The Pianist, By Wladyslaw Szpilman Essay

2815 words - 11 pages

Literature often documents historical events of great significance and
possesses the ability to inspire. The Pianist, by Wladyslaw Szpilman shares
the true story of the author's survival as a Jew, amidst the Holocaust. He
witnesses the destruction of Warsaw, Poland and suffers from tremendous
grief and misery. All the Jews at the time were victims of various
Anti-Semitic decrees and rules. Europe, continentally was stripped from its
democratic rights and forced under oppression by the Nazi regime. The
Jewish council was inevitably formed in many countries by well- respected
Jews for protection and safety. On the contrary, few countries rebelled and
launched movements such as the Polish Rebellion, in efforts to resist
German control. Consequently, the Jews were harassed and tortured to death
by unorthodox, German experiments. They were permanently labelled as social
misfits by the society and nearly annihilated out of existence. The
Holocaust, introduced by brutal dictators was responsible for the death of
six million innocent Jews in Europe (Rosenberg, Jennifer).The political
uprising of Hitler during World War two and the social exclusion of the
Jews from the community accurately reflects the memoirs of Wladyslaw
Szpilman in The Pianist and influences Anti-Semitic decrees, oppression,
formation of the Jewish council, the Polish rebellion, inhumane acts of
cruelty and the societal perception of Jews as inferior creatures, while
portraying themes such as the struggle for survival, abuse of power leads
to enforcement of immoral law, and exposing the true brutality of human
nature.

The gradual introduction of Anti-Semitic decrees in The Pianist is a direct
influence of Hitler's political policies that intended on excluding all the
Jews across Europe. Wladyslaw Szpilman and his family were affected by laws
that specifically targeted Jews. Wladyslaw says, “Instead, there was to be
a separate Jewish quarter of the city where the Jews lived,” (Szpilman, 58)
referring to the ghetto rumours. A law required all the Jews in Warsaw to
move into a designated area, isolated from the rest of the city. The
creation of the ghetto by the government specifically excludes the Jews
from the society and demonstrates the theme, abuse of power leads to
unethical laws. Germans surrounded the ghetto with armed fences to limit
the shipment of food and water. They simply left the Jews to die of
starvation and isolation. Wladyslaw, being the only one in his family with
a job, had the sole responsibility to provide for a family of five. This is
indicative of the struggles for survival endured by all the Jews on a
regular basis to ensure financial security. Furthermore, Wladyslaw
elaborates about the mandatory services required of all Jews: "The first
announced that Jews were to do two years' labour in concentration camps
where we would receive 'appropriate social education', to cure us of being
'parasites on the healthy organism of...

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