Alone in Warsaw-Władysław Szpilman & Wilm Hosenfeld

History of Sorts

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Before Germany invaded Poland, more than a million people lived in Warsaw. When the city was liberated in January of 1945 – just four months after the Nazis crushed the city during the Warsaw Uprising – only 153,000 starving citizens had survived. Wladyslaw Szpilman was one of them.

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The pianist, whose hands would once more provide his livelihood if he survived the war, was always at risk.

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Sometimes he used his hands to cling to a roof, trying to avoid the streams of German bullets. Sometimes the people who helped him stay alive could not safely deliver meager supplies. And he was always completely alone:

“I was alone: alone not just in a single building or even a single part of a city, but alone in a whole city that only two months ago had had a population of a million and a half and was one of the richer…

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