‘The Pianist’: Władysław Szpilman mementos to be auctioned in Warsaw

The family of Holocaust-surviving composer and hero of the Oscar-winning film “The Pianist” will auction his storied silver pocket watch and Steinway grand piano, among other items.

[from Deutsche Welle]

Władysław Szpilman’s story is rare among Polish Jews who were marched into the Warsaw Ghetto. While his entire family were murdered at the Treblinka death camp, his life was spared before he went underground in the Polish capital until the war ended. The composer’s unlikely Holocaust survival was chronicled in his autobiography, a story that was later immortalized in the film, The Pianist (2002). He lived until the age of 88, dying in 2000.

Saved from the death camps

It was Szpilman’s son Andrzej who in 1998 published a new edition of his father’s memoir that was originally titled The Death of a City, and was translated into English as The Pianist. Andrzej Szpilman is also overseeing the auction of his father’s prized possessions at DESA Unicum, the largest and oldest auction house in Poland.

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