Occupied Warsaw, Summer 1940:
Witold Pilecki, a Polish underground operative, accepted a mission to uncover the fate of thousands interned at a new concentration camp, report on Nazi crimes, raise a secret army, and stage an uprising. The name of the camp -- Auschwitz.
Over the next two and half years, and under the cruellest of conditions, Pilecki's underground sabotaged facilities, assassinated Nazi officers, and gathered evidence of terrifying abuse and mass murder. But as he pieced together the horrifying Nazi plans to exterminate Europe's Jews, Pilecki realized he would have to risk his men, his life, and his family to warn the West before all was lost. To do so meant attempting the impossible -- but first he would have to escape from Auschwitz itself...
Praise for The Volunteer:
"This is a story that has long deserved a robust, faithful telling, and [Fairweather] has delivered it." -- Wall Street Journal
"An extraordinary story." -- The Times
* "A forceful narrative with unstoppable reading momentum, Fairweather has created an insightful biography of a covert war hero and an extraordinary contribution to the history of the Holocaust." -- Booklist, starred review
"Witold Pilecki is one of the great -- perhaps the greatest -- unsung heroes of the second world war... Jack Fairweather's meticulous and insightful book is likely to be the definitive version of this extraordinary life." -- Economist