Warszawa (Warsaw): Spółdzelnia Wydawnicza, 1946. First edition. In original illustrated cover, designed by Maria Hiszpańska(-Neumann). 204, (4) p. Slightly chipped at edges, otherwise in good condition.
Władysław “Władek” Szpilman (1911–2000) was a Polish-Jewish pianist, composer and memoirist. He became world-famous by Roman Polanski’s Oscar-winner film, “The Pianist” (2002) which is based on this memoir “Śmierć Miasta”, wherein Szpilman recounts how he survived the Holocaust. Szpilman studied as a pianist in Warsaw and Berlin between 1926–1933. He made his first stage debut in 1932 and started composing popular music in 1935. He was working for the Polish radio until the outbreak of World War II. Szpilman got imprisoned in the Warsaw ghetto in 1940 where he played in its cafes and concert halls to support his family. In 1943 he managed to escape from the ghetto and he was hiding until the last months of 1944 when he was discovered by a Wehrmacht officer, Captain Wilhelm Hosenfeld who helped him to find better places to hide and provided him with food and cloth. After the end of the war Szpilman wrote his memoir about his survival and published it in 1946. It was published again in 1998 in many countries with variant title “Pianista” (The Pianist) and it was adapted to screen in 2002 by Roman Polanski.