Stanisław M. Jankowski

Stanisław Maria Jankowski, born in 1945, is a graduate of Jagiellonian University. He debuted as an author in 1965.

He cooperated with Polish language media in the US, including the Nowy Dziennik in New York. Author of countless publications in Polish and international newspapers, he also wrote movie screenplays, radio broadcasts and worked on documentary films. He authored more than twenty books and curated historical exhibitions on topics related to Armia Krajowa and the Katyn massacre, including exhibitions in New York, London, Paris, Boston, Florence, Budapest, Moscow, Krakow, Lublin, Warsaw and Lviv.

The editor of “Biuletyn katyński” (Katyn bulletin) for many years, he published numerous scholarly works on Polish 20th-century history. He was a historical consultant for Andrzej Wajda’s "Katyn" motion picture. For his work on the history of the Katyn massacre he was awarded the Officer's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta.

Based on primary sources, documents and witness accounts, the book tells the extraordinary story of Jan Karski. The hero of the book was born as Jan Kozielewski, though history remembers him as Jan Karski. In the recollections of those, who knew him personally, he is remembered as "Witold", though he also carried documents issued in the names Kanicki, Kucharski, Piasecki, and many others…

He escaped from a Soviet prison camp, from a German train headed for a detention camp, and from a Nazi-run hospital in Nowy Sącz…

He never fired a single shot at his enemies, but they considered him a mortal danger, since he carried, across more than a dozen European borders, microfilms documenting many of their darkest secrets, some of which he had memorized to the letter…

He was acquainted with the most prominent politicians and military commanders of the Polish Underground. Carrying information about terrors perpetrated in the occupied Poland, about the terrible crimes against its Jewish inhabitants, he finally reached Polish émigré politicians in London and Washington. His reports were read by Winston Churchill, and he has meet with president Roosevelt. In 1944 he published in the USA a bestselling book entitled Story of a Secret State.

After the War Karski enrolled as a student, and later became a professor at the Georgetown University in Washington. He also gave lectures at the Pentagon.

Karski. Reports of a Secret Emissary is an extraordinary book about an extraordinary man. After his death Jan Nowak-Jeziorański, another famous secret emissary, said that the scars on Karski’s arms, a memento of his suicide attempt and a testimony to his determination to avoid compromising identities of his friends from the Underground, were "the highest award he could ever receive, higher even than the Order of the White Eagle."

Rebis | 2009 More »