He talked about the typhus breakout and says that 5,000 people died every month from this disease (Szpilman 17).The story that Szpilman gives is accurate to the historical accounts that were found when I researched the book. The Jews did not seem to expect that the Ghetto would be formed after the war started because the Germans came into their town without warning and they were not threatening them at first. People were leaving their town because they were afraid, but when the Germans came they told everyone not to worry and told them to just stay (Szpilman 33). The people though they were safe and that the Germans came to help them. There was a general in each city and the Jews were told to dig trenches around their city so that German tanks could not get to them (Szpilman 34). The city was being bombed at every turn and everyday people were being killed by the bombs. Many people lost their homes because of what happened and the whole city was being destroyed. The people in his village also had to walk past their friends who were dead and left in the street. Szpilman talked about how bad the bodies smelled as they walked by because the bodies were rotting in the street (Szpilman 42). The Jews who were still alive felt very happy because they were still alive and they thought they were safe from danger because the bombing had stopped for awhile.Szpilman describes the first problems with the Germans as nothing very bad. He saws when a Jew was seen on the street by the Germans they were taken away in a car to some place, and then kicked or slapped while the Germans asked them questions. They did not see this situation as very bad because people always came back to their families.There were many laws that they called decrees that the Germans put in the village that were specific to tell Jews what to do. These decrees were rules that the Germans made up to make the Jews do things. As an example, Jews had to give all their real estate to the Germans and they could only keep a certain amount of money in their house. The rest of their money had to go into the bank (Szpilman 45). Most Jews began to hide anything that was valuable in a place where they hoped the Germans could not find it. These were the early years of the German occupation of Jewish towns and many Jews chose to leave. Those that chose to leave went to Russia. They
Szpilman, Wladslaw. The Pianist. NY: Picador, 1999.
United States Holocaust Museum. " Szpilmans Warsaw" The History Behind The Pianist" .
http://www.ushmm.org/museum/exhibit/focus/pianist 12 May 2011.
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