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KARSKI, Jan.

The Mass Extermination of Jews in German Occupied Poland.

Note addressed to the Governments of the United Nations on December 10th, 1942, and other documents.

London: Published on behalf of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs by Hutchinson & Co., 1943 Stock Code: 147657
£3,250.00
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First and only edition. An early revelation of the methods of the Holocaust based upon the extraordinary work of Jan Karski. Karski was a remarkable figure: a graduate in law and diplomacy from Jan Kazimierz University, he served as a diplomat in Germany, Britain and Switzerland in the late 1930s, before joining the ministry of foreign affairs in 1939. Mobilised on the outbreak of war, he was captured by the Red Army, but managed to conceal his true rank and was exchanged into German hands, thus avoiding Katyn. He escaped from the train taking him into captivity, and made his way to Warsaw where he joined the resistance. He was instrumental in setting up a secret courier system to communicate with the Polish government in exile, and himself made a number of trips to France and Britain. In 1942 Karski was selected to carry this special report to Sikorski in London, detailing Nazi atrocities in Poland. In gathering eyewitness evidence he made two visits to the Warsaw ghetto, and also gained access to an extermination camp, believed by him to have been Belzec, disguised as a Ukrainian guard, a selection of which evidence is presented here. For the next three years he travelled the world, committed to publicising the plight of Polish Jewry, obtaining personal interviews with a wide range of influential figures, including Anthony Eden, Roosevelt, Cordell Hull and Felix Frankfurter, but failing to initiate any major intervention. Frankfurter said of his meeting with Karski: "I did not say that he was lying, I said that I could not believe him. There is a difference." As part of his efforts he also gave hundreds of lectures to organizations all over America, and after the war settled there, teaching Eastern European affairs at Georgetown for 40 years. In 1982 Yad Vashem recognised Karski as Righteous among Nations, and in 1994 he was made an honorary Israeli citizen; he died in 2000. A study of Karski's work, Karski: How One Man Tried to Stop the Holocaust, by Wood and Jankowski was published in 1994. An important, uncommon, and fragile pamphlet.

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Description

Octavo (16 pp.). Original self-wraps, wire-stitched.

Condition

Light rusting around staples, a near-fine copy, the red lettering bright.

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