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  Recommended Reading:
Holocaust / Genocide Studies,
Polish-Jewish Relations

Władysław Szpilman: The Pianist
Reading List
(compiled by John Radzilowski)

Polish-Jewish Relations up to 1939
World War II and Beyond
Soviet Genocide
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Władysław Szpilman: The Pianist. The extraordinary true story of one man's survival in Warsaw, 1939-1945. Picador USA, New York, 1999. Translated from Polish by Anthea Bell. ISBN 0-312-24415-0

Recommended by Maryann Wojciechowski

Szpilman was a pianist for Polish Radio when WW2 broke out, and as a Jew, he was confined to the Warsaw Ghetto. This is his recollection of life there, and of how he survived the deportations to the death camps, the Ghetto Uprising, and the slaughter of civilians in the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. It differs from other Jewish Holocaust memoirs in that Szpilman refuses to stereotype Poles as anti-Semites and collaborators. He pays tribute to the thousands of Poles who rescued Jews, and to those who saved his life. He says that without the Polish people, he would not have survived. Szpilman considers himself Polish first, then Jewish--and can't imagine living anywhere else but Poland, where he still lives at the age of 88. Szpilman was also rescued by a German captain, who saved other Jews and Poles; the book includes parts of the German officer's diary. Szpilman seems to be most critical of the ghetto's wealthy Jews, the Jewish Police, and the Jewish Labour Bureau. 

Polish-Jewish Relations up to 1939   Top of Page

Gutman, Israel, et al., eds. The Jews of Poland between the Two World Wars. Hanover, N.H.: University Presses of New England (Brandeis University Press), 1989.

Hertz, Aleksander. The Jews in Polish Culture. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1988.

Kapiszewski, Andrzej. Hugh Gibson and a Controversy over Polish-Jewish Relations after World War I. Jagiellonian University, 1991.Krakow:

Lerski, George J. and Halina T., comp. Jewish-Polish Coexistence, 1772-1939: A Topical Bibliography. New York: Greenwood Press, 1986.

Opalski, Magdalena, and Israel Bartal. Poles and Jews: A Failed Brotherhood. New England (Brandeis Hanover, N.H.: University Presses of University Press), 1992.

Polin: A Journal of Polish-Jewish Studies. Oxford: Institute for Polish-Jewish Studies. Annual publications, beginning in 1986 with volume 1.

Zebrowski, Rafal, and Zofia Borzyminska, Po-Lin: Kultura Zydow Polskich w XX wieku. Warsaw: Amarant, 1993.

World War II and beyond   Top of Page

Cargas, James Henry, ed. Voices from the Holocaust. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1993.

Engel, David. Facing a Holocaust: The Polish Government in Exile and the Jews, 1943-1945. of North Carolina Press, 1993. Chapel Hill: University

Gut-Opdyke, Irene, with Jeffrey M. Elliot. Into the Flames: The Story of a Righteous Gentile Borgo Press, 1992. San Bernadino, Calif.:

Iranek-Osmecki, Kazimierz. He Who Saves One Life: The Complete, Documented Story of the Poles Who Struggled to Save Jews during World War II. New York: Crown Publishers, 1971.

Lukas, Richard C. Did the Children Cry? Hitler's War Against Jewish and Polish Children, 1939-1945 New York: Hippocrene, 1994.

----. Forgotten Holocaust: The Poles Under German Occupation, 1939-1945. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1986.

Lukas, Richard C., ed. Out of the Inferno: Poles Remember the Holocaust. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1989.

Nowak, Jan. Courier from Warsaw. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1982.

Peleg-Marianska, Miriam and Mordecai Peleg. Witnesses: Life in Occupied Krakow. London: Routledge, 1991.

Polonsky, Antony, ed. My Brother's Keeper? Recent Polish Debates on the Holocaust. London: Routledge, 1990.

Proch, Franciszek J. Poland's Way of the Cross, 1939-1945. New York: Polish Association of Former Political Prisoners of Nazi and Soviet Concentration Camps, n.d. (late 1980s).

Wood, E. Thomas, and Stanislaw M. Jankowski. Karski: How One Man Tried to Stop the Holocaust. New York: John Wiley and Sons Inc., 1994.

Zajaczkowski, Waclaw. Martyrs of Charity. Washington, D.C.: Maximilian Kolbe Foundation, 1987.

Soviet Genocide   Top of Page

Gross, Jan Tomasz. Revolution from Abroad: The Soviet Conquest of Poland's Western Ukraine and Western Belorussia. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1988.

Paul, Allen. Katyn: The Untold Story of Stalin's Polish Massacre. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1991

Piotrowski, Tadeusz. Vengenance of the Swallows: A Memoir of a Polish Family's Ordeal Under Soviet Agression, Ukrainian Ethnic Cleansing and Nazi Enslavement, and Their Emigration to America. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co., 1995.

Proch, Franciszek J. Poland's Way of the Cross, 1939-1945. New York: Polish Association of Former Political Prisoners of Nazi and Soviet Concentration Camps, n.d. (1980s).

Slowes, Salomon W. The Road to Katyn: A Soldier's Story. Oxford: Blackwell, 1992.

Zawodny, J. K. Death in the Forest: The Story of Katyn Forest Massacre. Notre Dame: Notre Dame University Press, 1962.

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