Sunday, August 13, 2017

Daily Bites of The Secret State Series #1 :Bite #6,Surrendering to the Soviets

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Albright, a biographical essay by Yale historian Timothy Snyder, an afterword by Zbigniew Brzezinski, previously unpublished photos, notes, further reading, and a glossary—is an apt legacy for this hero of conscience during the most fraught and fragile moment in modern history.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 #6,Surrendering to the Soviets:
by Jan Karski:

When the Russian Commander demanded officers for the Polish spokesmen a confused buzz ensued on the Polish side as a hundred different opinions and comments were promptly put forth. The soldiers on the whole were gloomy and hostile to the proposal. the officers were uncertain and apparently dissatisfied with everything, including themselves. I was, myself, completely at a loss and what with combined exertion and excitement my heart was pounding so fiercely I could hardly manage to gasp out replies to the one or two questions I was asked.

My silence was mistaken for disagreement. At this point some of the officers decided we would have more bargaining power if we had a semblance of military organization. Noncoms began to circulate among the soldiers trying to assemble them into formation. This was completely futile as we were by now no better than a mob. A conglomeration of officers, men and noncoms. None from the same unit. Many of the soldiers were unarmed and there were no machine guns or artillery. 

The indecision continued and threatened to prolong itself indefinitely. Among the many officers were 2 colonels who had now decided on a plan of action. They beckoned authoritatively to others of senior officers who came to join them. They held a whispered conference. Then a captain detached himself from the group and pulled a white handkerchief from his pocket waving it over his head. He walked gingerly toward the Soviet tank.

We watched him in choked silence until a Red Army officer appeared. The Soviet official gestured in the direction of the tank and they walked off together. The blitz had derailed our minds and emotions. We were stunned, confused, and frustrated to the point where we hardly knew what was happening.
(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:

 #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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