Hosenfeld, Wilm



Wilm Hosenfeld was an officer of the Wehrmacht during World War Two. He was stationed in Poland from the beginning of the war until Warsaw was captured by the Soviets; he served some 4.5 years in the Polish capital. Here he was confronted with the crimes committed against both Polish and German citizens by his fellow countrymen. He described the atrocities he saw and heard about in his diary, not only full of shame and guilt but he also helped some Jews and Poles to survive.

One of them was Wladyslaw Spzilman, the piano player whose life story was made into a movie by Polish director Roman Polanski in 2002. Thanks to "The Pianist", Wilm Hosenfeld was drawn out of obscurity. Yet, after having seem the movie, we know little more of him than that he was the officer who saved Spzilman. This article is an attempt to change that.


Middle Eastern people with own religion that lived in Palestine. They distinguished themselves by their strong monotheism and the strict observance of the Law and tradition. During World War 2 the Jewish people were ruthlessly persecuted and annihilated by the German Nazis. . An estimated 6,000,000 Jews were exterminated.
German armed military forces, divided in ground forces, air force and navy.

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Translated by:
Arnold Palthe
Article by:
Kevin Prenger
Published on:
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