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T army to stage an uprising The name of the detention centre AuschwitzIt was only after arriving at the camp that he started to discover the Nazi’s terrifying designs Over the next two and half years Witold forged an underground army that smuggled evidence of Nazi atrocities to the West culminating in the mass murder of over a million Jews His reports from the camp were to shape the Allies response to the Holocaust yet hi. This is the story of Witold Pilecki which remained lost for many years after the conclusion of WWII Pilecki was a member of the Polish resistance who volunteered to get arrested and sent to Auschwitz before anyone not even the Germans knew what Auschwitz was to become It recounts his years there organizing an underground and trying to alert the world then recounts his return to Warsaw to fight the Germans in their final stand in Poland only to see the Soviets stroll in afterwards to install a communist governmentHis years in Auschwitz were spent futilely trying to get anyone especially England and the USA to recognize what was happening there and to take action It s a remarkable story about a man who gave up everything to try to rescue Poland from the madness only to see his efforts time and again get ignored by those who could have done something about it It s heartbreaking in so many ways

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The Volunteer

S story was all but forgotten for decadesThis is the first major account of his amazing journey drawing on exclusive family papers and recently declassified files as well as unpublished accounts from the camp’s fighters to show how he saved hundreds of thousands of livesThe result is a enthralling story of resistance and heroism against the most horrific circumstances and one man’s attempt to change the course of histor. For some people simply sitting by the sidelines and watching as things unfold is not in their blood For some the are compelled to act no matter the personal danger involved These men and women are all to often forgotten by history Their actions may save a few or thousands of lives but for some reason we all too often never know their names So it is for the thanks of books like The volunteer that not only do we get to learn their names but find out the brave actions they took When I saw this on the shelf at the book store I knew I would have to pick it up I was aware that someone had chosen to be sent to Auschwitz in the hopes of getting the story out to the rest of the world But this is where my knowledge ended Pilecki could have easily kept his head down in the hopes that the carnage being done to his country would pass him by But for this man that was never going to be an option When reading this book I often wondered what it takes in our upbringing to make such a decision Especially when you have a family to think about But maybe that is the point such people do these things because they have people they care about It is with the thought of others that time and again you look death in the face and say just once If I can bear this then I can keep going in the hopes of finding a better world for them to live in I was left astounded even with everything I knew about this place that one could keep going even with a way out It is the sacrifice that others make to help us all I could not help but wonder would I do the same in his shoes Could I in fact endure such abuse and torment to help people who re names I would never learn and thanks would never come Am I in fact that selfless Could I would I This book contained a great deal of information that I had never read about before And In learning such facts I could not help be become infuriated The atrocities that took place in this place that must have been the closets to hell on earth where known In fact many of the allied governments knew long before the mass genocide started that things were getting worse It is in the minds of these powerful men that their lives hung in the balance But even after learning such things they choose to do nothing In the hopes of pushing the great evil they used it as a way to promote the war and have much greater use in propaganda For them it was easier to talk about the horrors being done without actually naming them Is this in fact how governments sell a war to the greater public I of course look back on this in hindsight Does this make their actions or less damaging But here within the pages the author does his best to give a little of both sides What he delvers is a story that moved me in a great way That even in the darkest of hours people will find hope and light That when the coming tide seems insurmountable some will stand in its way in an attempt to hold back what is to come The life of Witold Pilecki is one I think should be taught in all schools when they are learning about what took place in Poland during world war two He stands out as a beacon of hope and daring For my part when at school we were only told of the destruction of this country and its people But here we get to see that the human spirit burn at it s brightest He is an example of all that is good in the human soul

Jack Fairweather Ç 9 Characters

How do you keep fighting in the face of unimaginable horrorThis is untold story of one of the greatest heroes of the Second World WarIn the Summer of 1940 after the Nazi occupation of Poland an underground operative called Witold Pilecki accepted a mission to uncover the fate of thousands of people being interred at a new concentration camp on the border of the ReichHis mission was to report on Nazi crimes and raise a secre. Although it feels like events of the Holocaust and WWII have been comprehensively written about in numerous accounts it s astounding that new stories continue to emerge which present a different angle on this complex history Virtually unknown accounts of heroism and tragic defeat continue to emerge and this new biographical account of Polish officer Witold Pilecki is one of the most shocking and heart breaking I ve ever read After Poland was occupied and Auschwitz a former Polish army barracks was turned into a German prisoner of war camp Pilecki and other Polish nationalists devised campaigns to resist their invaders and take back their country One of the things they needed most was information to convey to what would become the Allied countries to convince them to take action and strike against the Nazis In order to gather proof about war crimes and form a resistance army from the inside Pileck volunteered to be captured by the Nazis and taken into Auschwitz Of course this was long before anyone knew that it would turn into a death camp responsible for over 11 million deaths Read my full review of The Volunteer by Jack Fairweather on LonesomeReader


10 thoughts on “The Volunteer

  1. says:

    In 2003 my wife and I visited Krakow Poland as part of a trip to locate where my father’s family lived before immigrating to the

  2. says:

    Although it feels like events of the Holocaust and WWII have been comprehensively written about in numerous accounts it

  3. says:

    In an act of near incomprehensible bravery Witold Pilecki volunteered to investigate Nazi crimes in Auschwitz His charge provide the i

  4. says:

    pretty ballsy move by the Costa Awards to name this 'book of the year' when it's essentially an account of the total incompetence displayed by the Allied powers and especially Britain

  5. says:

    This is the story of Witold Pilecki which remained lost for many years after the conclusion of WWII Pilecki was a member of the Polish resistance who volunteered to get arrested and sent to Auschwitz before anyone–not even the Germans–knew what Auschwitz was to become It recounts his years there organizing an underground and trying to

  6. says:

    The Volunteer 2019 by Jack Fairweather is the incredibly moving account of Witold Pilecki a member of the Warsaw resistance

  7. says:

    WOWHonestly I didn’t think I would enjoy this book very much I mean I knew it would be a good educational book but I really wasn’t convinced I myself would enjoy it but boy I was wrong I opened this book to vivid detail and writing that instantly sucked me into the story It didn’t fit into the stereotypical nonfiction cookie cutterI definitely think this is a book everyone should read at some point So m

  8. says:

    The Volunteer – A Gripping Story of ResistanceTo many of us in the Polish community the story of Witold Pilecki is a very well known story of resistance and heroism The problem has been the story has never been well known

  9. says:

    For some people simply sitting by the sidelines and watching as things unfold is not in their blood For some the are compelled to act no matter the personal danger involved These men and women are all to often forgotten by history Their actions may save a few or thousands of lives but for some reason we all too

  10. says:

    costa Award winner 2019