The Volunteer: the true story of the resistance hero who infiltrated Auschwitz by Jack Fairweather (Review)

The Volunteer: the true story of the resistance hero who infiltrated Auschwitz by Jack Fairweather

The VolunteerFormat: Paperback

Source: Library Book

Publisher: Penguin

Genres: Non-fiction, History

Publication Date: 9th January 2020

Synopsis/Blurb (Taken from Goodreads):

How do you keep fighting in the face of unimaginable horror?

This is untold story of one of the greatest heroes of the Second World War.

In the Summer of 1940, after the Nazi occupation of Poland, an underground operative called Witold Pilecki accepted a mission to uncover the fate of thousands of people being interred at a new concentration camp on the border of the Reich.

His mission was to report on Nazi crimes and raise a secret army to stage an uprising. The name of the detention centre — Auschwitz.

It was only after arriving at the camp that he started to discover the Nazi’s terrifying designs. Over the next two and half years, Witold forged an underground army that smuggled evidence of Nazi atrocities out of Auschwitz. His reports from the camp were to shape the Allies response to the Holocaust – yet his story was all but forgotten for decades.

This is the first major account of his amazing journey, drawing on exclusive family papers and recently declassified files as well as unpublished accounts from the camp’s fighters to show how he saved hundreds of thousands of lives.

The result is a enthralling story of resistance and heroism against the most horrific circumstances, and one man’s attempt to change the course of history.”

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My Thoughts & Review

Recently I have been really interested in reading books about the Holocaust, so when I kept seeing this book at the library I knew I had to give it a go.

This is not your usual Historical fiction as I thought it was. In fact, this is a true account of a Polish Cavalry officer who volunteered to be captures and taken to Auschwitz so he could gather intelligence on what was really happening at the camp and then reporting back to the Warsaw Resistance group.

This was a very hard book to read in terms of the horrific accounts of the evil treatments of the prisoners at Auschwitz. Yet it was really interesting. I definitely learnt a lot from this book and I just wanted to keep reading to find out as much as I could, I really couldn’t put it down. It doesn’t feel right to say that but I was really intrigued.

The volunteer was my first book by Jack Fairweather so cannot compare his writing to his previous work, but I can tell this was a thoroughly research book, with lots of detail, some of which as I said earlier is very difficult to read.

What made this book to stand out to me as well as the story told was the photos and illustrations that were inserted throughout the book. There were also some sketches and drawings by survivors. All the inserts capture the harrowing details and struggles all the prisoners went through.

This definitely a book everyone should read at least once.

My Rating

💙💙💙💙 1/2

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Leave a comment below and let’s have a chat.

Happy Reading!!!

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