Book Claims Pianist Hero Was a 'Gestapo Man'

New book alleges that Wladyslaw Szpilman worked with Nazis
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2010 3:35 PM CDT
Wladyslaw Szpilman, Hero of 'The Pianist' a Gestapo Collaborator: Book
A screenshot from the trailer for Roman Polanski's adaptation of "The Pianist."   (YouTube)

Wladyslaw Szpilman, the real-life Polish pianist whose memoir inspired Roman Polanski’s award-winning film The Pianist, actually collaborated with the Gestapo, according to a new book. Entitled Accused: Wiera Gran, the book quotes the private notes of Wiera Gran, a deceased Polish singer who once claimed that Szpilman “formed a gang to kill me.” Gran refers to Szpilman as a “Gestapo man,” and says he worked as a Jewish policeman who helped resettle Warsaw’s Jews, the Guardian reports.

The book’s publisher is marketing it as, “The other side of the Wladyslaw Szpilman story.” Szpilman’s son has taken legal action, demanding the book be taken off the shelves. “My father was a victim of the Nazis, not a collaborator,” Andrzej Szpilman said, adding that he’s seen the book’s claims on anti-Semitic websites. “I don't want the name of my father, who is a symbolic figure, to be dragged through the dirt.” (More Wladyslaw Szpilman stories.)

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