In Conversation with Dr. Catherine M. Lewis, Professor of History, Kennesaw State University
JACK FAIRWEATHER, The Volunteer
To uncover the fate of the thousands being interred at a mysterious Nazi camp on the border of the Reich, a 39-year-old Polish resistance fighter named Witold Pilecki volunteered for an audacious mission. He would assume a fake identity, intentionally get captured and sent to the new camp, then report to the underground on what happened to his compatriots. But gathering information was not his only task. He was to execute an attack from inside—where the Germans would least expect it. The Volunteer is the incredible true story of a Polish resistance fighter’s infiltration of Auschwitz to sabotage the camp from within, and his death-defying attempt to warn the Allies about Nazi plans for a “Final Solution” before it was too late.
STEPHEN KOCH, Hitler’s Pawn
After learning about Nazi persecution of his family, Herschel Grynszpan, an impoverished 17-year-old Jew living in Paris went to the German Embassy and shot the first German diplomat he saw in November, 1938. Hitler and Goebbels made the diplomat’s death their pretext for the state-sponsored wave of anti-Semitic terror known as Kristallnacht. Overnight, Grynszpan was front-page news and a pawn in a global power struggle. He was captured by Nazis and flown to Berlin, where he became a privileged prisoner of the Gestapo while Hitler and Goebbels plotted a massive show trial to blame the Jews for starting World War II. A prisoner and alone, Grynszpan grasped Hitler’s intentions and waged a battle of wits to sabotage the trial, knowing that even if he succeeded, he would certainly be murdered.
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