The Pianist – Władysław Szpilman

This entry should be a surprise to all readers, if I have any and I hope there are some stray Internet wanderers having a regular look at my writing. This blog has been run for a long time (more than one year), but none of the entries have ever been published in the language of Shakespeare. It’s quite strange, especially when the author is probably in a more intimate relationship with English language than an everyday Polish user of the Internet. The absence of such entries is partly because of the author’s thinking that his fluency, if I may say so, is still not satisfactory. It is the fear that must be overcome, cause nothing good will come out of it. This piece of writing is one of the first steps in the direction of depriving the shyness. By the way, I am really curious how many visitors will this entry have in near future. Let’s wait and we will see.

But this will do for an introduction. This blog has a versatile application. At the very beginning, there were only books’ reviews. Some time later films’ reviews were added. The history came full circle and again some other types of text found their own place on the site. Maybe there is now a perfect time for a change and some of the texts should be written in English?

I’d like to devote these several following sentences to a book I’ve read recently and which impressed me a lot. It is a kind of diary written by Wladyslaw Szpilman just after the end of the WWII. I believe lots of people have watched The Pianist directed by Roman Polanski. But before the film there was the book, initially forbidden in communistic Poland. The censorship couldn’t allow to print a story where a German soldier helps a Jew during the war. Fortunately, long-standing efforts of Andrzej Szpilman, the son of Wladyslaw, finally resulted in publication of the memoirs of his father in Poland in 2002. The book is also enriched with excerpts from a diary of Wilm Hosenfeld and the afterward edited by Wolf Biermann.

There is August of 1939 and nobody in Warsaw believes that the outbreak of war is likely to be avoided. Wladyslaw, who graduated from the Academy of Music in Berlin, is a pianist working for Polish Radio. He lives peacefully with his family in the centre of the capital until the day when Nazis invaded Poland and within a couple of days reached Warsaw. At the beginning of war the relationship between the occupants and citizens is fairly “good”, if such word may be used in this situation. But the situation get worse and worse with every day. There are mass executions, Jews are forced to wear bands with the Star of David and are treated like subhumans. In the following years Warsaw Ghetto is built and all Jewish community, nearly half a million of people is jammed in the area of three square kilometres. The conditions are horrible, the poverty and famine as well as Nazis’ terror increases with every day. This all is beyond imagination of a person living now in a free world.

The witness given by Szpilman in the book is interesting in one more aspect. The reader of the story may have an impression that it all has been described by a person isolating himself from all that cruelty and injustice. It is a fact that the history was written down after the war, but the one may not contradict the feeling that the descriptions are deprived of emotions. It’s needles, because readers add emotions by themselves.

The book is very moving and stays in a reader’s mind a long time after finishing. But much greater stimuli are derived from reading and then watching the outstanding picture by Polanski. It’s something unforgettable.

I truly recommend it to all of You, my Dear Readers. This is a must read, for all young and the elders. Fifty Shades of Gray will change nothing in our lives, this book is to remember and not repeat previous generations’ mistakes.


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  1. #1 by Buy Google Traffic on 01/02/2013 - 11:30 am

    I was wondering if you ever thought of changing the layout
    of your blog? Its very well written; I love what youve
    got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content
    so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful
    lot of text for only having one or 2 images. Maybe you could space it out better?

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