Schindler's list opens in a Jewish family's home. The Jews are reciting in prayer for the Sabbath day around a table full of candles, signaling the freedom of the present day Jews. But the Jewish didn't always have freedom to express themselves, the start of WWll was the start of five very long and hard years for the Jewish Population of Germany and Poland. .
The German forces defeat the Polish in weeks. Soon afterward, the Jews are forced out of their homes to report to the train station, where their names are registered. Over 10,000 Jews are being shipped off to Krakow. People tease and yell at any Jew they see in the street. An example of persecution ( being treated differently because of ones own beliefs.) There would be far worse examples of persecution as the Holocaust moves on. .
In Krakow the ghetto is overcrowded with Jews. The Jewish people are all gathered together and organized into working groups by the Judenrat (Jewish council comprised of twenty-four elected Jews responsible for the order). Oscar Schindler who was a German businessman and who held the Nazis in very high regard, in fact he bought himself right into the Nazi party and became a very popular one himself, visited the ghetto. He wished to see Itzhak Stern, a Jew that owns a pot-making factory. Jews are no longer allowed to own businesses ( another example of persecution) so Oskar makes a deal with Itzhak, and plans to take over the factory after trading money and appointing him his factory manager. Schindler hired jews in order to have a higher profit margin in his factory.
It is now March 20, 1941 - the deadline for entering the ghetto. Edict 44/91 establishes a Jewish district. All Jews are now forced to pack their belongings and move out of their homes by German soldiers. When the Jews arrive to the ghetto, they receive housing assignments and are forced to be in tight living quarters. At this point I believe that the Jews are treated as cattle because they are herded from their homes and made to live in barracks and sleep on a bed of straw, but again there will be worse cases.