On Wednesday 29th January 2020 at an event organised by Ognisko Polskie, author Jack Fairweather gave a PowerPoint presentation on his new book, winner of the Costa Prize 'The Volunteer', the true story of Polish resistance fighter, Witold Pilecki, who infiltrated Auschwitz and drew the world’s attention to its atrocities.
In the summer of 1940, Pilecki accepted a mission to infiltrate the new concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland to find out what was happening there. For the next two years, he forged a secret group that worked to smuggle evidence of the atrocities being committed there to the Allied forces. His reports helped shape the Allied response to the Holocaust, yet Pilecki has remained an unsung hero.
Former war reporter Jack Fairweather brought this story to light in his book ‘The Volunteer’, which draws on unpublished family papers, newly released archival documents and interviews with the Pilecki family and surviving resistance fighters. Attendees included Secret WW2 Trustees, Friends and supporters Louisa Russell, Paul McCue, Guy Audibert, Ray Windmill, Joy Hanauer, Patrick Baty and Ian Titman.