The Auschwitz Volunteer: Beyond Bravery Cpt. Witold Pilecki
In 1940, the Polish underground wanted to know what was happening in the recently established Nazi German concentration camp, Auschwitz. Polish army officer, Captain Witold Pilecki, volunteered to be arrested by the Nazi Germans and report from inside the camp what was happening. In 1941, his intelligence reports and compiled information were smuggled out of the camp, detailing the first eyewitness accounts of the atrocities of Auschwitz: the extermination of Soviet POWs, the function of the camp for Polish political prisoners, and the “final solution” for Jews. Pilecki endured brutal treatment until he escaped in 1943. Pilecki wrote a brief report after his escape. For half a century, his story was suppressed by the communist authorities. In the English translation of his work, readers will see first hand the account of the only man who volunteered to be captured in Auschwitz to bring out the story of the camp.