Spielberg was just a kid when Holocaust survivor Poldek Pfefferberg set out to bring Oskar Schindler to the big screen. He opened a leather goods store in Beverley Hills in 1950 and used the location chosen to tell the story to anyone in the film industry. In 1951, he approached Fritz Lang to direct a film based on the theme, and the Austrian conductor of “Metropolis” and “M” would make a capable and worthy choice; Lang himself is of Jewish origin and fled Germany in 1933 after Joseph Goebbels offered him a job. Unfortunately, his potential version didn’t work out.
Pfefferberg persisted for another 30 years until one day in 1980, someone finally absorbed the story. Australian author Thomas Keneally came to town looking for a new briefcase. After visiting Pfefferberg’s store, he not only found something to bring his papers to, but also the raw materials for a Booker Prize-winning novel. Pfefferberg was heavily involved, acting as Kenneally’s advisor and traveling with him to Poland to visit important sites. Kenneally later dedicated the book to him.
“Schindler’s Ark” was published in 1982. MCA president Sid Sheinberg first brought it to the attention of Spielberg, who was gaining attention after directing consecutive Best Picture Oscar nominations, ” Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “ET the Extra -On Earth.” He showed enough interest in the story for Universal to buy the rights, but there was a glitch. Although Spielberg recognized the importance of making a film on the subject, he still did not feel mature enough to run the project on his own.
Meanwhile, Mr. Pfefferberg tirelessly continued the case, claiming that he called Spielberg’s office weekly for 11 years about making the film.
https://www.slashfilm.com/1003305/it-was-a-long-and-winding-road-getting-schindlers-list-to-the-big-screen/ It’s been a long and winding road to bringing Schindler’s list to the big screen