Jan Karski’s ‘Story of a Secret State’

Jan Karski’s wartime memoir and account of Nazi atrocities is a reading experience as exciting as it is horrifying

On April 23, 2012 US President Barack Obama announced that he would award the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest honor, to Polish Resistance fighter Jan Karski. Earlier this year in Poland the parliament announced the commemoration of Karski’s centennial in 2014, including a monument to be built to him in Warsaw as well as one of the city’s street to be given his name.

Born Jan Kozielewski, the invasion of Poland by Nazi and Soviet forces in 1939 saw the redubbed Karski (among other cover names) transformed from a careless playboy to a highly effective and trusted member of the Polish Underground.

Read the full article at Czech Position

To see Karski giving an incredibly emotional account of what he saw in the Warsaw Ghetto and the death camps in Claude Lanzmann’s film Shoah go here and here.

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Categories: Book Reviews


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  1. Literary roundup: Karski animated and short stories in translation | literalab - 05/02/2013

    […] and interviews with the director. You can check out the film’s official website and can read Literalab’s review of Karski’s incredible and devastating wartime experiences in his Story of a […]

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