Friday, August 11, 2017

Daily Bites of The Secret State Series #1 :Bite #4,Fifteen days of Marching

The Secret State Series #1
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Story of a Secret State stands as one of the most poignant and inspiring memoirs of World War II and the Holocaust. With elements of a spy thriller, documenting his experiences in the Polish Underground, and as one of the first accounts of the systematic slaughter of the Jews by the German Nazis, this volume is a remarkable testimony of one man's courage and a nation's struggle for resistance against overwhelming oppression.
Karski was a brilliant young diplomat when war broke out in 1939 with Hitler's invasion of Poland. Taken prisoner by the Soviet Red Army, which had simultaneously invaded from the East, Karski narrowly escaped the subsequent Katyn Forest Massacre. He became a member of the Polish Underground, the most significant resistance movement in occupied Europe, acting as a liaison and courier between the Underground and the Polish government-in-exile. He was twice smuggled into the Warsaw Ghetto, and entered the Nazi's Izbica transit camp disguised as a guard, witnessing first-hand the horrors of the Holocaust.
Karski's courage and testimony, conveyed in a breathtaking manner in Story of a Secret State, offer the narrative of one of the world's greatest eyewitnesses and an inspiration for all of humanity, emboldening each of us to rise to the challenge of standing up against evil and for human rights. This definitive edition—which includes a foreword by Madeleine Albright, a biographical essay by Yale historian Timothy Snyder, an afterword by Zbigniew Brzezinski, previously unpublished photos, notes, further reading, and a glossary—is an apt legacy for this hero of conscience during the most fraught and fragile moment in modern history.
Jan Karski was born in ód , Poland, in 1914. 
He received a degree in Law and Diplomatic Science in 1935 and served as a liaison officer of the Polish Underground during World War II. He carried the first eyewitness report of the Holocaust to a mostly unbelieving West, meeting with President Roosevelt in 1943 to plead for Allied intervention. Story of a Secret State was originally published in 1944, becoming a bestseller and Book of the Month Club selection. After the war, Karski earned his PhD at Georgetown University, where he served as a distinguished professor in the School of Foreign Service for forty years. He died in Washington, DC, in 2000. Karski has been recognized as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem. In 2012, he was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by our President.
"His wartime saga as officer, as Soviet prisoner, as escapee, in the hands of the Gestapo, and as a Polish Underground activist and courier, is beyond remarkable. In a world today where words such as 'courage' and 'heroism' have been so overused—applied freely from sports to entertainment to politics as to be rendered practically meaningless—Jan Karski was the rare human being who embodied both."

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"In the words of James Russell Lowell's rousing hymn:
'Once to every man and nation, comes the moment to decide, in the strife of truth with falsehood, for the good or evil side.' Perhaps more than most of us, Jan Karski faced such a choice in the starkest of possible terms, and made his decision as courageously as one could. . . . Jan Karski was a patriot and a truth teller; may his words always be read and his legacy never forgotten.
"Secret State is an indispensable and compelling historical document of World War II and the Holocaust, written by a supremely courageous humanitarian."

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The Secret State Series #1:
The Underground by Jan Karski 1944 Highlights and excerpts by PL Sturgis:

Pro Script: “I do not pretend to have given an exhaustive picture of the Polish Underground, its organization, and its activities. Because of our methods I believe there is no one today who could give an all embracing recital. This could be possible only after the war with the aid of information yet to be gathered and checked. This is purely a personal story, my story. I have tried to recall everything I have experienced, to tell about my own activities and to recount the deeds of all those with whom I had actual contact. 

Poland’s underground State, to which I belonged, was under the authority of the Polish Government in London. I know that, besides this organization, there were other elements carrying on their activities under the direction or the influence of Moscow. Because of my sincere intention to describe only my personal experience, their activities could not possibly be included in my story. Being the First active Member of the Polish Underground in the fortunate position to publish some aspects of its story, I hope that it will encourage others to relate their experiences, and that out of such narratives the free people all over the world will be able to form an objective opinion as to how the Polish people reacted during the years of German concept. Jan Karski:


 
Daily Bites of The Secret State  Series #1:
“The Underground”
Bite #4,Fifteen days of Marching:
by Jan Karski:


On the night of September 1,1939, while the soldiers of our Mounted Artillery Division tranquilly slept the Luftwaffe roared through the short distance of Oswiecim undetected, perched above our camp and proceeded to rain a shower of blazing fire on the entire region. At the same hour, around 5 AM, hundreds of the powerful and modern German tanks crossed the frontier and hurled a tremendous barrage of shells into the flaming ruins. The extent of the death, destruction and disorganization this combined fire caused in 3 short hours is incredible. 

By the time our wits were sufficiently collected, even to survey the situation, it was apparent that we were in no position to offer any serious resistance. Nevertheless, a few batteries, by some miracle, managed to hold together long enough to hurl some shots in the direction of the tanks. The barracks were almost completely in ruins and the railway station had been leveled. When it became apparent that we were incapable of resisting, the retreat began. (If such it could be called) Our Reserve Battery received orders to leave Oswiecim information and take our guns, supplies, and ammunition in the direction of Cracow. 

We were no longer an army but individuals wandering toward some wholly indefinite goal. We found the highways jammed with hundreds of thousands of refugees. Soldiers were looking for their commands and others just drifting with the tide. Bad news followed us like vultures feeding on the remnants of our confidence. The Germans had occupied Poznan, Lodz, Kielce, and Cracow. The smoking abandoned ruins of towns, railroad junctions, villages, and cities added to our bitter knowledge. After fifteen days of marching, fatigued, resentful, sweating and bewildered, we reached the city of Tarnopol on the 18th of September. 

(to be continued) ....



(To be continued ) 


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Daily Bites of The Secret State Series #1 
by Jan Karski 1944 :
“From The Secret State”


 #1) Introduction:





 #6) surrendering to the Soviets: 

#7) Laying Down our Arms:

 #8) Prisoners of the Red Army: 

#9) Vanishing in the crowd:

 #10) Heart of the Crowd: 

#11) Packed Like Sardines: 

#12) Divergence between two Countries: 

#13) Marching to our Destination: 

#14) From Polish officer to Russian Slave: 

#15) Hazardous Possibilities:

#16) Exchanged and Escaped: 

#17) Under German Control: 

#18) Crossing over the Bridge: 

#19) Another Two Day Journey: 

#20) Insane Brutality: 

#21) Three Robust Men: 

#22) Transported for Forced Labor:

 #23) Now or Never: 

#24) To the Citizens of Poland: 

#25) Risking Escape: 

#26) Searching for Shelter: 

#27) The Polish Patriot: 

#28) Priceless Hospitality:

 #29) Shocking News: 

#30) No Longer a Poland 1944:


To be Continued in the Next Daily Bites of “The Secret State Series #1”

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