The Pianist by Władysław Szpilman PDF Download

The Pianist pdf is a gripping, poignant, and often moving true story of survival told through the music of Wladyslaw Szpilman.

Information of The Pianist PDF

The Pianist pdf
Book Name The Pianist
Pages 222
Author Władysław Szpilman
5/5 (1 vote)

In 1940, after fleeing Poland and living in a small apartment in Warsaw protected by a gas mask, Wladyslaw Szpilman started learning German. On September 23, he married a German woman and soon was cut off from his family. After working as a piano tuner, he joined the Polish army but was rejected because of an arm injury and went into hiding, changing himself into an actor’s assistant to earn money and pretending to be sick to avoid his boss’s suspicions. He became part of the Polish resistance movement against Nazi occupation and helped smuggle Jews out of the ghetto. In his memoirs, however, he claims only being able to save six Jewish friends during WWII.

The famous pianist is a prisoner in Auschwitz who crafts a death-defying escape plan. With the help of fellow prisoners, he manages to evade capture for several months by performing mind tricks on Nazis, convincing them that he is a mathematical genius. After being released from the ghetto and moving to a forced labor camp next door, he combines his math skills with music and cinema knowledge to deceive his captors again. He tries to escape through the sewers but is eventually discovered and killed.

On September 23rd 1939, with Nazi Germany invading Poland and its native population being sent off in transports, the Polish Radio broadcast was interrupted by German shelling. It was the same piece and the same pianist, when broadcasting was resumed six years later. This book details his story and musical life as a refugee who highly valued tradition, art and music against the backdrop of cultural resistance to Nazism across Europe.

About The Pianist Book

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 was 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, 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, a German officer, Wilm Hosenfeld, 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. Still, 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. Still, 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 English. 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 miraculous survival offers a voice for the faceless millions who lost their lives across the years. –David Vincent.

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