However, in 1939, all that was about to change (The Pianist). People just need something to hold onto. Throughout the war, Halina had no idea what was happening to her father. Mrs. Szpilman told us a very interesting story- the story about a Janek.
When the Jews heard that the Germans were headed for their town, they wanted to flee and hide so that they would not have to face evil. They knew that there would be some changes and that they would have live in fear everyday; but, they figured if they fled then they would have to live in fear no matter where they lived (The Pianist). Many people who lived in Warsaw only listened to the Polish radio station when Szpilman was playing (The Pianist).
With lack of medicine and terrifying conditions, many sicknesses passed around hospitals therefore; death was very possible.
After his first piano lessons at “Chopin School of Music in Warsaw, under Josef Smidowicz and Aleksander Michalowski, who both were former students of Liszt,” he decided that playing the piano was what he really liked and continued his studies further “at the Academy of Arts (Akademie der Kuenste) in Berlin under Arthur Schnabel and Leonid Kreutzer in 1931” (The Story 1-5). They shoot, they beat, it’s terrible, horrible, they drive the Jews to the trains.
The visit changed into a stay that lasted three months.
The house had been looted and little remained inside. Although Wladyslaw Szpilman lived seven years of his life in the Warsaw Ghetto and experienced and witnessed horrible things that one can only imagine, he was a survivor and a hero of World War II.
Halina was overjoyed. Before 1939, the world was on the brink of war and the kettle was coming to a slow simmer. Our Jewish heart is filled with pain: Who will be able to heal our hurt?
The fact that the Germans took her father alone, rather than in a group like most people, added to the worry. Janek also survived the war and lived many years after.
Do you have chills up and down your spine? Everything during the war depended on people.
Some people are so focused in remembering the people who died that they seem to forget the ones who went through hell and survived the war. Halina had 3 siblings: Władysław Szpilman and 2 other siblings. Before the war, Halina, her mother, father and sister lived in a beautiful countryside house just outside of the city of Radom. She, of course, received occasional letters from her father explaining where he was, but the truth was that any day a letter could arrive informing the family of her father’s death. Between World War I (WWI) and World War II (WWII), Mrs. Szpilman’s father was a politician in the PPS. Still having many flashbacks from living in the Warsaw Ghetto, Szpilman explains in his book: Sometimes I give recitals in the building at number 8 Narbutt Street in the Warsaw where I carried bricks and lime – where the Jewish brigade worked: the men who were shot once the flats for German officers were finished.
Now, how do you feel?
Szpilman died in 2000 as Polanski searched for an actor to play him. They even lived in the same block.
What the Germans did to the Jews was wrong, and when something is wrong, people have to stand up for what is right. The Nazis made them German and forced the men to fight in the army.