In 1939, the Germans move Polish Jews to the Kraków Ghetto as World War II begins. Oskar Schindler, an ethnic German businessman from Moravia, arrives in the city hoping to make a fortune as a war profiteer. Schindler, a member of the Nazi Party, lavishes bribes upon Wehrmacht and SS officials. Sponsored by the military, Schindler acquires a factory for the production of army mess kits. Not knowing much about how to run such an enterprise, he gains a collaborator, Itzhak Stern, an official of Krakow's Judenrat (Jewish Council) who has contacts with the Jewish business community and the black marketers inside the ghetto. The Jewish businessmen lend Schindler money in return for a share of products produced. Opening the factory, Schindler pleases the Nazis and enjoys newfound wealth and status as "Herr Direktor", while Stern handles administration. Schindler hires Jewish Poles instead of Catholic Poles because they cost less. Workers in Schindler's factory are allowed outside the ghetto, and Stern ensures that as many people as possible are deemed "essential" to the German war effort, saving them from being transported to concentration camps or killed.