Karski: How One Man Tried to Stop the Holocaust
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Part spy thriller and part compelling story of moral courage against all odds, Karski is the first definitive account of perhaps the most significant warning of the impending Holocaust to reach the free world.

A young Polish diplomat turned cavalry officer, Jan Karski joined the Polish Underground movement in 1939. He became a courier for the Underground, crossing enemy lines to serve as a liaison between occupied Poland and the free world.

In 1942, Jewish leaders asked him to carry a desperate message to Allied leaders: the news of Hitler’s effort to exterminate the Jews of Europe. To be able to deliver an authentic report, Karski twice toured the Warsaw Ghetto in disguise and later volunteered to be smuggled into a camp that was part of the Nazi murder machine.

Carrying searing tales of inhumanity, Karski set out to alert the world to the emerging Holocaust, meeting with top Allied officials and later President Roosevelt, to deliver his descriptions of genocide.


E. Thomas Wood - As a Cambridge University graduate student in 2001-2002, I unearthed a tale of illicit cooperation between French and British police authorities to combat anarchist terrorism in the 1890s — a secret, fear-driven “war on terror” that featured serious violations of U.K. law by senior officials over a period of several years. My master’s thesis (“dissertation,” in British parlance) made the discovery public for the first time, surprising a number of leading scholars on this era. Like the Karski book, it has been cited repeatedly in scholarly publications.

My career in journalism has featured numerous investigative reports that bared shocking details about the behavior of powerful people and institutions, but most of my research, reporting and writing over the years — for local media in Nashville as well as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and other national and international media outlets — has aimed to reveal less lurid untold stories. I pride myself on conveying the facts of complicated stories to lay readers clearly and without unnecessary jargon.

And whether the stories involve business, government, history or just an offbeat topic that has caught my attention, I pride myself on being first with the news and telling the full story before the competition has told any of it at all. That’s why I have seen my work repurposed by some of Nashville’s and the nation’s most august news organizations over the years. Not that I mind so much. Knowing I broke the story is satisfaction enough.

Stanislaw M. Janowski - Stanisław Maria Jankowski, born in 1945, is a graduate of Jagiellonian University. He debuted as an author in 1965.

He cooperated with Polish language media in the US, including the Nowy Dziennik in New York. Author of countless publications in Polish and international newspapers, he also wrote movie screenplays, radio broadcasts and worked on documentary films. He authored more than twenty books and curated historical exhibitions on topics related to Armia Krajowa and the Katyn massacre, including exhibitions in New York, London, Paris, Boston, Florence, Budapest, Moscow, Krakow, Lublin, Warsaw and Lviv.

The editor of “Biuletyn katyński” (Katyn bulletin) for many years, he published numerous scholarly works on Polish 20th-century history. He was a historical consultant for Andrzej Wajda’s “Katyn” motion picture. For his work on the history of the Katyn massacre he was awarded the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta.


“Karski is the remarkable story of a modest man who has become a ‘professional hero,’ which the authors tell with sympathy and verve. .
.. . Economically written and well-researched.”
- The Times Literary Supplement

“A book that is more than just a spy thriller: Karski’s report raises anew the question of why the Allies didn’t make ending the mass-murder of the Jews a war aim.”
- Der Spiegel

“A gripping documentary, which expresses the complexity of Polish politics under the Nazi regime and the dilemma of one of Poland’s great heroes.” ~ Jewish Chronicle (London) 17 February 1995

“A record of extreme courage, desperate survival and moral heroism that is also a burning and all-too-relevant indictment of the world’s ability to avert its eyes…. Read it.” ~ The Good Book Guide (England), March 1995

“An adventure… retold in a first-rate scholarly manner. It is a book all teachers of the period should read…. If a gentile hero is necessary, then the unqualified honor should go to Jan Karski and not to the one-dimensional, hollow persona that was Oskar Schindler….
Jan Karski ranks with the Wallenbergs and Bernadottes, those who actively intervened in the Holocaust and actually saved lives at enormous risk to their own.” ~ The Genocide Forum, November 1995

“Karski’s is a fantastic story and the authors tell it well. This is a riveting as well as a harrowing read.” ~The Times (London), 26 Jan. 1995

“The biography of one Polish Catholic, Jan Karski, will enrich and edify anyone who reads it… highly dramatic… compelling and filled with moral lessons for today.” ~ Commonweal, 5 April 1996

“This book is a must for any student of history who wishes to have some understanding of how the British and the Americans reacted to the news of the Holocaust, of what was done or not done to try and stop it, and of Polish-Jewish relations during the war.” ~ Australian Jewish News, 12 April 1996

“Well-researched and unfailingly interesting.” ~ The American Spectator, April 1995