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

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Written immediately after the end of World War II, this morally complex Holocaust memoir is notable for its exact depiction of the grim details of life in Warsaw under the Nazi occupation. "Things you hardly noticed before took on enormous significance: a comfortable, solid armchair, the soothing look of a white-tiled stove," writes Wladyslaw Szpilman, a pianist for Polish Written immediately after the end of World War II, this morally complex Holocaust memoir is notable for its exact depiction of the grim details of life in Warsaw under the Nazi occupation. "Things you hardly noticed before took on enormous significance: a comfortable, solid armchair, the soothing look of a white-tiled stove," writes Wladyslaw Szpilman, a pianist for Polish radio when the Germans invaded. His mother's insistence on laying the table with clean linen for their midday meal, even as conditions for Jews worsened daily, makes palpable the Holocaust's abstract horror. Arbitrarily removed from the transport that took his family to certain death, Szpilman does not deny the "animal fear" that led him to seize this chance for escape, nor does he cheapen his emotions by belaboring them. Yet his cool prose contains plenty of biting rage, mostly buried in scathing asides (a Jewish doctor spared consignment to "the most wonderful of all gas chambers," for example). Szpilman found compassion in unlikely people, including a German officer who brought food and warm clothing to his hiding place during the war's last days. Extracts from the officer's wartime diary (added to this new edition), with their expressions of outrage at his fellow soldiers' behavior, remind us to be wary of general condemnation of any group. --Wendy Smith

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Written immediately after the end of World War II, this morally complex Holocaust memoir is notable for its exact depiction of the grim details of life in Warsaw under the Nazi occupation. "Things you hardly noticed before took on enormous significance: a comfortable, solid armchair, the soothing look of a white-tiled stove," writes Wladyslaw Szpilman, a pianist for Polish Written immediately after the end of World War II, this morally complex Holocaust memoir is notable for its exact depiction of the grim details of life in Warsaw under the Nazi occupation. "Things you hardly noticed before took on enormous significance: a comfortable, solid armchair, the soothing look of a white-tiled stove," writes Wladyslaw Szpilman, a pianist for Polish radio when the Germans invaded. His mother's insistence on laying the table with clean linen for their midday meal, even as conditions for Jews worsened daily, makes palpable the Holocaust's abstract horror. Arbitrarily removed from the transport that took his family to certain death, Szpilman does not deny the "animal fear" that led him to seize this chance for escape, nor does he cheapen his emotions by belaboring them. Yet his cool prose contains plenty of biting rage, mostly buried in scathing asides (a Jewish doctor spared consignment to "the most wonderful of all gas chambers," for example). Szpilman found compassion in unlikely people, including a German officer who brought food and warm clothing to his hiding place during the war's last days. Extracts from the officer's wartime diary (added to this new edition), with their expressions of outrage at his fellow soldiers' behavior, remind us to be wary of general condemnation of any group. --Wendy Smith

30 review for The Pianist: The Extraordinary True Story of One Man's Survival in Warsaw, 1939-1945

  1. 4 out of 5

    Amalia Gavea

    The triumph of the human spirit, the strength of the human soul to find its way out of the darkness, the injustice, the never-ending nightmare, the ordeal of living in a world where absolute fear and beastly behaviour dictate everyone’s life. This is the life of a man, an artist, who experienced persecution, confinement, famine, disease. A man whose strength and faith defeated monsters. A pianist whose talent touched the heart of the enemy, except this enemy was different from the others, a kind The triumph of the human spirit, the strength of the human soul to find its way out of the darkness, the injustice, the never-ending nightmare, the ordeal of living in a world where absolute fear and beastly behaviour dictate everyone’s life. This is the life of a man, an artist, who experienced persecution, confinement, famine, disease. A man whose strength and faith defeated monsters. A pianist whose talent touched the heart of the enemy, except this enemy was different from the others, a kind soul among the vilest of people. Wladyslaw Szpilman lost his family, his work, his dream of playing a music that becomes the exaltation of the soul. He lived like a caged animal for six years, because of a madman’s idea of a perfect world. And he survived. His writing communicates his soul without melodramatic sentences or shocking details. His works flow like a perfectly performed Nocturne…. Rating and reviewing lose every meaning and importance when we refer to books such as this. I wish we were in a position to say that we need to look back and vow to ourselves that the nightmare will never be awakened again. I wish we could claim such a thing and actually believe that it won’t be a void wish...But there is always someone, there is always a ‘’chosen’’ leader that turns the world into a toy to pass the time… Szpilman’s ordeal and survival was depicted to perfection in the 2002 film by the great Roman Polanski, starring the impeccable Adrien Brody. They both won the Academy Awards in their respective categories.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Samadrita

    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 In 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.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Violet wells

    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 light 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.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tammy

    There is no way for me to rate or review this book that would do it justice. Read it. Read it now.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Merna

    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 a 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.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    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 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.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dem

    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 th 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.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    Smierc 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 i 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

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jeanette "Astute Crabbist"

    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'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.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Carmo

    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 be 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.”

  11. 5 out of 5

    Missy J

    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 with losing his family, hunger, stress, uncertainty and fear at that time. I was also very much inspired by how strong his instincts were in certain situations. It's incredible how d 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 with losing his family, hunger, stress, uncertainty and fear at that time. 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, in particular the Jews. Even though I've read my share of Holocaust-accounts (I went to a German school), I still get shivers thinking that everything described in the book actually took place in real life. Very thought-provoking and important read. Thank you Mr. Wladyslaw Szpilman for recording this down.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Malacorda

    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 u 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.

  13. 4 out of 5

    RJ Corby

    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 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)

  14. 5 out of 5

    Joana Esteves

    Um relato incrível! Por mais livros que leia sobre o assunto, fico sempre sem palavras quando leio mais uma história, mais um relato de alguém que viveu na primeira pessoa tudo isto...

  15. 5 out of 5

    AMEERA

    best book talking about war I recommend it

  16. 4 out of 5

    Negin

    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 t 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.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    Não há no mundo fera tão temível para o homem como o próprio homem. — Flávio Cláudio Juliano Apesar de tudo ainda acredito na bondade humana. — Anne Frank Como este livro merece uma resenha bonita, copio a da Carmo. Obrigada, Carmo!

  18. 4 out of 5

    arcobaleno

    Una tragedia sulle note di Chopin* Nascosto nella mia libreria, era rimasto dimenticato. Un caso me l'ha fatto trovare e passare alla lettura. Ed è stata una scoperta. Avevo visto il film che ne era stato tratto nel 2002, per la regia di Roman Polanski, e ne ricordo vividamente alcune scene. Il libro memoriale è stato scritto dal compositore-pianista polacco Władysław Szpilman, sopravvissuto alla deportazione e alla morte per fortuiti casi del destino. Ricorda dunque i feroci anni - dal '39 al '4 Una tragedia sulle note di Chopin* Nascosto nella mia libreria, era rimasto dimenticato. Un caso me l'ha fatto trovare e passare alla lettura. Ed è stata una scoperta. Avevo visto il film che ne era stato tratto nel 2002, per la regia di Roman Polanski, e ne ricordo vividamente alcune scene. Il libro memoriale è stato scritto dal compositore-pianista polacco Władysław Szpilman, sopravvissuto alla deportazione e alla morte per fortuiti casi del destino. Ricorda dunque i feroci anni - dal '39 al '45 - della persecuzione, da parte della Germania nazista, verso gli ebrei polacchi e dell'assedio di Varsavia, fino alla distruzione della città. Scritto dall'autore subito dopo la fine della guerra, forse per rielaborare in fretta la tragedia appena vissuta, pubblicato già nel 1946 in Polonia, fu censurato dal nuovo governo sottomesso ai russi, e quindi ritirato. L'autore scrive infatti in modo crudo e veritiero, con pacatezza e oggettività, e riporta, senza maschere né orpelli, i reali fatti avvenuti. La divulgazione di certi avvenimenti e del comportamento di alcune persone urtava i nuovi dominatori (la "nomenclatura" dei Paesi dell'Est non poteva assolutamente tollerare testimonianze oculari autentiche [...e le] troppe verità... [Wolf Biermann]) Solo nel 1998 fu ripubblicato, prima in Germania e poi in tutto il mondo, con l'aggiunta di alcune pagine, molto toccanti e significative, tratte dal diario poi rinvenuto del Capitano Wilm Hosenfeld, l'Ufficiale della Wehrmacht che aveva contribuito in modo essenziale, negli ultimi giorni, alla salvezza di Szpilman: una ulteriore dimostrazione di una massa nascosta di persone coraggiose che, rifiutando i dettami nazisti, si ribellavano a rischio della propria vita. Il valore del libro sta nella semplicità immediata della scrittura, priva di retorica o ricerca dell'effetto, priva di astio o di urla: non servono; i semplici fatti scorrono davanti agli occhi con grande forza comunicativa, ed esplodono per la loro genuinità. E c'è di che rabbrividire. E, proprio per la sobria autenticità del racconto che ne fa un vero documento storico, ha meritato le mie 5 stelle. Una nota di demerito per la revisione di stampa (ed. Baldini&Castoldi): imperdonabili refusi sparsi e trascuratezze nella punteggiatura. Esempi: Quando avevo bisogno di acqua, sgattaiolavo di notte negli appartamenti distratti,... (pag.199). Stavo per essere ucciso da soldati polacchi in una Varsavia liberata per un equivoco (pag.203). __________ * 23 settembre 1939: Quell'ultimo giorno alla stazione radio stavo suonando musica di Chopin. Fu l'ultima trasmissione musicale in diretta da Varsavia. Per tutto il tempo che suonai, i proiettili continuarono a esplodere vicino alla stazione radio e gli edifici più vicini a noi erano in fiamme. Dicembre 1944: Quando posai le dita sulla tastiera, tremavano. Dunque questa volta avrei dovuto pagare il prezzo per la mia vita suonando il pianoforte![...] Eseguii il "Notturno" in do diesis minore di Chopin. Il suono duro e metallico delle corde scordate echeggiava attraverso l'appartamento vuoto, per le scale, fluttuava sulle macerie della villa sull'altro lato della strada e tornava indietro in un'eco sommessa e malinconica. Wolf Biermann in postfazione: Alla fine della guerra Władysław Szpilman riprese a lavorare subito come pianista per Radio Varsavia. Aprì la trasmissione con lo stesso brano che stava eseguendo dal vivo prima di essere interrotto dai proiettili, come se la musica di Chopin fosse stata interrotta solo brevemente per dar modo nei sei anni successivi a Herr Hitler di recitare la propria parte sul palcoscenico del mondo.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Foteini Fp

    Το είχα τελειώσει εδώ και καιρό και απλώς περίμενα να μαζέψω μέσα στο μυαλό μου αυτά που ήθελα να πω, τα οποία τελικά δεν πρόκειται να πω. Όταν ένα βιβλίο σου δημιουργήσει τόση συγκίνηση, τόσο συναισθηματικό ταρακούνημα ποιος ο λόγος να μπεις στη διαδικασία να το φέρεις στα μέτρα μίας κριτικής.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    Wladyslaw Szpilman was a trained pianist, a Pole, and a Jew, and in The Pianist, he explains how he survived World War II in the Warsaw Ghetto. It sounds like the sort of book you'd want your kids to read in high school, so I was surprised to learn that The Pianist was a "banned" book. You can believe the subtitle: this memoir of "one man's survival" is indeed extraordinary. The Jews within the ghetto were killed by the German police, they died of hunger, and they were gathered into cattle cars a Wladyslaw Szpilman was a trained pianist, a Pole, and a Jew, and in The Pianist, he explains how he survived World War II in the Warsaw Ghetto. It sounds like the sort of book you'd want your kids to read in high school, so I was surprised to learn that The Pianist was a "banned" book. You can believe the subtitle: this memoir of "one man's survival" is indeed extraordinary. The Jews within the ghetto were killed by the German police, they died of hunger, and they were gathered into cattle cars and taken to concentration and death camps. This last happened to Szpilman's family. Survivors did mount a resistance, and they too were killed. I'd read about all of these things before and had even seen many of them mentioned directly or indirectly in films, but Szpilman's account is nevertheless quite moving. Szpilman's son writes in the Foreward that his father must have been searching for answers while writing this book immediately after the war. However, Szpilman resists the urge to search for answers in his writing, choosing instead to share what he witnessed and endured. I think his account of the typhus epidemic will stay with me for a long time. Szpilman recalls that, at one point, as many as 5000 people died of typhus per month. Lice, he explains, were everywhere in the ghetto, and each louse could potentially carry the disease. Before he could come into his family's apartment, Szpilman's mother would inspect his clothing, remove the lice, and drown them in a bowl of spirits. In spite of precautions like these, the dead piled up in the streets faster than they could be taken away, and although this was the "modern age," it was still a time when you walked to work each day. Szpilman did, and this is arguably not the worst thing that he saw. I wonder whether anyone but a survivor could imagine the details Szpilman shares. For example, the disease was on everyone's mind, which we might expect. Szpilman goes on to explain how the poor wondered when they would die of typhus and the rich planned how they could obtain a vaccination against it. Though Szpilman did not come from a rich family, his profession did bring him into contact with that class. He explains how they would enter the cafe where he played and discuss business and their smuggling operations. They did not believe in charity, Szpilman explains, because "if you worked as hard as they did then you would earn as much too: it was open to everyone to do so, and if you didn’t know how to get on in life that was your own fault." Although we hear a similar refrain from the wealthy today, I was surprised to hear these statements coming out of the Warsaw ghetto in the midst of the Holocaust. Stories like these do little to add to our faith in humanity, do they. However, there are moments of great courage and compassion in this text. It is not uncommon to hear people consider what lessons or realizations we should take away from accounts like Szpilman's. Although our need to make sense of stories like these is understandable, perhaps our desire to find a simple narrative should give us pause, particularly in light of The Pianist's publication history. Szpilman published The Pianist in 1946, under the title "Death of a City." Szpilman's son explains in the Foreword how this book was not published again for another fifty years, saying only that the Soviet "authorities had their reasons" for rejecting it. Wolf Biermann's note in the Epilogue goes on to explain that books like this "contained too many painful truths about the collaboration of defeated Russians, Poles, Ukrainians, Latvians and Jews with the German Nazis. Even in Israel, people did not want to hear about such things." I was surprised to read this, but Szpilman's description of the Jewish police within the ghetto comes to mind. “You could have said, perhaps, that they had caught the Gestapo spirit. As soon as they put on their uniforms and police caps and picked up their rubber truncheons, their natures changed … That did not prevent them from forming a police jazz band which, incidentally, was excellent.” Szpilman's memoir contains many such moments of bitter irony. The Pianist is not a book that will allow us to sit comfortably with our easy answers to life's questions. For example, Szpilman was saved by a German captain near the end of the war. Captain Wilm Hosenfeld feels that God intended for them to survive "in this inferno for five years," but after the war he was detained as a criminal and sent away to die in a Soviet internment camp. I found The Pianist a remarkably powerful read. It is one of those rare memoirs that should not only be read because we'd like our children to learn Szpilman's experiences, but also because it is very well written. I recommend it.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Huether

    Wladyslaw Szpilman was a pianist in Warsaw Poland for the Polish Radio from 1945 to 1963. He also played on the Radio program before WWll. He and his parents, brother and sisters lived in the Jewish ghetto. His family all were captured and sent to the exterminations camps. Wladyslaw spent most of his time hiding in different flats in the ghetto. He had counted 30 times that soldiers had entered his flat. He often hid in the attic. Near the end of the war he was befriended by a German officer who a Wladyslaw Szpilman was a pianist in Warsaw Poland for the Polish Radio from 1945 to 1963. He also played on the Radio program before WWll. He and his parents, brother and sisters lived in the Jewish ghetto. His family all were captured and sent to the exterminations camps. Wladyslaw spent most of his time hiding in different flats in the ghetto. He had counted 30 times that soldiers had entered his flat. He often hid in the attic. Near the end of the war he was befriended by a German officer who asked him to play the piano. He played Chopin for him. The officer left him bread and jam and a mens coat and an elderdown blanket. After the war he was able to make contact with the officers family to show his gratitude.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    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 Pian 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.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Karolina Kat

    It is not possible to evaluate a personal account of losing everyone and going through hell.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Doreen Petersen

    Excellent book! Great info and reading. Definitely recommend this to everyone.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    The introduction to this book by Władysław Szpilman's son Andrzej reminds the reader that his father was a musician, not a writer. Despite this, The Pianist is a powerful memoir, perhaps all the more so because it is written in this honest, guileless way. It is a slim volume but includes all of the horrifying details of the Warsaw Ghetto that you may have seen in the film version of The Pianist, starring Adrien Brody. I was quietly pleased that the director Roman Polanski (himself a survivor of The introduction to this book by Władysław Szpilman's son Andrzej reminds the reader that his father was a musician, not a writer. Despite this, The Pianist is a powerful memoir, perhaps all the more so because it is written in this honest, guileless way. It is a slim volume but includes all of the horrifying details of the Warsaw Ghetto that you may have seen in the film version of The Pianist, starring Adrien Brody. I was quietly pleased that the director Roman Polanski (himself a survivor of the Krakow ghetto) did not embellish the original; indeed there was no need to exaggerate what was already incomprehensibly ghastly. The only difference I could see was when Szpilman's final hiding place is uncovered by Hosenfeld - in the film I believe Brody was wrestling with a pickle jar which rolled across the floor and was stopped by Hosenfeld's boot. In the book he is simply caught red-handed by the German Officer. The inclusion of Hosenfeld's diaries is an important one as it details his disgust with the Nazi regime, citing examples of previous regimes that have tried to control how people think and why they can never endure. He is horrified by the daily violence carried out nonchalantly by his fellow German officers. Either stupidly or bravely, he sends his letters to his family unabridged and in normal military post but somehow they are never intercepted. Szpilman clearly regrets not being able to save Hosenfeld from Soviet hands (he died following torture in a Soviet POW camp in 1952) but it is fitting that he and his son fought to have Hosenfeld remembered not only in this memoir but also in Yad Vashem. First-hand accounts like this never fail to move me, especially when our day-to-day lives are filled with "First World problems". Szpilman himself does not seem to know how on earth he kept going, and more than once had planned his own suicide to avoid being mistreated by German soldiers if he was found. I have no idea how he came out of the other side of this war - with his family murdered, Warsaw utterly flattened and goodness knows what mental health effects from 5 and half years of mistreatment and malnourishment. He hints that repeatedly going over his musical compositions in his head whilst utterly isolated in hiding may ultimately have kept him sane. Donald Trump, take note: the wall you would like to build to keep Mexicans away from US citizens is no different from the wall the Nazis built around the streets of Warsaw to keep the Jews away from Polish citizens. Next you will be building walls within US cities. These roads always lead to the same place.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Irma Sincera

    Tai turbūt pirmoji mano perskaityta knyga, kuri kažką iš pagrindų pakeitė mano mąstysenoje ir taip kaip aš mačiau tam tikrus dalykus pasaulyje. Tokios tikros, skausmingos ir atviros knygos niekada nebuvau skaičius. Tai istorija vyro, kuris vedamas mano nuomone savo apsukrumo ir beproto didelės sėkmės išgyveno tai- kas atrodė neįmanoma. Memuarai apima visą karo laikotarpį nuo jo pradžios iki pat paskutinės dienos. Karas truko 6 metus tai yra beprotiškai ilgas laiko tarpas kurį tau reikia išgyventi Tai turbūt pirmoji mano perskaityta knyga, kuri kažką iš pagrindų pakeitė mano mąstysenoje ir taip kaip aš mačiau tam tikrus dalykus pasaulyje. Tokios tikros, skausmingos ir atviros knygos niekada nebuvau skaičius. Tai istorija vyro, kuris vedamas mano nuomone savo apsukrumo ir beproto didelės sėkmės išgyveno tai- kas atrodė neįmanoma. Memuarai apima visą karo laikotarpį nuo jo pradžios iki pat paskutinės dienos. Karas truko 6 metus tai yra beprotiškai ilgas laiko tarpas kurį tau reikia išgyventi, šeši metai, tai tiek daug.... Wladislawas slapstydamasis praleisdavo mėnesių mėnesius nepratardamas ne žodžio, nebendraudamas su žmonėmis, reikia beproto daug stiprybės neišprotėti. Nuo pat pradžių jis buvo nusprendęs kad neleis jokiam vokiečiui jo nužudyti ar suimti, geriau nusižudys pats. Ironiška kad žmogus, kuris galiausiai išgelbejo jam gyvybę buvo Vokiečių policininkas. Ištraukos iš jo dienorašęio taip pat idetos į šia knygą ir yra labai svarbios šiai istorijai. Prieš karą Lenkijoje gyveno 3.5mln žydų, išgyveno vos virš 200 tūkst. Buvo išžudyti milijonai. Tačiau kas įdomiausia , šioje knygoje nėra jaučiamas pyktis, noras keršyti, nieko panarašaus. Skaitysiu dar ne kartą ir galiu drąsiai rekomenduoti.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    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 twent 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.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Emma 1

    It's hard to know what to write about this book as it is a story of survival that leaves one speechless. Like many, I read the book after seeing the movie. I saw it twice in the cinema; it was adapted to cinema with no changes to the original book. It is an amazing testament to man's will to survive. I remember at the time thinking, whatever so called 'problems' or challenges I was facing, they were nothing. I cannot imagine what it took for Mr Szpilman to go on with his life.

  29. 4 out of 5

    BAM The Bibliomaniac

    I can definitely tell why this was made into a movie. It was full of sadness, betrayal, turmoil, frustration, and most of the book takes place with the protagonist in hiding in an attic! One of the best Holocaust books I've read because I truly expressed his emotions.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Dora Santos Marques

    A minha opinião em vídeo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXWH-... Que relato emocionante de um dos pianista mais famosos de Varsóvia. Gostei mesmo muito deste livro. Super fiel ao filme.

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