Eminent Polish-Jewish composer and pianist Władysław Szpilman was a household name in pre-WWII Warsaw, but it was his miraculous story of survival during the war that would later form the basis for the Oscar-winning film ‘The Pianist’.
The ‘castaways’ numbered from 500 up to possibly 2,000 people, but only a few hundred made it to the end. To survive, they formed themselves into small groups, pooling skills and dividing tasks. For the months ahead they hunkered in their shelters, each an island in the ocean of ruins.
Eighty yeas ago famed pianist Władysław Szpilman played Chopin as German bombs rained down on Warsaw.