The Pianist: The Extra­or­di­nary True Sto­ry of One Man’s Sur­vival in War­saw, 1939 – 1945

Wla­dys­law Szpilman

  • From the Publisher
August 1, 2014

On Sep­tem­ber 23, 1939, Wla­dys­law Szpil­man played Chopin’s Noc­turne in C‑sharp minor live on the radio as shells explod­ed out­side — so loud­ly that he couldn’t hear his piano. It was the last live music broad­cast from War­saw: That day, a Ger­man bomb hit the sta­tion, and Pol­ish Radio went off the air.

Though he lost his entire fam­i­ly, Szpil­man sur­vived in hid­ing. In the end, his life was saved by a Ger­man offi­cer who heard him play the same Chopin Noc­turne on a piano found among the rub­ble. Writ­ten imme­di­ate­ly after the war and sup­pressed for decades, The Pianist is a stun­ning tes­ta­ment to human endurance and the redemp­tive pow­er of fel­low feeling.

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