- The Pianist: The Extraordinary Story of One Man’s Survival in Warsaw, 1939–45 by Władysław Szpilman, Anthea Bell (Translator) – Published 1999 by Victor Gollancz (first published 1946)
The Lies of Claude Lanzmann and His SHOAH Exposed. German Death Penalty Was Decisive. Polish Betrayers of Fugitive Jews Were Animated by Fear
Polish Jew Wladyslaw Szpilman has written an outstanding and inspiring book that puts to shame much of today’s schlocky Holocaust materials. Most Holocaust films today are German-whitewashing and ultra-Judeocentric. Unidentified Nazis (they may as well be aliens from another planet) arrive out of nowhere and kill the Jews while the sufferings of non-Jews are not only ignored but scrupulously avoided (the local population may as well be living a normal carefree life). Not Szpilman!
GERMAN GUILT DIFFUSION REPUDIATED
Author Szpilman traces the course of German barbarism from the terror bombing of Warsaw and the high death toll to both Poles and Jews, to the brutal German conquest and occupation of Poland, the ensuing individual and mass murders of both Poles and Jews, the establishment of the Warsaw ghetto, the deportations of Jews to the death camps, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the destruction of the Ghetto, the Warsaw Uprising, and the ghastly obliteration of Warsaw by the vindictive Germans. Szpilman himself barely survives the war in the totally-gutted ruins of the Polish capital.
AMERICAN JEWS DID NOT HELP
In common with many others who experienced the Holocaust, Szpilman criticizes the American Jews for their lack of concern (p. 14) and for the Jews about to be murdered for being too passive (pp. 101-102). Szpilman’s entire account is remarkably free of Polonophobia. Unlike most Holocaust materials, which ignore or minimize the scale of Polish aid to Jews, Szpilman is forthright about the Poles’ smuggling of food and arms into the ghetto (p. 13; p. 126).
THE FALSEHOOD OF POLISH POLICE ROUNDING UP THE GHETTO JEWS FOR ONE-WAY TRIPS TO THE GERMAN-MADE DEATH CAMPS
Various Holocaust materials, notably Claude Lanzmann’s SHOAH, have falsely accused the Poles of assisting in the roundup of Jews for shipment to the death camps. In fact, those actually responsible for this sordid work were none other than the Jewish ghetto police (p. 77-78, 90, 100, 105) as well as the units of Ukrainian and Lithuanian collaborationists (p. 89, 92-93, 114-115, 198).
Later, during the Soviet-betrayed Warsaw Uprising, murders of both Poles and Jews were conducted by the Ukrainian forces (p. 149, 155-156, 164-166, 169) and Vlassov (collaborationist Russian) units (p. 163). Szpilman’s testimony soundly refutes contemporary Ukrainians who insist that their units had nothing to do with the suppression of the Warsaw Uprising.
THE GERMAN-IMPOSED DEATH PENALTY WAS DECISIVE IN CONSTRAINING POLISH AID TO JEWS
Poland is one of very few nations under Nazi German occupation where the slightest aid to Jews was met with death.
Szpilman recounts an experience that refutes Jan T. Gross’ rather silly notion that the German death penalty was applied too arbitrarily and frequently to deter Polish aid to Jews: „He came back, but with bad news: my acquaintances had said that they could not risk hiding a Jew. After all, they explained, rather indignant at my even having suggested such a thing, doing so carried the death penalty! (p. 122”)
POLISH BETRAYERS OF JEWS DRIVEN BY FEAR
As for the Poles who turned Jews in, Szpilman avoids reflexive charges of anti-Semitism and instead comments (p. 147): „My immediate neighbours were a married couple active in the underground; they were on the run and did not sleep at home. This fact entailed some risk for me too, but I felt that I would rather have such people as neighbours than semi-educated Poles loyal to their masters who might hand me over out of fear.” Yes, fear is a powerful motivator! But we seldom hear about that when the subject of Polish denunciations of fugitive Jews is brought up.
Published with the author’s permission.
Title image: „The Pianist: The Extraordinary Story of One Man’s Survival in Warsaw, 1939–45″ by Władysław Szpilman, part of the cover / selected by wg.pco