7. Schindler used bribery to keep his factories outside the camp
The SS guards at the Plaszow concentration camp were notorious for their random shooting of prisoners, an activity encouraged by their commandant, who practiced it himself as an example to his men. Workers were essential to Schindler maintaining his ability to fulfill his contracts and thus his coffers, and he was determined to keep his workers away from Goth and his men. The myth perpetuated by Schindler’s List, that he was inspired to action during an epiphany-like moment during the liquidation of the ghetto, didn’t happen. Schindler moved to assist the Jews in his employ, and eventually others as well, in a methodical fashion, with his business interests and the luxurious lifestyle in which they kept him always a part of the equation. He was as much mercenary as merciful.
To keep his workers free from the SS guards, Schindler persuaded Goth to allow him to build a camp on the grounds of his factory, using company funds (which he recovered using creative billing on his contracts). He eventually housed the Jews in his employ, as well as about 450 from other factories, in the sub-camp at DEF. During this time the Eastern front was beginning to show signs of collapse, and the Allies were making progress against the Germans in the west. The Allied bombing effort was gearing up and increasing evidence indicated that the Germans were losing the war on all fronts. According to some sources, during 1943 Schindler was contacted by Zionist leaders and began transporting funds for the Jewish underground in Europe from contacts in Budapest, to which he often traveled on business with the Hungarian government.