Roger Moorhouse unfolds this never-before-told history Holocaust resistance, illuminating the remarkable story of Polish diplomats, Jewish activists, Japanese bureaucrats, and ordinary people the world over who systematically forged as many as 10,000 passports and saved hundreds, potentially thousands, of Jewish lives. Drawing upon first-hand accounts and survivor testimony with new research and revelations about the Lados Group, Moorhouse unspools the lives, work, and valor of Aleksander Lados, Stefan Ryniewicz, Konstanty Rokicki, Juliusz Kuhl, Chaim Eiss, Abraham Silberschein, six members of the Polish government-in-exile who seized an opportunity to do good in the face of a world at war.
Valuable but uneven ... Moorhouse’s subject thus encompasses a double mystery: how the operation worked and succeeded, and why it seems to have disappeared from the historical record. The author does better explaining the former than the latter ... As important as Mr. Moorhouse’s story is, his writing can be so clotted and his attention to detail so minute that the timeline of the larger story begins to blur. Yet he has relatively little to say about the role played by postwar communism and Cold War politics in the rescue mission’s decadeslong disappearance into obscurity. And he reveals almost nothing about how the rescue operation came to light again ... Incomplete.
A well-constructed and agreeably concise book with a clear narrative drive and fascinating detail ... Most of the book instead deals with the familiar ground of Nazi atrocities. But perhaps that doesn’t matter. This story is told with considerable grace; it’s a worthy introduction for those unacquainted with the crimes done to Poland.