Blogging the Bookshelf

Blogging my bookshelf – one book at a time

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"The Pianist", Wladyslaw Szpilman

June 7th, 2009 · No Comments · History

Synopsis: The true story of Wladyslaw Szpilman, a Jewish pianist who survives the German invasion of Poland, the Warsaw ghetto and the ultimate destruction of the city.

My Take: It’s sad to say but at a certain point, first hand accounts of holocaust survival start to have a numbing affect. It’s hard to know whether it’s better to read books like this to try to maintain the fires of outrage or whether you need to draw the line at a certain point to preserve a sense of innocence or humanity that is able to be outraged. Hmmm. An amazing and well written story regardless.

Highlight: The edition I read had an epilogue with diary entries from the German soldier who protected Szpilman in the final days of the war. To be honest I found the internal moral angst of someone struggling to do good against overwhelming evil more compelling than Szpilman’s struggle for survival. Fighting to survive can be almost instinctive at times, fighting to do right in the face of enormous personal danger requires genuine courage.

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