Story of a Secret State
My Report to the World
Georgetown University Press, $16.95, 464 pp.
The title of this book promises an insider’s perspective on ArmiaKrajowa (AK), Poland’s Home Army, the largest resistance organization in Nazi-occupied Europe, and the book delivers it. But Jan Karski also served as a liaison officer between the AK, the Polish government-in-exile, and Western allies. In that capacity, he took great risks to bring before the Allied leaders first-hand evidence regarding the Holocaust. Not only did the book, written during the war, offer insight into the workings of the AK, it also provided what turned out to be accurate information regarding the methods used by the Nazis in their effort to exterminate the Jews.
The book’s opening scenes could hardly have been more somber. The twenty-five-year-old Karski had barely fallen asleep when he was woken by banging on the door. Still...
Igor Lukes is University Professor, and professor of international relations and history, at Boston University. He is the author of On the Edge of the Cold War: American Diplomats and Spies in Postwar Prague (Oxford), among other books.