A book, written by Wladyslaw Szpilman
The Pianist is a book that stays in your mind long after you have turned
the last page. It tells the traumatic and courageous story of the polish
pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman.
The book begins with a wonderful foreword from Szpilman's son, Andrzej
Szpilman, who describes how he found his father's book on a bookshelf
and discovered the reason why he did not have any grandparents.
Wladyslaw Szpilman lived with his family in Warsaw, Poland, with his
father and mother, his two sisters Regina and Halina, and his brother
Henryk. They were a Jewish family. Wladyslaw worked at the Polish radio
station as a pianist. After the invasion of the German army in Warsaw,
it was not long before numerous decrees applying exclusively to the Jewish
community were published. The Jewish people were forbidden to travel by
train, they had to hand over their money and real estate and were given
armbands to wear, branding them as Jews - as if it was something they
had to be ashamed of.
This systematic racial abuse increased until it was announced that the
Jewish people would need to do service in concentration camps, where the
German Authorities told them they would receive 'social education'. The
Third Reich ladled the Jewish people as the parasites of humanity. They
told the people of Warsaw that the Jewish people had diseases that could
spread to people who were not Jewish; the German Authorities decreed that
Jews must live in a separate Jewish quarter of the city, the Jewish ghetto.
In the ghetto people lived in fear from minute to minute; starving, ill,
tired and witnessing scenes of unspeakable horror. People were shot at
random by bored German soldiers; others were registered and sent to concentration
When the German's "cleansing" operation spread into the Ghetto
where Wladyslaw lived, he lost his entire family who were sent to a concentration
camp, never to be seen again. He survived by hiding with friends, and
sometimes strangers, who were willing to help him. He spent his life fighting
for survival until weeks before the end of the war when his hunger forced
him to steal food from a building in Warsaw. Here he encountered a German
Officer Wilm Hosenfeld, the last man imaginable to save Wladyslaw's life.
Szpilman had difficulty getting the book published in his home country
in any volume. The book may have been considered controversial by the
Authorities, because it was a German officer who helped save Wladyslaw
Roman Polanski's film, based on the book, has the following cast:
© 2002 Minadream.com