A favorite genre of mine in stories surrounding the events of World War II, so I was very intrigued when I received a A Rebel of Auschwitz. Read on for a full book review of A Rebel of Auschwitz written by Jack Fairweather.
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In A Rebel in Auschwitz, we meet Witold Pilecki who was a member of the Polish resistance in World War II. He volunteered to get purposefully sent to Auschwitz so he could report what the camp was. His story is not well known partially because his story was buried by the worst war communist party who executed a takeover of Poland after the war. Pilecki witnesses all the hours of Auschwitz and manages to smuggle out some news to the rest of the world. He sees families ripped apart, friends dying and the other horror up close and personal. None of this deters Pilecki from the mission at hand and he manages to build a small team of Polish resistors and plots a daring escape from the camp.
I don’t think I was prepared for just how intense this book was. We know the Nazi’s were cruel but in A Rebel in Auschwitz, the cruelty is on display with the descriptions of how they turned prisoners against each other. Certain prisoners were chosen to oversee other prisoners and the Nazi’s gave the leaders more privileges the more cruelty they showed. That creates such a community of distrust, that Witold quickly realizes that if he was going to be successful, he needed to pick his allies very carefully. Despite being beaten, starved, tortured both physically and mentally, Pilecki strives to do his duty to try to thwart the Nazi’s any chance he got.
Jack Fairweather meticulously researched his subject and includes lots of photos and maps towards the end of the book to detail Pilecki’s time in the prison camp and after the war.
Rating 4/5 stars