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The Pianist

The Pianist - Władysław Szpilman 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.