The Volunteer: One Man, an Underground Army, and the Secret Mission to Destroy Auschwitz
“Superbly written and breathtakingly researched, The Volunteer smuggles us into Auschwitz and shows us—as if watching a movie—the story of a Polish agent who infiltrated the infamous camp, organized a rebellion, and then snuck back out. We are squarely confronted with the other human truth: ordinary people will happily risk their lives to help others. Fairweather has dug up a story of incalculable value and delivered it to us in the most compelling prose I have read in a long time.” —Sebastian Junger, bestselling author of The Perfect Storm and Tribe
The incredible true story of a Polish resistance fighter’s infiltration of Auschwitz to sabotage the camp from within, and his daring escape to warn the Allies about the Nazis’ true plans for a “Final Solution.”
The name of the camp was Auschwitz.
Over the next two and half years, Pilecki forged an underground army within Auschwitz that sabotaged facilities, assassinated Nazi informants and officers, and smuggled out evidence of terrifying abuse and mass murder. But as the annihilation of innocents accelerated, Pilecki realized he would have to attempt another perilous mission: escape Auschwitz and somehow—with more than 900 miles of Nazi-occupied territory in the way—deliver his alert to London before all was lost. . .
Completely erased from the historical record by Poland’s Communist government, Pilecki remains almost unknown to the world. Now, with exclusive access to previously hidden diaries, family and camp survivor accounts and recently declassified files, Jack Fairweather reveals Witold’s exploits with vivid, cinematic bravura. He also uncovers the tragic outcome of Pilecki’s mission, in which the ultimate betrayal came not on the Continent, but England.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - KatrinaShawver - LibraryThing
Jack Fairweather has done a great service by thoroughly documenting the story of Witold Pilecki, so that this brave, patriotic man will not be forgotten. Witold Pilecki is a well-known Polish hero to ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - CharlesSvec - LibraryThing
It took a little while to read thru this book. I kept going to the pictures to match up with the names, and it was challenging to keep track of everyone. Even so, this is a good book to read about a first hand account of what happened in Auschwitz. Read full review