My father ‘The Pianist’. The true story

My father ‘The Pianist’. The true story Patrick Ney/TFN

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.

First pulled out of a line by a Jewish police officer as he awaited deportation to the German extermination camp Treblinka, he was then hidden for over a year by Polish friends before the Warsaw Uprising left him cut off from them in the ruins of the capital.

Hiding in a burnt out building on 223 Aleja Niepodległości, he was found by a German officer who, remarkably, helped him survive.

As Poland approaches another anniversary of the end of the Warsaw Uprising on the 3rd of October, Heart of Poland interviewed Władysław Szpilman’s son, Andrzej Szpilman, who gave an intimate insight into how he first came to accidentally find his father’s memoir, his journey to getting it published and the film made, and his experiences on the set with Roman Polanski and Adrien Brody.

He also discusses his hopes for his father’s legacy and further projects he is planning to tell his father’s story.