In Halik Kochanski's extraordinary book, the untold story of Poland and the Poles in the Second World War is finally heard
By almost every measure the fate of the inhabitants of Poland was the most terrible of any group in the Second World War. Following the destruction of its armed forces in the autumn of 1939, the Republic of Poland was partitioned between Nazi and Soviet forces and officially ceased to exist. As the war progressed millions of Poles were killed, with each phase unleashing a further round, from the industrialised genocide of Treblinka to the crushing of the Warsaw Rising. Polish Jews were all to be murdered, Christians reduced to a semi-literate slave class. This powerful and original new book is perhaps the most important 'missing' work on the whole conflict, describing both the fate of those trapped within occupied Poland and of the millions of Poles who were able to escape.