Cover image for Story of a secret state : my report to the world
Title:
Story of a secret state : my report to the world
Author:
Karski, Jan, 1914-2000.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Washington, DC : Georgetown University Press, [2013]

©2013
Physical Description:
xxxi, 414 pages, 13 pages of unnumbered plates : illustrations, maps ; 23 cm
Summary:
Karski was a brilliant young diplomat when war broke out in 1939 with Hitler's invasion of Poland. Taken prisoner by the Soviet Red Army, which had simultaneously invaded from the East, Karski narrowly escaped the subsequent Katyn Forest Massacre. He became a member of the Polish Underground, the most significant resistance movement in occupied Europe, acting as a liaison and courier between the Underground and the Polish government-in-exile. He was twice smuggled into the Warsaw Ghetto, and entered the Nazi's Izbica transit camp disguised as a guard, witnessing first-hand the horrors of the Holocaust.
General Note:
Originally published: 1944.
Language:
English
Contents:
Foreword / by Madeleine Albright -- Biographical essay of Jan Karski / by Timothy Snyder -- Defeat -- Prisoner in Russia -- Exchange and escape -- Devastated Poland -- The beginning -- Transformation -- Initiation -- Borecki -- Contact between cells -- Mission to France -- The underground state -- Caught by the Gestapo -- Torture -- The SS hospital -- Rescue -- The "gardener" -- Propaganda from the country -- Execution of a traitor -- The four branches of the underground -- The Laskowa apartment -- Assignment in Lublin -- Retribution -- The secret press -- My "conspiratorial apparatus" -- The liaison women -- Marriage per procuram -- School / Underground -- Parliament in Poland -- The ghetto -- "To die in agony . . ." -- Unter den Linden revisited -- Journey through France and Spain -- My report to the world.
ISBN:
9781589019836

9781626160316
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library D802.P6 K3 2013 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
Searching...
Audubon Library D802.P6 K3 2013 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
Searching...

On Order

Summary

Summary

Jan 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 accounts of the systematic slaughter of the Jews by the German Nazis, this volume is a remarkable testimony of one man's courage and a nation's struggle for resistance against overwhelming oppression.

Karski was a brilliant young diplomat when war broke out in 1939 with Hitler's invasion of Poland. Taken prisoner by the Soviet Red Army, which had simultaneously invaded from the East, Karski narrowly escaped the subsequent Katyn Forest Massacre. He became a member of the Polish Underground, the most significant resistance movement in occupied Europe, acting as a liaison and courier between the Underground and the Polish government-in-exile. He was twice smuggled into the Warsaw Ghetto, and entered the Nazi's Izbica transit camp disguised as a guard, witnessing first-hand the horrors of the Holocaust.

Karski's courage and testimony, conveyed in a breathtaking manner in Story of a Secret State , offer the narrative of one of the world's greatest eyewitnesses and an inspiration for all of humanity, emboldening each of us to rise to the challenge of standing up against evil and for human rights. This definitive edition--which includes a foreword by Madeleine Albright, a biographical essay by Yale historian Timothy Snyder, an afterword by Zbigniew Brzezinski, previously unpublished photos, notes, further reading, and a glossary--is an apt legacy for this hero of conscience during the most fraught and fragile moment in modern history.


Author Notes

Jan Karski was born in Ł#65533;dź, 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.


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Those who fear they have been desensitized by the sheer volume of information chronicling Nazi brutality in occupied Europe must read this memoir. During WWII, Karski lived an adventurous but harrowing existence, which included time and torture in a Gestapo prison and work in the Polish underground, where he witnessed and reported to Allied officials the first news of the genocide of Jews. His accounts of his activities and the atrocities he witnessed were compiled as they happened, which gives his story shattering impact. There are episodes of high tension as he and his colleagues seek to avoid capture. Other stories are horrific as he conveys the sadism of Nazi overlords allowed to exercise virtually unlimited power over helpless people. Even more shocking was the apparent disbelief or indifference of some Allied officials to his reports, either because they suspected exaggeration or because the truth was too monstrous to accept. This is an exciting but often painful recounting of one man's witness to terror and tragedy.--Freeman, Jay Copyright 2010 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

First published to instant acclaim in 1944, Karski's memoir-supplemented here with photos, facsimiles, and a foreword by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright-tells of the four years (1939-1943) he served as the leading liaison officer in the Polish Underground during Nazi occupation. Only 25 in 1939, Karski recounts his work linking various aspects of the underground's extensive administrative, political, and economic apparatuses, as well his capture and subsequent torture at the hands of the Gestapo (he likens being beaten by a rubber stick to "the sensation produced when a dentist's drill strikes a nerve, but infinitely multiplied and spread over the entire nervous system"). After his capture, Karski was twice smuggled into the Warsaw Ghetto, where he was horrified to discover "hunger, misery, the atrocious stench of decomposing bodies, [and] the pitiful moans of dying children." He also briefly entered the Chelmno death camps, where he witnessed Jews being murdered in cattle cars through asphyxiation and burning by quicklime. Sent in 1942-1943 to London and Washington, D.C., where he met with British Foreign Minister Anthony Eden and FDR, respectively, Karski delivered the first shocking eyewitness reports of the Holocaust to the Western world. Briskly paced, this is a gripping and immediate account of Nazi brutality from a brave leader of the resistance. Karski, who died in 2000, was awarded a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012. B&w photos & illus. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Excerpts

Excerpts

"In the words of James Russell Lowell's rousing hymn: 'Once to every man and nation, comes the moment to decide, in the strife of truth with falsehood, for the good or evil side.' Perhaps more than most of us, Jan Karski faced such a choice in the starkest of possible terms, and made his decision as courageously as one could.... Jan Karski was a patriot and a truth teller; may his words always be read and his legacy never forgotten." -- from the Foreword by Madeleine Albright Excerpted from Story of a Secret State: My Report to the World by Jan Karski All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Note on the Textp. xi
Publisher's Notep. xiii
Prefacep. xv
Forewordp. xvii
Biographical Essay of Jan Karskip. xxv
1 Defeatp. 1
2 Prisoner in Russiap. 15
3 Exchange and Escapep. 28
4 Devastated Polandp. 45
5 The Beginningp. 54
6 Transformationp. 66
7 Initiationp. 73
8 Boreckip. 79
9 Contact between Cellsp. 89
10 Mission to Francep. 101
11 The Underground Statep. 117
12 Caught by the Gestapop. 127
13 Torturep. 136
14 The SS Hospitalp. 156
15 Rescuep. 168
16 The "Gardener"p. 180
17 Propaganda from the Countryp. 189
18 Execution of a Traitorp. 207
19 The Four Branches of the Undergroundp. 218
20 The Laskowa Apartmentp. 225
21 Assignment in Lublinp. 232
22 Retributionp. 240
23 The Secret Pressp. 250
24 My "Conspiratorial Apparatus"p. 260
25 The Liaison Womenp. 265
26 Marriage per Procuramp. 272
27 School-Undergroundp. 277
28 Parliament in Polandp. 293
29 The Ghettop. 302
30 "To Die in Agony..."p. 320
31 Unter den Linden Revisitedp. 335
32 Journey through France and Spainp. 340
33 My Report to the Worldp. 358
Notesp. 367
Glossaryp. 385
Further Readingp. 397
Afterwordp. 401
Indexp. 403
Illustrations follow pagep. 188

Google Preview