in Snippets

📚 Finished reading The Pianist by Władysław Szpilman. An incredible memoir of a Jewish man who somehow survives years in the Warsaw Ghetto during World War 2. I saw the film years ago; his encounter with Wilm Hosenfeld, a merciful German soldier who keeps him alive through his kindness, is a relatively small part of the book. Extracts from Hosenfeld’s diaries and an additional epilogue add significant context to the story:

“You can’t help wondering again and again how there can possibly be such riff-raff among our own people. Have the criminals and lunatics been let out of the prisons and asylums and sent here to act as bloodhounds? No, it’s people of some prominence in the State who have taught their otherwise harmless countrymen to act like this. Evil and brutality lurk in the human heart. If they are allowed to develop freely they flourish, putting out dreadful offshoots, the kind of ideas necessary if the Jews and the Poles are to be murdered like this.” — Wilm Hosenfeld

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