed captioning. I hope the Sloan Foundation would add captioning or transcripts so my students and I can fully absorb the experiences of those survivors. The other resources would be useful in my classroom and I do plan to keep the website in my bookmarks so it will be accessed when I teach students along with Common Core standards.

  15. Being Jewish, I have met many Holocaust survivors over the years, but just like our WWII vets who are dying by the hundreds everyday, so, too, are the survivors. There are not many left. If it were not for Steven Spielberg and his founding of the Shoah foundation, the stories of these amazing individuals, and the righteous gentiles who helped them survive, would be lost forever. I am now starting to meet the grandchildren of the survivors, and while they knew of the their family members experiences, the details, in many cases, in all of its horribleness, have never been shared. Again, the survivors descendants have a place to learn more about the lives of their ancestors and how how by sheer luck and miracles, they exist because of their determination to survive. Spielberg could easily have passed into eternity as just another Hollywood film maker, but to his credit, he chose a noble endeavor to honor all those who participated in the Holocaust, those who died in the camps, those who help saved Europeans Jews, those who died helping and those who survived. What an example everyone has set for our students and generations to come and I will forever be indebted.

  16. From generation to generation, we watch and listen as the voices of the Holocaust transition from real people to characters in scripts and words on a page. The responsibility to ensure that those voices will be heard forever – that The Shoah Foundation, and so many other organizations, historians, writers, and others have taken on, is enormous. Learning from the past helps all of us deal with our present and helps our children to better navigate their future.

  17. Shae C. says:

    I remember reading Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young girl when I was in sixth grade. Before then, any mention of the Holocaust was simply glossed over in my previous social studies classes. I absolutely adored Anne Frank and her writing ability. I had never experienced history outside of a standard textbook, and since reading her diary, I have developed a keen interest in history, particularly European history. I feel that primary resources such as Anne’s work are excellent examples of nonfiction for reluctant readers. As a girl around Anne’s age when I read her book, I was particularly fascinated by her life and relationships — I found myself constantly comparing my world to hers. It is a shame that such a positive and amazingly skilled young girl could not live out the dreams she so intimately shared with her diary and (unbeknown to her) the world.

  18. Richard C says:

    Like many of the others, Schinder’s List is a film that has stayed with me long after I first watched it in school years ago. Despite having only seen it once more since, in college this time, the film is as fresh in my mind and the emotion felt at key moments still easily felt as if I had just watched it yesterday.

    The Holocaust is one of the most important moments in modern human history. A moment that should be studied, remembered, and immortalized in the desperate hope that we can one day learn enough from our past to prevent it from happening again and again in the present and future. Schinder’s List is one of the best examples of how to immortalize not only the horror and cruelty of the Holocaust, but the acts of good and heroism that saved only a few or countless lives, but made all the difference to those affected as well.

    It is certainly a powerful movie for sure.

  19. Constance Pentzer says:

    When Schindler’s List first came out in the theaters, I did not go to see it. I was familiar with the book and knew that the visual and auditory experience would be one I did not want to share with a crowd of strangers. When it came out in VHS, I watched at home. The small screen did not carry the impact that the theater would have; however, the story is so powerful that its message comes through no matter what the size of the screen. Alone I watched, cried, and grieved.

    The Shoah Foundation and its Visual Archive will ensure that these stories are not lost, the voices are not forgotten, and the next generation can learn the truth.

  20. Kathryn Harcourt says:

    History has unlimited perspectives: who experienced what and how? Books and films about the Holocaust usually focus on one aspect of this particular time period. The point of view of a son of a Nazi officer relocated by a concentration camp (The Boy in the Striped Pajamas); an officer secretly trying to save as many Jews as possible through surreptitious means (Schlinder’s list), a family’s relocation and separation to concentration camps (Between Shades of Gray), and other families hiding Nazi capture and persecution (The Diary of Anne Frank) — among numerous other sources — all provide different aspects of this horrific period in our time period. Books take us to these places in our imaginations; films can bring the scenery, sounds, and even some of the visual horrors to life. They are a great medium for sharing with students and prompting further discussion.

  21. Emily Taylor says:

    Schindler’s List has impacted my classroom for many years. I took 150 students with parental permission to view it in the theater and have used it in my Holocaust course ever since. It has spurred research and further discussion every year. I made a promise to a survivor in 1997 that I would make sure that her story is never forgotten.

  22. Connie Healer says:

    Although I am too late to enter the drawing, I just wanted to add my own thoughts and how they relate to one of today’s major issues of bullying. As a librarian in an Alternative HS, most of my work is done one-on-one with students doing research, or looking for an interesting book to read. A chill runs up and down my spine when I hear students my discussing this period of history in the modern world in a manner that shows their lack of knowledge of what happened, or their indifference to it as if it could never happen again. This gives me the perfect opportunity to talk about Schindler’s List and the Boy in the Striped Pajamas, the Holocaust Museum close to us, the various books our library owns that are related, my trip to Mauthausen, and today’s issues of bullying and extremist groups such as skinheads. It is incumbent for all of us to keep talking to our students so that they know what happened then, can repeat itself within their lifetime. When we connect the past and present with facts and evidence, those who did not believe before, do now. I have seen the attitudes of some, but not all – yet, of my most recalcitrant students change. Take the time.

  23. It’s a very powerful film that just breaks me open every time I see it. My friend, who is of Jewish heritage, encouraged me to accompany her to the theater to see the movie. I wasn’t expecting to be so moved and deeply affected by the story.