Brought to you by Penguin.
The 2019 Costa Book of the Year and Biography Winner.
How do you keep fighting in the face of unimaginable horror?
Narrated by David Rintoul, this is the 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 Nazis' terrifying designs. Over the next two and a half years, Witold forged an underground army that smuggled evidence of Nazi atrocities, culminating in the mass murder of over a million Jews, to the West. 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major account of his amazing journey, drawing on exclusive family papers and recently declassified files as well as unpublished accounts from the camp's fighters to show how he saved hundreds of thousands of lives.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 an enthralling story of resistance and heroism against the most horrific circumstances and one man's attempt to change the course of history.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio on our Desktop Site.
© Jack Fairweather 2019 (P) Penguin Audio 2019
Well-researched, well-written and searingly memorable, Jack Fairweather’s book reminds us of the capacity for nobility in the human soul in times of unimaginable peril
Few books have enthralled, incensed and haunted me as “The Volunteer” has done. There were times I felt compelled to set it aside. There were others when hours of reading passed in what felt like moments … This is a story that has long deserved a robust, faithful telling, and he has delivered it
An extraordinary story
Superbly written and breathtakingly researched … a story of incalculable value delivered in the most compelling prose I have read in a long time
What distinguishes The Volunteer is Fairweather’s meticulous attention to accuracy … if it sometimes seems as though there is nothing left to uncover about the Holocaust, Fairweather’s gripping book proves otherwise
The awards, which recognise the most outstanding books of the year written by authors based in the UK and Ireland have awarded 'The Volunteer' by Jack Fairweather with the Book of the Year Award.
The author of 2019's Costa Book of the Year Award reflects on the literature that helped him understand one of history's darkest periods.