The Pianist: The Extraordinary True Story of One Man's Survival in Warsaw, 1939-1945 by Wladyslaw Szpilman.
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On September 23, 1939, Wladyslaw Szpilman played Chopin's Nocturne in C-sharp minor live on the radio as shells exploded outside—so loudly that he couldn't hear his piano. It was the last live music broadcast from Warsaw: That day, a German bomb hit the station, and Polish Radio went off the air.
Though he lost his entire family, Szpilman survived in hiding. In the end, his life was saved by a German officer who heard him play the same Chopin Nocturne on a piano found among the rubble. Written immediately after the war and suppressed for decades, The Pianist is a stunning testament to human endurance and the redemptive power of fellow feeling.
"Stunning . . . Filled with unforgettable incidents, images, and people.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Remarkable . . . a document of lasting historical and human value.” —The Los Angeles Times