Karski's "Story of a Secret State" stands as one of the most poignant and inspiring memoirs of World War II and the Holocaust. With elements of a spy thriller, documenting his experiences in the Polish Underground, and as one of the first eyewitness accounts of the slaughter of the Jews by the German Nazis.
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Jan Karski was born in od , Poland, in 1914. He received a degree in Law and Diplomatic Science in 1935 and served as a liaison officer of the Polish Underground during World War II. He carried the first eyewitness report of the Holocaust to a mostly unbelieving West, meeting with President Roosevelt in 1943 to plead for Allied intervention. Story of a Secret State was originally published in 1944, becoming a bestseller and Book of the Month Club selection. After the war, Karski earned his PhD at Georgetown University, where he served as a distinguished professor in the School of Foreign Service for forty years. He died in Washington, DC, in 2000. Karski has been recognized as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem. In 2012, he was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.
Note on the Text Publisher's Note Preface Foreword Biographical Essay of Jan Karski 1. Defeat2. Prisoner in Russia3. Exchange and Escape4. Devastated Poland5. The Beginning6. Transformation7. Initiation8. Borecki9. Contact between Cells10. Mission to France11. The Underground State12. Caught by the Gestapo13. Torture14. The SS Hospital15. Rescue16. The "Gardener"17. Propoganda from the Country18. Execution of a Traitor19. The Four Branches of the Underground20. The Laskowa Apartment21. Assignment in Lublin22. Retribution23. The Secret Press24. My "Conspiratorial Apparatus"25. The Liaison Women26. Marriage per Procuram27. School-Underground28. Parliament in Poland29. The Ghetto30. "To Die in Agony ..."31. Unter den Linden Revisited32. Journey through France and Spain33. My Report to the World Notes Glossary Further Reading Afterword Index
Briskly paced, this is a gripping and immediate account of Nazi brutality from a brave leader of the resistance. (Starred Review) Publishers Weekly A disturbing, unique, invaluable record of Poland's suffering and heroism during World War II. A well-deserved revival of the author's 1944 best-seller. (Starred Review) Kirkus Reviews Those who fear they have been desensitized by the sheer volume of information chronicling Nazi brutality in occupied Europe must read this memoir... This is an exciting but often painful recounting of one man's witness to terror and tragedy. Booklist The story has all the characteristics of a spy-thriller-concealed film and suicide capsules, capture, interrogation, the drama of train travel and border checkpoints, the mysteries of those met, and countless convoluted escapes (a specialty of his) The Vienna Review Secret State is an indispensible and compelling historical document of World War II and the Holocaust, written by a supremely courageous humanitarian. Tampa Bay Times
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