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The Volunteer Reviews

The Volunteer by Jack Fairweather

The Volunteer

The True Story of the Resistance Hero who Infiltrated Auschwitz

Jack Fairweather

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: W H Allen
Publisher: Ebury Publishing
Publication date: 6 Jun 2019
ISBN: 9780753545164

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.

4 stars out of 5
Robbie Millen
12 Jul 2019

"the book rises admirably to the challenge of telling his extraordinary story"

Reading The Volunteer by Jack Fairweather, a British journalist, it quickly becomes clear that Pilecki was a man of great courage reinforced by an implacable sense of duty and white-hot patriotic spirit...A disappointment of The Volunteer is that, despite Fairweather’s diligent sleuthing and his abundant use of Pilecki’s memoirs, the man does not spark into life. He remains rather one-dimensional, a paragon of duty, almost a stuffed shirt...Despite that caveat, the book rises admirably to the challenge of telling his extraordinary story. 

Reviews

5 stars out of 5
11 Jul 2019

"If it sometimes seems as though there is nothing left to uncover about the Holocaust, Fairweather’s gripping book proves otherwise."

What distinguishes The Volunteer is Fairweather’s meticulous attention to accuracy. He spent five years in the archives in Poland, the UK, the USA, Israel and Germany unearthing more family papers and interviewing the surviving men who had fought with Pilecki. His notes and bibliography run to almost 100 pages, and he uses speculation only very sparingly and when the facts seem irrefutable...If it sometimes seems as though there is nothing left to uncover about the Holocaust, Fairweather’s gripping book proves otherwise.