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Story of a Secret State Paperback – November 1, 2001
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Karski was involved in the defense of Poland from the first hours of WWII. A few authors (e. g. Alfred-Maurice de Zayas) have tried to deny the existence of a German fifth column during the German-Soviet conquest of Poland (September-October 1939). In actuality, Karski's very unit came under fire from members of this fifth column (p. 8). The attackers were Polish citizens of German descent.
Karski ended up in Soviet and then German captivity. He repeatedly writes of the unbelievable barbarity of both conquerors. While in a Gestapo prison, Karski slashed his wrists in an unsuccessful suicide attempt. He had feared that he might break down under the incessant torture and betray his confidants in the Polish Underground. Karski was freed by a daring commando attack by the Underground combined with a well-placed bribe of a German guard.
Karski elaborates on the forced Germanization of Poznan (pp. 78-82), something attempted unsuccessfully before under Frederick the Great and then Bismarck. The Poles were brutally expelled. Very few of the remaining Poles chose to register as Germans and thus become Volksdeutsche.
Karski (p.Read more ›
Jan Karski is credited with being the first man to inform the Allies of the Holocaust when he smuggled microfilm evidence out of Poland in 1943. Even after meetings with Anthony Eden in London and Roosevelt in Washington - he was basically ignored.
'Story of a Secret State, My Report to the World' is Jan Karski's story of his introduction and involvement with the Polish underground resistance (the 'secret' State within a State) starting with his 'capture' by the Red Army, being involved in a prisoner exchange with the Nazis and his escape whilst being transported to a German Labour Camp.
Karski's tale is to say the least heroic but he writes in a rather understated, matter of fact way, something captured in an excellent translation. 4 years of slipping in out of not only German occupied Polish towns but between countries as well. Captured by the Gestapo, tortured, he was rescued and smuggled into the Warsaw Ghetto. He then disguised himself as a guard to get first hand evidence of a Nazi death camp, and travelled across occupied Europe to get this evidence to England - but to very little or no avail.
This book is a witness to history as was the man who wrote it, a patriot and a fighter who was more than willing to lay down his life for his country.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
In 1955, I was a 17 year old senior in high school and very interested in History and Government. One of my teachers suggested I read this book. Read morePublished 9 days ago by TannyW
An amazing story. Highly recommend to everyone. Should be read in every high school in America.Published 29 days ago by Professor Prime
i knew JAN karski and his spouse. Jan Karski autographed to me in l979 , several cpies of the Story of a Secret State, the first edition published in December 1944, when it was... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Fred A. Kahn
Impressive. The news about the Polish Underground was news to me. I'm sick unto death of holocaust literatue and I'm very glad I read this.Published 4 months ago by MARILYN ROSENBLATT
Story of a Secret State
Jan Karski was born in 1914 Poland and received a degree in Law and Diplomatic Science in 1935. Read more