Author: Wladyslaw Szpilman
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, as 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.