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The last live broadcast on Polish Radio, on September 23, 1939, was Chopin's Nocturne in C# Minor, played by a young pianist named Wladyslaw Szpilman, until his playing was interrupted by German shelling. It was the same piece and the same pianist, when broadcasting resumed six years later. The Pianist is Szpilman's account of the years inbetween, of the death and cruelty inflicted on the Jews of Warsaw and on Warsaw itself, related with a dispassionate restraint borne of shock. Szpilman, now 88, has not looked at his description since he wrote it in 1946 (the same time as Primo Levi's If This Is A Man?; it is too personally painful. The rest of us have no such excuse.

Szpilman's family were deported to Treblinka, where they were exterminated; he survived only because a music-loving policeman recognised him. This was only the first in a series of fatefully lucky escapes that littered his life as he hid among the rubble and corpses of the Warsaw Ghetto, growing thinner and hungrier, yet condemned to live. Ironically it was a German officer, Wilm Hosenfeld, who saved Szpilman's life by bringing food and an eiderdown to the derelict ruin where he discovered him. Hosenfeld died seven years later in a Stalingrad labour camp, but portions of his diary, reprinted here, tell of his outraged incomprehension of the madness and evil he witnessed, thereby establishing an effective counterpoint to ground the nightmarish vision of the pianist in a desperate reality. Szpilman originally published his account in Poland in 1946, but it was almost immediately withdrawn by Stalin's Polish minions as it unashamedly described collaborations by Lithuanians, Ukrainians, Poles and Jews with the Nazis. In 1997 it was published in Germany after Szpilman's son found it on his father's bookcase. This admirably robust translation by Anthea Bell is the first in the English language. There were 3,500,000 Jews in Poland before the Nazi occupation; after it there were 240,000. Wladyslaw Szpilman's extraordinary account of his own miraculous survival offers a voice across the years for the faceless millions who lost their lives. --David Vincent

222 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1946

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About the author

Władysław Szpilman

4 books341 followers
Polish pianist, composer and memoirist.
Szpilman is widely known as the protagonist of the Roman Polański film The Pianist , which is based on his autobiographical book recounting how he survived the Holocaust. In November 1998 Władysław Szpilman was honoured by the president of Poland with a Kommandor Order with a Star of Polonia Restituta.

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5 stars
38,409 (50%)
4 stars
24,336 (31%)
3 stars
9,689 (12%)
2 stars
2,429 (3%)
1 star
1,860 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,634 reviews
Profile Image for Samadrita.
295 reviews4,677 followers
January 7, 2014
This is the first time I am reviewing a book that I have tried and failed to rate.

How do I decide on a rating anyway? Should I judge the prose? the content? the author's style of presentation? his narrative voice? the quality of the translation?
Do I even have the right to?

Awarding a star rating to this man's unbelievably harrowing and miraculous tale of surviving a war which claimed the lives of 6 million of his fellow brethren for no reason at all, seems a more sacrilegious act than calling Infinite Jest a bad book on Goodreads.

So I choose not to.

Wladyslaw Szpilman, a pianist working for the Polish radio station, takes us through the years of Nazi occupation of Poland and Warsaw, in particular, and the insensate violence that had the Jewish inhabitants of the city (the ones who were fortunate enough to be spared the concentration camps) living the most brutal and unforgiving of nightmares for a period of almost 5 years.

Wladyslaw Szpilman

Szpilman writes with a kind of unnerving indifference, as if this were someone else's tale of horrors he is narrating and not his own. It is obvious that since he had written this in 1946, immediately after the war, his senses may still have been numbed under the influence of the barbarous acts he had witnessed through the 6 years of the Occupation. His voice doesn't sound sarcastic, debilitated or even a little bit acerbic. Instead, he gives us a neat, uncluttered, unemotional, chronologically ordered account of events which saw him narrowly escaping certain death many, many times.

But this is not just his story. A surprise awaits the unsuspecting reader at the very end, in the form of Wilm Hosenfeld, a Nazi officer who saved Szpilman's life in the last few months of 1944. An astonishingly mild-mannered, generous soul who not only kept the knowledge of Szpilman's existence a secret from the other SS officers, but saved him from certain death out of starvation and the unbearable cold.

But true to the nature of war which justifies countering violence with more violence, Hosenfeld was taken as a prisoner of war when the Soviets finally recaptured Poland. He was tortured to death years later (1952) in some unnamed labor camp in the icy swathes of Stalingrad. His tormentors were especially cruel with him, angered by his claims of having saved the lives of many Jews and Poles during the Warsaw occupation. Which, of course, was nothing but the truth.*

Wilhelm Adalbert Hosenfeld

It goes without saying, while reading this book I had no sense of time or any movement around me, I had no idea whether it was still daytime or whether night had fallen. Turning over the last page, when I finally took note of my surroundings I discovered my pillow was half-wet with tears and that I had a dreadful headache.

Some of the most poignant, haunting and reflective passages of the narrative are in Wilm's journal which was recovered years later and incorporated into Szpilman's memoir -
"Evil and brutality lurk in the human heart. If they are allowed to develop freely, they flourish, putting out dreadful offshoots...."

A mere German officer seems to have had the moral strength to admit -
"Our entire nation will have to pay for all these wrongs and this unhappiness, all the crimes we have committed. Many innocent people must be sacrificed before the blood-guilt we've incurred can be wiped out. That's an inexorable law in small and large things alike."

And yet the "great" Der Führer, in front of whom a vast Empire bowed down at one point of time, could only choose the coward's way out by committing suicide in the end.

A million stars to the courage of Wladyslaw Szpilman, who aided the Jewish resistance in the Warsaw ghetto, disregarding the constant threat to his own life. A million stars to his unflinchingly honest attempt at looking back at a terrible past. A million stars for enabling the citizens of the world to read, know and derive lessons from the story of his life. A million stars to Wilm Hosenfeld for holding on to his conscience at a time when morality and compassion were in short supply.

And a million stars to the triumph of the human spirit.

(So you see the correct rating of this book should be 5 million stars which is beyond the scope of Goodreads.)

*Wilm Hosenfeld was posthumously recognized as a Righteous among the Nations in 2009 by Israel.

P.S.:- This review maybe updated after I watch the movie.
Profile Image for Violet wells.
433 reviews3,223 followers
March 29, 2018
You might say all of us owe our very existence to the lottery of chance that allowed our ancestors to survive the second world war. Maybe this is one reason I find it such a compelling subject. The margins of genetic survival were narrowed to a much greater extent than at any time in recent history. And of course if you're Jewish this was exacerbated a thousand-fold and more. If you were interned in the Warsaw Ghetto your chances of survival were about the same as any of us being struck by lightning in our lifetime. So one huge point of interest here, behind all the horror, is how did this man manage to survive? I can't answer this question. It doesn't appear to have anything to do with any quality he possessed that others didn't. He wasn't particularly intrepid or brave or robust physically, he wasn't inordinately wealthy, he didn't breach his ethics to survive. In fact, at times he seems almost comically inept as any kind of resistor, never highlighted better than when at the end of the war he goes to meet the Russian liberators dressed in a German military overcoat. (The woman soldier who shoots at him misses.) In some ways he reminds me of Primo Levi, another highly sensitive artistic man who you'd think wouldn't have the qualities to survive. I always remember his account of how he was captured as a partisan. His band didn't have a single weapon and were caught hiding in the kind of hideout children make. Surely the odds of someone so ill-suited to the deprivations and depravities of a death camp wouldn't last three months?

There were several key moments when individuals who might easily have murdered Szpilman let him off the hook. Was it charm? He doesn't though come across as particularly charming. He doesn't get on with his brother and takes little interest in his sisters. He seems a bit of an introspective loner, unrealistic (he's often worrying about the health of his hands and the implications frostbite will have on his career as a pianist). It's as if he carried with him some untouchable quality that his persecutors recognised. That he was marked out to survive. There's always a kind of mysticism at work in these survival stories. To realise this is also to begin to understand the tragic phenomenon of survivor guilt. How hard it must be to be singled out as special when you know you're no more special than countless others who perished.

Perhaps even harder to comprehend than the gas chambers are the personal and intimate acts of barbarity, especially the cold-blooded killing of children. In this regard the Ukrainian and Lithuanian SS are particularly monstrous. It's probably important to remember it wasn't only Germans who were sadistic killers. One horror they performed was to smash the heads of children against a wall by swinging them by the legs. I remember watching an interview with a Lithuanian guard who had participated in countless atrocities. His answer to every question was to tell the interviewer he couldn't possibly understand. He refused to apologise. As far as he was concerned he had paid his penance by spending ten years in a Russian gulag as if he considered what he did little more than an illegal act. He struck me as a completely worthless human being. And I couldn't for the life of me understand why fate had chosen to usher him safely into old age. The pathetic self-love this man must have possessed to believe his life was more important than the barbarous acts he performed beggars belief.
Profile Image for Tammy.
523 reviews438 followers
January 2, 2018
There is no way for me to rate or review this book that would do it justice. Read it. Read it now.
Profile Image for Steven  Godin.
2,494 reviews2,376 followers
May 27, 2022
This memoir is simply one of the best ever written on the Warsaw Ghetto, and has a significant educational, historical, and literary value that the world should never forget. Szpilman, a Jewish classical pianist, played the last of his live music from Warsaw before Polish Radio went off the air in September 1939 as the Nazis invaded Poland. In a tone that is at once dispassionate and immediate, Szpilman relates the terrible horrors of life inside the ghetto.

This book has a glaring clarity to it, and he brings to life the banalities of this gut-wrenching existence that was heartbreaking, shocking, and unforgettable. He shows how Jewish residents of the Polish capital adjusted to life under the occupation, and there are times, when he describes with calm detachment devoid of fury the many corpses littered about the streets of the ghetto, and the daily public executions, that you feel he may still be shell-shocked. Hiding out in various buildings, after escaping a train ride to death, and working in a labour camp, there were many times when he thought this is the end, and even planned his suicide with the Nazis closing in. only for him to survive another day, another week, another month, and so on. What he endured is a testament to the human spirit, he simply found a way to keep going, while hell was everywhere around him.

His writing I found his lucid prose had more in common with say Primo Levi than with the morally urgent style of Elie Wiesel, and Szpilman, all things considering, is a great observer of all the things going on around him, and leaves no doubt, this book will forever live on in the hearts and minds of those who have read it. The fact I'd seen the film many times over, didn't hamper the book at all. A masterpiece of non-fiction.
Profile Image for Merna .
110 reviews388 followers
March 27, 2018
I loved The Pianist for a number of reasons but the supreme reason goes to Władysław Szpilman's storytelling. Szpilman writes down the struggles which he endured in order to survive in Warsaw under the occupation of the Nazis. Władysław voice never grows bitter, neither do his emotions twist to constant abhorrence and it’s why, I find myself greatly respecting him. His story was in no means told to invoke hatred or disgust towards Germans. His intention was not to spit out political statements about WWII. As mentioned on the title of the book, it was solely based on his extraordinary true story to survive when the whole of Europe went into chaos. Not to forget, it was about his determination to live long enough so that one day he could hopefully achieve his dreams.


Wladyslaw Szpilman was a Polish Jew born in Warsaw. He had three siblings and two loving parents. He was a talented musician growing up. He studied in Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw and then attended the prestigious Academy of Arts in Berlin before Hitler was in power. He then worked at a polish radio performing Jazz and classical music. But in 1939, the Nazis invaded Poland and developed a new general government which established a ghetto in Warsaw, specifically for Jews. Life for Władysław turned into a daily torture. Hunger and illness sweeped every corner of the streets in the ghetto. Senseless hate by the Nazis and unjustified murder led Szpilman to escape rather than await his death. However, survival behind the walls of the Warsaw ghetto proves to be as difficult as a rapid death.

“Tomorrow I must begin a new life. How could I do it, with nothing but death behind me? What vital energy could I draw from death?”

Szpilman, out of all odds, survived the six year war. Considering all he underwent, it did not leave him with a taste of vengeance and animosity. I thought at first that if I read more in-between the lines then I would catch some slight repugnance towards the Germans, but Władysław displayed none whatsoever. I was not the only one curious about this, so when the book reached the epilogue (written by a German poet Wolf Biermann), I finally had my answer, which strengthens my respect for Szpilman.

“One thing strikes me; Szpilman’s emotional register seems to include no desire for revenge. We once had a conversation in Warsaw; he had toured the world as a pianist and was now sitting, exhausted, at his old grand piano, which needed tuning. He made an almost childish remark, half ironically but half in deadly earnest. “When I was young man I studied in music for two years in Berlin. I just can’t make Germans out…they were so extremely musical!”


I will lastly talk about Captain Wilm Hosenfeld (who I can't help but include in my review). Captain Wilm appeared as if something out of a fairy tale: the one good guy among a sea of cruel men. Hosenfeld helped Szpilman survive when he was closest to his death. Captain Wilm is very much a hero with his capability to clearly draw the line between wrong and right when countless others in Germany were utterly and completely swayed by the Nazi Ideology. The book gives an extract from the diary of Hosenfeld. His opinion is straightforward and clear on how villainous he thought the Nazis were.

“It is hard to believe all this, and I try not to, not so much of anxiety for the future of our nation, which will have to pay for these monstrous things someday – but because I can’t believe Hitler wants such things and there are Germans who will give such order. If it so, there can only explain: they’re sick, abnormal or mad.”

Overall, you might/or might not pick up The Pianist, but if you’re still interested in the story then the film version of The Pianist is also a great insight of Władysław Szpilman's survival.
Profile Image for Ines.
321 reviews198 followers
July 23, 2019
This is the tragic memory reported by the pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman, about his survival inside the Warsaw Ghetto; about his unfortunate and yet miraculous encounter with german SS that saved him.
I must be sincere, i have read this book many years ago, well before the famous related movie came out ( that i found marvellous and intimate and very faithful to the book).
I decided to read it again with my 14 years old daughter due to her homework asked by her teacher for italian literature.
The story of this book will go deep in your heart and soul, it is just a pity that the real feelings of the main character, Wladi, are kind of hidden to the readers, what he really felt during the last days of the Nazi emperor........ but at the end i asked myself, why, for wich reason Szpilman had to share his feelings with us ( future readers), that live in a safe, comfort and flawed world !?

Memoria tragica riportata dal pianista Wladyslaw Szpilman della sua sopravvivenza dentro il ghetto di Varsavia e l'incontro fortuito e miracoloso di una SS che lo salvò.,
Devo essere sincera, l'avevo letto secoli fa, ben prima dell' uscita del film ( che ho trovato stupendo e ben fedele al libro). Ho deciso di rileggerlo insieme a mia figlia 14enne perchè richiesto dalla sua prof di Italiano. Una storia che entra nel cuore, purtroppo un filino arida nel trasmettere le emozioni e dei sentimenti vissuti dal protagonista in quei giorni devastanti della caduta dell' impero nazista., ma poi perchè mai avrebbe dovuto condividerle con noi belli, tranquilli e pasciuti!???
Profile Image for Mikey B..
1,007 reviews373 followers
December 21, 2019
This book contains horrendous passages on the holocaust in Warsaw – the ghettoization of the Jewish people – and then their subsequent removal to death camps which happened to the authors entire family. What was most shocking to me were the random acts of killings that the author witnessed that could occur at any moment. No one was safe from brutality.

I did find this book helped me to understand more the movie “Schindler’s List” such as the Jewish police that worked with the Nazis.

As with most autobiographies I did find certain omissions. For example, I still cannot understand how in the “umschlagplatz” (the rail station where Jews were gathered prior to embarkation to the death camps) the author became separated from his family. Who called out his name and physically grabbed him away from his family? This was a key turning point in his life.

I found the two essays at the end of the book to be really interesting. After reading the diary excerpts from the German officer Wilm Hosenfeld, who can doubt that the German people did not know of the atrocities going on in Eastern Europe?

The essay by Wolf Biermann is exactly how I felt about the book (from page 212) – “Readers will notice that although this book was written amidst the still smouldering ashes of the Second World War, its language is surprisingly cool. Wladyslaw Szpilman describes his recent sufferings with an almost melancholy detachment.” I would feel this to be a necessary coping mechanism for dealing with this most brutal period of the author’s life.
Profile Image for Diane S ☔.
4,782 reviews14.2k followers
December 1, 2015
As always these books are so incredibly hard to read, not just to read but to understand how these cruelties could have ever happened. This book was different in that it was not only written by someone in Poland who survived the Holocaust, but someone who probably only survived because of the help of a German officer.

Excerpts from this officer's diary are included in the back of the book as are explanatory notes tying everything together. The tome of the book is rather matter of fact, since it is written right after the war it was explained that it was written this way because the author could still not quite come to terms with the massive amounts of cruelty and lives lost.

I never knew that although more Polish Jews were exterminated than elsewhere, some three to four hundred thousand Poles risked their lives to save Jews. After the war, the author continued to play piano in Poland. This was for a long time a banned book, I am glad that now everyone has the opportunity to reads this story.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews35 followers
November 29, 2017
Śmierć miasta = The Pianist: The Extraordinary Story of One Man's Survival in Warsaw, 1939–45, Władysław Szpilman
The Pianist is a memoir by the Polish-Jewish pianist and composer Władysław Szpilman in which he describes his life in Warsaw in occupied Poland during World War II. After being forced with his family to live in the Warsaw ghetto, Szpilman manages to avoid deportation to the Treblinka extermination camp, and from his hiding places around the city witnesses the Warsaw ghetto uprising in 1943 and the Warsaw uprising (the rebellion by the Polish resistance) the following year. He survives in the ruined city with the help of friends and strangers, including Wilm Hosenfeld, a German army captain who admires his piano playing.
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه جولای سال 2014 میلادی
عنوان: پیانیست : دفتر خاطرات سالهای 1939 تا 1945 میلادی؛ نویسنده: ولادیسلاو اشپیلمان؛ ژرژ پطرسی؛ تهران، انتشارات ماهی؛ 1393؛ در 228 ص؛ شابک: 9789642091980؛ موضوع: جنگ جهانگیر دوم - قتل عام یهودیان - سرگذشتنامه موسیقیدانان یهودی لهستان - قرن 20 م
عنوان فیلم: پیانیست؛ کارگردان: رومن پولانسکی؛ تهیه‌ کننده: آلبرت س. رودی؛ نویسنده کتاب: ولادیسلاو اشپیلمن؛ نویسنده فیلمنامه: رونالد هاروود ؛ بازیگران: آدرین برودی؛ توماس کرچمان؛ فرنک فینالی؛ مورین لیپمن؛ امیلیا فاکس؛ موسیقی: ووچیچ کیلار؛ فیلم‌برداری: پاول ادلمن؛ تدوین: ؛
Hervé de Luze
تاریخ‌های انتشار: 4 دسامبر، 2002 میلادی (آمریکا)؛ مدت زمان: 150 دقیقه؛ کشور: انگلستان، آلمان، فرانسه و لهستان؛ زبان: انگلیسی، آلمانی، روسی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Dem.
1,190 reviews1,131 followers
September 12, 2016
The Pianist by Written immediately after the war by survivor Wladyslaw Szpilman. This book was suppressed for decades. The Pianist is a stunning testament to human endurance and tells the story of the horrendous events that took place in Nazi-occupied Warsaw and the Jewish ghetto.

This is quite a short book but it certainly packs a punch. You can almost feel the urgency of the writer to get his story down on paper and yet the story is told in such a way that you feel a confidence and a clarity that almost makes you feel connected . This is a story of one man's survival in a city devastated by war and how his will to survive keeps him alive.

This first-hand account of the Jewish pianist, Wladyslaw Szpilman, gave me a fantastic and important detailed insight regarding Warsaw, its people and the events leading up to the Warsaw Rising of 1944.
I have read quite a few books on the War and the holocaust but this book looks at events from a completely different perspective and I found it very refreshing.

“Every war casts up certain small groups among ethnic populations minorities too cowardly to fight openly, too insignificant to play an independent political part, but despicable enough to act as paid executioners to one of the fighting powers” (Quote from The Pianist).

This is not an easy subject to read and yet I never felt the author set out to shock the reader but just to tell his story the way it happened to him. The one thing I did miss or thought the book lacked was emotion and I am not sure why this is, perhaps it’s the urgency to tell the story as it happened, perhaps it’s the terrible effects all the atrocities had on the author or perhaps not being a writer he is not able to convey emotion in his writing. Would I? if having enjured what this man went through be able to convey emotion. I really don’t think so.

A captivating read that will certainly stay with me and I feel I learned a little more about this time in history.
Profile Image for Georgiana.
148 reviews30 followers
August 27, 2023
“Nu a fost o luptă pe viață și pe moarte. A fost o luptă pe moarte. Lupta pentru a muri luptând.”

Emoționant de frumoasă această carte.
Cred că într-o mare de povești care au ca temă principală WWII(și care ne plac), aceasta e una dintre cele mai bine scrise.
Oamenii pot salva lumea, e cert, cât de des aleg să o facă însă?! Când bunătatea și umanitatea sunt uitate, ies la iveală demonii, urmează pierzania?
Cartea trebuie citită pentru că nu trebuie să uităm niciodată ceea ce s-a întâmplat în urmă doar cu câteva decenii. Să vă faceți timp pentru ea, merită tot timpul din lume!
Inițial i-am acordat un punctaj mai mic, dar am realizat, la doi ani de la încheierea lecturii, unele scene descrise au rămas cu mine.

”Răul și brutalitatea stau la pândă în sufletul omului. Dacă li se îngăduie să se dezvolte în voie, ele înfloresc, ajungând să dea la iveală niște mlădițe înspăimântătoare ..”
Profile Image for Stella Popa.
258 reviews78 followers
May 3, 2021
Wladyslaw Szpilman 10!
Acele cărți care ating cele mai sensibile corzi, cărțile bune și puternice, despre ele scriu cel mai mult și greu, iar cuvintele se adună haotic. Vin cu un sfat încă de la începutul acestei mici recenzii. Vă rog frumos să faceți ca mine, distanți-vă de orice se întâmplă, puneți pe fundal să cânte Chopin (scriu mai jos de ce), și delectați-vă cu o lectură de calitate.

Wladyslaw Szpilman este pianist la un post de radio din Varșovia, când se trezește cu nemții care invadează Polonia și îi fură sensul vieții. Ultima lui interpretare a lui Chopin, Nocturne Op.9 No2, îl oprește în fața unei amenințări care pare a fi mai degrabă o ruletă rusească cu titlul „cum vei muri?”. Istoria lui Szpilman se putea termina diferit, mort de foame, împușcat de ucraineni sau nemți, ori de ruși, sinucidere (spânzurătoare sau săritură de la înălțime, mai era și varianta prin otrăvire, dar nu era mereu posibilă), ars de viu sau după bombardament, ori scăpat viu ca prin minune.

Cei 6 ani au fost petrecuți într-o constantă ghicitoare, ce final îl aștepta, regulile jocului se schimbau mereu, fiecare an aducea cu sine o strictețe mai doborâtoare, o senzație de speranță care se stingea aidoma unei lumânări. Și cel mai straniu a fost percepția propriului conștient în momentul lecturii, tu știi exact cât a durat războiul, știi care a fost soarta Poloniei, când a fost eliberată și cum, dar fărâma ceea de naivitate se zbătea cu fiecare zi pomenită de autor, viața lui Wladyslaw a devenit importantă pentru mine și speranța mea în omenire.

Cartea lui Wladyslaw Szpilman este despre Omenie și Omenire, cei doi piloni care pot salva lumea, iar lipsa acestora dau frâu demonilor care ne pot duce spre pierzanie. Printre mulțimea de istorii citite despre WW2, Holocaust, Evrei și Gulagurile sovietice, „Pianistul”, de departe este cea mai bine scrisă carte din această listă neagră.

Oamenii sunt foarte stranii, tind să creeze distrugând.

Categoric intră deja în topul celor mai bune cărți, pentru că am plâns la puține din ele, iar „Pianistul” este cea de-a treia carte care m-a făcut să plâng, chiar fiind în public nu m-am putut abține, privirea tatălui său am văzut-o cu ochii mei. Scriu aceste cuvinte, și iar mă podidesc lacrimile. Neapărat să vă faceți timp pentru ea, merită tot timpul din lume!

Lecturi pline de speranță vă doresc!
Profile Image for Missy J.
573 reviews87 followers
March 19, 2021
Monument of the Umschlagplatz in Warsaw today.

I don't know how to write a review for such a horrifying account of what Wladyslaw Szpilman experienced as a Jew in Warsaw during the Holocaust. His writing is very dispassionate and precise, yet he really brought forth the horrors of the war and his daily life struggles; losing his family, hunger, stress, uncertainty and fear. I was also very much inspired by how strong his instincts were in certain situations. It's incredible how during times of stress, our body can communicate with us so strongly in favor of survival. Often times, I had to stop and reflect how humans are able to do these cruel acts to each other. How could the soldiers follow and carry out those cold-hearted orders without any emotions or rationale? What makes the Holocaust especially gruesome is the systematic "war-machine" approach to exterminate certain peoples. Even though I've read my share of Holocaust-accounts, I still get shivers thinking that everything described in the book actually took place in real life. Very thought-provoking and important. Thank you Mr. Wladyslaw Szpilman for recording this down.
Profile Image for Jovi Ene.
Author 2 books203 followers
January 13, 2020
Multă lume știe povestea din filmul lui Polanski din 2002. Ce este interesant este că memoriile lui Szpilman au apărut în 1946 în Polonia aflată sub controlul sovieticilor, a fost cenzurată și apoi interzisă tocmai pentru că era extrem de realistă și autorul nu a menajat pe nimeni: pe polonezi, lituanieni sau ruși, care împușcau evrei; pe evreii colaboraționiști; a arătat mărinimia multora, inclusiv a neamțului care l-a salvat spre final. În plus, Szpilman, chiar dacă a scris ”la cald”, reușește să privească totul cu detașare și sinceritate, nu își imaginează niciun moment că este un erou, ci un om simplu care a fost puternic și a avut mult noroc să supraviețuiască ani întregi într-o Varșovie aproape distrusă.
Volumul este un alt document tulburător care trebuie citit pentru a nu uita ororile nazismului.
Profile Image for Mariuca.
87 reviews45 followers
July 1, 2022
,,Suntem foarte,foarte flamanzi. Nu am mancat de multa vreme. Dati-ne o bucatica de paine, sau, daca nu paine, atunci macar un cartof sau o ceapa, ca sa putem trai si noi macar pana maine.
Dar aproape nimeni nu avea ceapa aceea, si, chiar daca ar fi avut-o,nu putea sa o dea, fiindca nu avea inima. Razboiul o preschimbase in piatra. ''

,,Trebuia sa incep o noua viata. Cum sa incepi o noua viata, cand n-ai in urma decat moarte? Cum sa extragi forta de a trai din moarte?"
Profile Image for Maria Roxana.
558 reviews
November 11, 2019
”Răul și brutalitatea stau la pândă în sufletul omului. Dacă li se îngăduie să se dezvolte în voie, ele înfloresc, ajungând să dea la iveală niște mlădițe înspăimântătoare ..”

Impresionantă, o carte care mă va bântui....
Profile Image for Jeanette (Ms. Feisty).
2,179 reviews1,947 followers
April 15, 2011
I've read a lot about World War II, but I'd never fully grasped the complete destruction, the utter devastation of the city of Warsaw. Hitler was like a bratty child with a toy he'd rather destroy than share with anyone else. When he knew he was going to lose the war, he ordered that Warsaw be reduced to rubble. Among the ruins there was a Jewish musician named Wladyslaw Szpilman who had managed to survive for six years, and a German named Wilm Hosenfeld who saved Szpilman's life one last time.

I read this entire book in 24 hours. Szpilman wrote his account immediately after the war ended, so you can sometimes feel that sense of urgency, that need to pour everything out onto the page and purge himself so he could begin to recover and build a new life. He had a long career as a performer and composer, and died in 2000.

The book also includes some excerpts from the diary of Wilm Hosenfeld. He didn't personally kill or brutalize anyone during the war, but he never flinched from the collective responsibility of the German people for what they allowed Hitler to do to the world. It was later discovered that Hosenfeld had also helped other Jews during the war. I hope he did finally get his tree on the Avenue of the Just in Yad Vashem.
Profile Image for Dalia.
139 reviews10 followers
June 20, 2023
Unul din rarele cazuri în care mi-a plăcut mai mult filmul decât cartea. Presupun că a contribuit la acest lucru și faptul că am văzut prima dată filmul și apoi am citit cartea.
Profile Image for Carmo.
667 reviews472 followers
July 13, 2016
Este é o testemunho de Vladyslaw Szpilman: cidadão polaco, músico de profissão e judeu. Era também filho, irmão e amigo. Quando acabou a guerra já não tinha irmãos nem pais, e a maioria dos amigos tinha morrido às mãos dos nazis. Sofreu na pele desde os primeiros dias da invasão, foi perseguido e resistiu até aos últimos dias de aniquilação total. Assistiu à destruição da sua cidade, Varsóvia, viu os judeus confinados a um gueto imundo, sujeitos a uma imensa carnificina, desapossados dos seus bens e da sua dignidade.
Escapou aos campos de concentração e refugiou-se nas ruinas da cidade. Foi um oficial nazi que o encontrou no meio dos escombros, morto de fome e frio. Surpreendentemente, alimentou-o e vestiu-o na clandestinidade.
Foi esta mão amiga que o salvou, permitiu-lhe sobreviver, continuar a sua carreira de músico no pós guerra e tornar-se um compositor de renome.
Perante a dimensão do extermínio, custa a crer que nem todos fossem coniventes com os ideais do nacional- socialismo. Talvez tenham sido poucos, ou, quem sabe, muitos mais do que se possa pensar. Quem tinha coragem para iniciar uma rebelião? O povo alemão estava tão subjugado quanto os povos invadidos.
Após o final da guerra, ambas as famílias mantiveram contacto e foi assim que foi possível o acesso aos diários de ambos e a confirmação de que o capitão Hosenfeld era um ser humano justo que ajudou a salvar muitos outros judeus. Infelizmente, foi feito prisioneiro pelo exército soviético e morreu no cativeiro.
O povo alemão carregará para sempre o estigma do nazismo; aqueles que não professaram a doutrina de Hitler não foram suficientes para mudar o rumo da história.

“A nação inteira terá de pagar por todas estas iniquidades e por esta infelicidade, por todos os crimes que cometemos.”

“ Atraímos sobre nós uma vergonha que nada limpará; é uma maldição que não pode ser anulada.”

Profile Image for Marius Citește .
171 reviews181 followers
August 9, 2021
"Pianistul", o carte cutremurătoare, este mărturia zguduitoare a dramei personale a compozitorului evreu Władysław Szpilman și a ororilor prin care acesta trece în timpul Holocaustului în Varșovia ocupată de nemți.

Cartea debutează sub semnul optimismului, al speranței și încrederii în intervenția forțelor aliate pentru salvarea țării de sub ocupație. Treptat însă, se ajunge la deznădejde, protagonistul simțindu-se tot mai dezumanizat, mai dezbrăcat de orice demnitate umană, nemaiașteptând altceva decât propriul sfârșit.

Este o perioadă cruntă, când omul ajunge să fie pus în situații inimaginabile, să facă orice pentru a putea supraviețui, când însăși condiția de om se pierde, iar el devine fiară.

Important de menționat este tonul cărții, acesta fiind unul echilibrat, moderat. Autorul povestește fără patimă experiențele trăite, total lipsit de ură și fără să acuze pe nimeni, lucru greu de imaginat ținând cont de ororile petrecute.
Mărturiile au fost așternute pe hârtie la cald, în 1946, imediat după terminarea războiului. Dar din cauza cenzurii, cartea nu s-a mai numit "Pianistul", ci “Moartea unui oraș”, tocmai pentru a muta drama și greutatea de pe umerii unui om pe cei ai unui oraș.

Este genul de lectură obligatorie, pe care ar trebui să o citim cu toții, care ne face să fim recunoscatori că avem asemenea mărturii, de o așa inestimabilă valoare documentară. Întreaga relatare este o recuperare importantă pentru istorie.
Cu atât mai valoros este volumul de față ce conține fotografii de familie și fragmente din jurnalul căpitanului Hosenfeld, cel care l-a ajutat pe Szpilman în final să scape.

O carte-martor pentru cei supuși atrocităților războiului și o carte-imbold pentru cei ce vor să cunoască și să înțeleagă trecutul și istoria.
Profile Image for Chrissie.
2,780 reviews1,458 followers
November 4, 2020
Please read the GR book description. There are different versions. Read this one: The Pianist: The Extraordinary Story of One Man's Survival in Warsaw, 1939–45. What is said is accurate.Rewriting what already exists and says what should be said is a waste of time.

It is stated in the first paragraph that the author writes “with a dispassionate restraint”. This is correct too. I believe this explains why my rating is three stars. The information provided is clear and well presented, but not written with any special flair.

How Wladyslaw Szpilmanhe gets saved is pretty darn amazing. You should read this book even if you have read many other Holocaust books about the Warsaw ghetto. Each survivor’s story is different. Reading this story will not be a repeat of that which you have read before. There are portions that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat—the suspense is gripping.

Wilm Hosenfeld’s criticism of the Nazis is blatant. That he dares to express such negative views in writing, albeit in a personal diary, does surprise me. Did these diary entries actually exist? In any case, we are told so.

Laurence Dobiesz narrates the audiobook very well, and so the narration I am giving four stars. It is clear and easy to follow. It is read at a good pace. The words are distinct.

When I give a book three stars, it means I like it, it is worth reading and I recommend it, but it fails to truly pull me in.
Profile Image for Malacorda.
516 reviews306 followers
January 28, 2019
Ogni volta che si legge una testimonianza dalla seconda guerra mondiale e ci giunge una voce in diretta dal massacro, ogni volta si scopre che realtà agghiaccianti sono lì, appena pochi passi dietro le nostre spalle (che cosa sono sessanta o settant'anni? una bazzecola), eppure per me è sempre un po' come la prima volta e non so mai bene con quali parole esporre il mio sgomento, perché sull'argomento sono già stati spesi fiumi di parole, e al tempo stesso sento che non si può spiegare a parole una tragedia incommensurabile. Quando sono stata ad Auschwitz con la scuola, il preside mi tampinava perché ansioso di sapere "…con quali parole esprimeresti questa esperienza?" ed io ripensandoci sento ancora dentro di me la rabbia che non potevo comunicargli per la stupidità della sua domanda, l'unica risposta possibile era soltanto "ecchecca$$o, non ti accorgi che si sente ancora l'odore dei morti? Hai bisogno anche delle parole?", ma questo ovviamente non gliel'ho detto.

L'esperienza vissuta dal pianista e compositore Szpilman dal '39 al '45 è molto toccante; non altrettanto prevedibile era di trovarla raccontata in modo così notevolmente pacato ed equilibrato, ancor più se si considera che questo racconto autobiografico è stato scritto a caldo nel '45.

Tema scottante, quello dell'umanità dei tedeschi, già introdotto dalla Némirovsky nella Suite francese: e così come Il generale Della Rovere di Montanelli suscitò polemiche in quanto il personaggio (in parte immaginato) di una spia rivela di aver un suo lato eroico, allo stesso modo questo libro di Szpilman per tanti anni è stato osteggiato in patria in quanto vi compare la figura di un tedesco "buono" (questo assolutamente veritiero), che pur militando da quella parte ha compiuto alcune buone azioni, tra le quali salvare la vita allo stesso Szpilman. E colpisce anche leggere gli appunti-diario di questo ufficiale tedesco, che aveva compreso l'abisso, e forse chissà quanti alti come lui, ma sono rimasti isolati e silenziosi…

Un altro tema difficile che vi si trova è quello della ribellione e della Resistenza da parte degli ebrei: se da una parte c'è la passività delle vittime ebraiche, costruita ad arte da parte dei tedeschi, come spiega brillantemente Primo Levi ne I sommersi e i salvati, dall'altra parte qui Szpilman testimonia che in tanti, a suo tempo, nel ghetto, hanno pensato di ribellarsi e farsi forti della superiorità numerica. Testimonia che una Resistenza è stata comunque messa in atto e dice a chiare lettere che da un certo momento in poi nessun ebreo era più disposto a farsi prendere vivo. Sono tutte argomentazioni non secondarie, e tuttavia lasciano il tempo che trovano perché con i 'se' e con i 'ma' la storia non si fa.

Le quattro stelle esprimono la mia valutazione per la prova letteraria; l'esperienza umana di certo ne merita a migliaia. Mi ripropongo di provare ad ascoltare qualche sua composizione, credo possa essere un omaggio migliore di tanti paroloni accorati.

Degno di nota anche il film di Polanski, che rispetta il libro in tutto e per tutto senza aggiunta di inutili fronzoli o sensazionalismi o fantasiose sovrastrutture - beh, a voler essere precisi aggiunge solo un piccolo, perdonabilissimo ricamino.
Profile Image for RJ Corby.
10 reviews
February 23, 2008
I became interested in reading "The Pianist" after seeing the excellent movie, directed by Roman Polanski, that was based on the book. After thoroughly enjoying the movie, I had very high hopes for this tome, and I was not disappointed. This book is a stunner, bringing to life the horrific conditions and brutality that Wladyslaw Szpilman endured to survive six years of Nazi brutality in Warsaw, Poland.

What's truly amazing about this book is how Szpilman tells the story with a sense of detachment - the barbaric killing that he sees up close; his final moments with his family, when he realizes shortly after they are gone that will never see them again; his bearing witness to the piles and piles of corpses; and mindless executions for some minor infraction, etc. Szpilman writes it all in stunning, unforgettable prose. It baffles the mind how he was able to keep his wits about him and survive after suffering and witnessing such unspeakable horrors at the hands of such barbarians, and in the end his survival may well have hinged on the kindness of a Nazi Captain, Wilm Hosenfeld.

The fact that a Nazi helped him live is too unbelievable to be fiction after all that Szpilman had witnessed and endured - it must be true, and this story is. The Pianist is a remarkable story that will be every bit as powerful hundreds of years from now. The Washington Post calls this book "historically indispensable," and that is right on the mark. The book sits along side Anne Frank's tome as required Holocaust reading.

Adding excerpts of Hosenfeld's diary at the end of the book makes this read all the more powerful. Hosenfeld's story is an amazing one, which reminded me of Oskar Schindler, since he, like Schindler, did much to save many Jews. Hosenfeld's diary entries in the back of the book add much to the story and torpedoes the assumption that every single Nazi had no heart and enjoyed the killings (although an overwhelming majority did, in this reviewer's opinion).

This book is invaluable to Holocaust scholars and World War II students alike. And since I watched the movie before I read the book, I can attest that the movie was right on the mark in terms of accuracy. Very highly recommended reading. (Orig. Review - Dec. '04)
Profile Image for Book Concierge.
2,817 reviews343 followers
February 13, 2022
The subtitle is all the synopsis anyone needs: The Extraordinary True Story of One man’s Survival in Warsaw, 1939-1945.

Szpilman was a pianist who performed on Polish radio. He was, in fact, playing Chopin’s Nocturne in C-sharp Minor, live on the radio on Sept 23, 1939, when shells exploded outside the station. It was the last live music broadcast from Warsaw that day; a German bomb hit the station, and Polish radio went off the air. Ultimately, the Nazi’s plan for extermination of the Jews would take all of his family, but Szpilman would manage – by luck, courage, tenacity, and the kindness of others – to stay hidden and survive. The most unlikely person to help him was a German officer who came across him in the ruins of a building scrounging for food.

He wrote his story shortly after the war was over, but it was suppressed for decades, finally being published in 1999, and even then, not in Poland. The edition I had included entries from the diary of Captain Wilm Hosenfeld, the German officer who saved Szpilman towards the end of the war.

Szpilman’s story is told in a very straightforward manner. He recounts the ever-increasing restrictions imposed by the government on Jews, the forbearance and belief that “this is bound to pass” among his family and others in the community, the terror and horror of witnessing (or being subject to) random acts of violence and death. And yet, there is a certain cool detachment. Almost as if he were witnessing someone else’s story rather than reliving those experiences himself. In the forward, his son Andrzej supposes that his father wrote the memoir “… for himself rather than humanity in general. It enabled him to work through his shattering wartime experiences and free his mind and emotions to continue with his life.”

I found it engaging and gripping. Even though I knew he survived, I simply could not stop reading.

The extraordinary memoir was adapted to film in 2002, starring Adrien Brody (who won the Oscar for his performance) and directed by Roman Polanski (Oscar for Best Director).
Profile Image for Negin.
629 reviews150 followers
October 30, 2015
This book is an amazing memoir of a Jew’s survival in Nazi-occupied Warsaw. Szpilman does not sound at all bitter or angry. His writing is in fact rather detached and dispassionate. The reason may be is that he wrote it shortly after the war and was still suffering all the terrible after-effects and shock.

The German officer’s diary was fascinating. What an incredible angel of a man. That’s all I have to say. The kindness of strangers so often brings me to tears. In fact, retelling his part of the story to my husband over coffee, had me sobbing. He's one of those special souls that I simply don't want to forget.

I saw the movie ten years ago and I think that the movie version may be more powerful than the book, except that I don’t recall the German officer part being included. For me, that part of the book was extremely moving. I’d really like to see the movie again.
Profile Image for  Irma Sincera.
164 reviews101 followers
June 22, 2020
Buvau tokia tikra, kad šią knygą mes turime lietuviškai išverstą, tai kai pamačiau prie naujienų labai nustebau. Negi pirmenybė teikiama visokiems Cilkos keliams nei šiai?
Planavau ją skaityti anglų kalba antrą kartą, bet labai buvo smalsu palyginti vertimus. O ir kita kalba skaitant vis tiek yra kitokia patirtis. Vertime niekas nekliuvo, išskyrūs labai stipriai rekomenduoju praleisti Įžangos skyrių ir perskaityti jį tik pabaigus knygą, nes ten į kelis lapus sudėta visa knyga vos ne žodis į žodį, tai nesigadinkite skaitymo proceso.

Dažniausiai knygose holokausto tema vaizduojama per išgyvenimus koncentracijos stovyklose. O , "Pianistas" nušviečia gyvenimą Varšuvoje nuo pat pirmųjų dienų, kai pradėjo sklisti naujienos apie artėjantį karą, geto kūrimo, iki visiško miesto sunaikinimo. Knygoje galima pajausti kaip keitės atmosfera Varšuvoje diena po dienos, kokios nuotaikos tvyrojo, kaip žmonės prisitaikė prie vis sunkėjančių sąlygų. Pasakojimo tone nėra jokio dramatizmo, juk tai buvo kasdienis žmonių gyvenimas. Tas ramus pasakojimas tik sustiprina tą nejaukią ir košmarišką atmosferą. Skaitant knygą reikėtų atidėti visus prozos gražumo vertinimus.

Kitaip nei daugelis kitų, šie memuarai buvo parašyti iš karto po karo, todėl yra pakankamai detalūs, nors slapstantis Władysław'ui Szpilman'ui dauguma dienų ir net mėnesių susiliejo į vieną. Ko tekste nerasite, tai pykčio, keršto troškimo, jis nesiekia, kad skaitytojas pradėtų jausti neapykantą vokiečiams. Manoma, kad jam pačiam visas siaubas dar nebuvo susigulėjęs rašant knygą ir dar gerai nesuvokė, kokio masto tai buvo tragedija.

Jei reikėtų pasiūlyti paskaityti vieną knygą šia tema, tai turi būti Pianistas.
Profile Image for Sandra Deaconu.
686 reviews104 followers
November 16, 2020
Viktor E. Frankl spunea în Omul în căutarea sensului vieții că mulți prizonieri din timpul Holocaustului ar fi supraviețuit, dacă nu și-ar fi pierdut speranța și optimismul. M-a indignat foarte tare ideea asta pentru că suna mai degrabă a un soi de acuzație și nu am văzut cum o gândire pozitivă ar fi putut susține trupul în fața torturilor, foametei, muncii extenuante și frigului. Pe aceeași idee se bazează și această carte: triumful spiritului în fața ororilor înfăptuite de naziști. Sunt de acord că autorul a avut un spirit puternic și o dorință de a trăi extraordinară, dar spiritul lui nu l-ar fi ajutat la nimic, dacă nu ar fi avut norocul de a da peste fani care își aminteau zilele lui de glorie și îi apreciau munca, astfel că și-au riscat viața pentru el. Asta m-a dus cumva cu gândul la oamenii care plătesc taxe ilegale la biserici doar ca să simtă că fac și ei ceva pentru idolul lor. Mă rog, aici e alt subiect, dar așa am văzut eu lucrurile. În plus, Szpilman a avut numeroase relații care i-au facilitat supraviețuirea, coroborate cu o serie de ,,împrejurări fericite și de situații absolut incredibile". De exemplu, când a fost pus să își folosească mâinile la muncă grea, a reușit să se transfere ca nu cumva să își strice mănuțele de pianist...

Din păcate, povestea lui nu a ajuns la sufletul meu decât raportând-o la tragedia generală reprezentată de Holocaust, nu și analizând-o individual. Nu știu dacă de vină a fost tonul rece (pentru care i se găsește o scuză în postfață: era încă în stare de șoc) sau faptul că l-am considerat un oportunist (de înțeles în condițiile date, însă nu poți pretinde atâta ajutor fără să oferi nimic și să nu fii considerat cel puțin egoist), dar istoria lui nu a fost atât de răvășitoare cum mă așteptam. Este o lectură potrivită mai degrabă celor care văd prima dată binele în oameni și sunt înclinați spre empatie, nu spre judecată, și nu firilor sceptice și poate cinice, cum sunt eu. Veșnica mea recomandare în materie de memorii ale supraviețuitorilor rămâne Cu prețul vieții, la care mi-a venit să plâng de câteva ori/minut. Recenzia aici: https://bit.ly/3ky0SJl.

,,Printre cadavrele bărbaților zăceau și trupurile unei tinere femei și a două fetițe cu craniile complet sfărâmate. Oamenii își arătau unul altuia zidurile lângă care zăceau trupurile, care avea urme vizibile de sânge și bucăți de creier. Copilele fuseseră ucise prin metoda preferată a nemților: fuseseră prinse de picioare și capetele lor izbite cu avânt de zid. Pe cadavre și printre bălțile de sânge închegat se plimbau muște mari, negre, și se vedea clar cum corpurile intrate în descompunere se umflau de căldură.''
Profile Image for Julie G.
897 reviews2,931 followers
August 6, 2014
I just finished the last page of this Holocaust memoir during a rare silence in my house, which matched the spirit of this book and the sob in my throat.

But, let me back up for a moment.

I watched the movie "The Pianist" when it originally premiered and basically went into the fetal position as it ended and again pronounced "No more Holocaust movies for me." But, as our son is preparing to audition on piano for colleges in the fall, this movie came back to my mind, and I remembered that "The Pianist" had a great love for the Romantics, as does our son. Maybe it would inspire him?

So, we watched the movie again, and this time I started thinking, "Who was this guy? What's the source of information for the story?" Twenty minutes later, I had ordered a 3-CD collection of Wladyslaw Szpilman's music and his memoir. Here we are.

Mr. Szpilman wrote his story directly after the war, and, as his son writes in the Foreword, "My father Wladyslaw Szpilman is not a writer." No, not exactly; yet his account of what happened to him, his family and his people in Warsaw, Poland from 1939 to 1945 pulls you in immediately and sucks everything else from the room. He was clearly in shock as he wrote it, and it often has the feel of an out-of-body experience, but it's what saves the reader from being completely and utterly destroyed by the details of this true story.

At one of the ugliest (if not the ugliest) points in human history, when man felt certain that God had turned his face away, Szpilman's story represents a counterpoint of a man who seemed to have the intervention of the Divine at every corner. His story is unbelievable to the point of seeming fictional, and yet it's true.

Compelling, numbing, mystifying, terrifying and strangely beautiful.
Profile Image for Dan.
1,135 reviews52 followers
November 30, 2018
Other children tried appealing to people’s consciences, pleading with them. “We are so very, very hungry. We haven’t eaten anything for ages. Give us a little bit of bread, or if you don’t have any bread then a potato or an onion, just to keep us alive till morning.”
But hardly anyone had that onion, and if he did he could not find it in his heart to give it away, for the war had turned his heart to stone.

The Pianist is a two hundred page memoir of Wladyslaw Szpilman from Warsaw. He is a twenty-eight year old Jewish pianist of some renown around Warsaw at the outset of the war. We know from the intro that Szpilman somehow survives the war and pens the memoir in 1946 and continues on with his life and career in Warsaw afterwards.

The Pianist is one of the most widely read holocaust stories and for good reason. So what is it that makes this memoir so exceptional? The truth. As with all of the holocaust, one can’t make up stories so cruel and heart wrenching. The storytelling is consistent and riveting throughout his six year experience. The perspective is unique because the story focuses exclusively on Warsaw. The largest number of Jews murdered by the Nazis came from here.

The Pianist is ultimately a survivor story and is, by nature of the holocaust, an inherently dramatic read, it is largely a matter of getting the experiences down on paper in a lyrical story telling way. There is also an additional plot element that unfolds near the end of the book and continues in the epilogue, the story of a German soldier who Szpilman meets that makes this book even more special.

5 stars easy. One of the best memoirs that I have read.
Profile Image for Sidonia.
304 reviews49 followers
February 19, 2020
Mai mult decat amintirile din Varsovia ale lui Szpilman, m-au impresionat fragmentele din jurnalul capitanului Hosenfeld. Intotdeauna, dupa ce dau ultima pagina dintr-o carte despre razboi, ma urmareste mult timp aceeasi intrebare: cum a fost posibil asa ceva? Am citit atatea memorii ale supravietuitorilor, cunosc atatea fete ale acestui razboi, si totusi de fiecare data, sunt la fel de socata. Raman mereu inmarmurita de cruzimea oamenilor, de ce au fost in stare, de asa lipsa de umanitate. Trist si dureros... Pianistul e de citit, pentru ca nu trebuie sa uitam niciodata.
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