"The Auschwitz Volunteer"

Now Available in a Japanese Edition

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A Japanese edition of The Auschwitz Volunteer: Beyond Bravery by Captain Witold Pilecki is now available. Japanese-language rights were acquired by Misuzu Shobo Publishers in Tokyo, from Aquila Polonica Publishing, Los Angeles. Aquila Polonica was represented in the transaction by Eriko Takeuchi of Japan UNI.

This new Japanese edition joins the German, Italian, Portuguese, Finnish, complex Chinese (Taiwan), and simple Chinese (Mainland China) editions of The Auschwitz Volunteer, previously licensed by Aquila Polonica to foreign publishers in those languages.

Called “one of the great heroes of the 20th century” by Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times, Pilecki’s bravery has few rivals. His story was almost completely unknown until recently.

In September 1940, Polish army officer Witold Pilecki volunteered for a secret undercover mission: get himself arrested by the Germans and sent to Auschwitz as a prisoner, in order to smuggle out intelligence to the Allies, and build a resistance organization among the prisoners. Pilecki accomplished this “mission impossible”—barely surviving nearly three years of brutality, starvation and disease before escaping. Pilecki’s clandestine intelligence reports from Auschwitz, received by the Allies beginning in early 1941, were among the earliest to disclose the full horrors of the camp, including the mass extermination of the Jews.

The Auschwitz Volunteer is the first time that Pilecki’s most comprehensive report on his Auschwitz mission was published in English. Translated to English from Pilecki’s original Polish typescript by Jarek Garlinski, the book carries an Introduction by Prof. Norman Davies, and a Foreword by Rabbi Michael Schudrich, Chief Rabbi of Poland.

Capt. Witold Pilecki (1901-1948)

The Auschwitz Volunteer has received accolades from the New York Times Sunday Book Review, where it was named an Editors’ Choice, the Wall St. Journal, The New Republic, The Atlantic, Tablet Magazine, Publishers Weekly, The Jewish Journal, and numerous other sources. It won the PROSE Award for Biography and Autobiography from the Association of American Publishers, and the Silver Award for Autobiography/Memoir at the Independent Book Publishers Association Benjamin Franklin competition. It was a Featured Selection of the History Book Club, and a Selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club and the Military Book Club. More info at http://www.polww2.com/AboutAuschwitzVolunteer.

Misuzu Shobo, www.msz.co.jp/en/, is a highly respected Japanese publisher whose publications cover all genres of culture including the humanities, social science, natural science, literature and art. Its books in translation include such important writers as Hannah Arendt, Sir Antony Beevor, Nadine Gordimer and Emmanuel Ringelblum.

Aquila Polonica, www.AquilaPolonica.com, is an award-winning independent publisher, specializing in publishing the Polish WWII experience in English. The company is a member of the Association of American Publishers and the Independent Book Publishers Association. Aquila Polonica’s titles are distributed to the trade in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Europe, Australia and New Zealand by National Book Network, and are available from fine bookstores, online retailers, and all major wholesalers.

All photos from the collection of Aquila Polonica.

May 25 this year is the 74th anniversary of the death of Captain Pilecki in the Mokotów prison.


PACIM (Polish American Cultural Institute of Minnesota) sent me an unsolicited e-mail announcing the showing of the Death of Captain Pilecki at a small neighborhood movie theater. It piqued my interest. Little did I know by attending that I would be drawn by its message to act. Prior to and after the showing, Marek Probosz spoke and took questions.


We live at the time when great and true heroes need to be rediscovered and remembered. Their deeds, attitudes and beliefs must be brought to light, and their suffering and persecution should be rewarded with our admiration after all the years. Captain Witold Pilecki is one of the greatest heroes of Poland, Europe, and the entire free world in the 20th century.


Kuryer Polski would like to introduce you to a certain Pole, Marek Probosz, living in California, who — with great success — alone and without anyone's help, introduces America to "one of the greatest heroes of the 20th century", as The New York Times wrote, to Captain Witold Pilecki.


May 28, 2021 marks the 80th anniversary of Fr. Maksymilian Kolbe - the guardian of Niepokalanów, a Franciscan monastery and a large publishing house - having been imprisoned in the German concentration camp at Auschwitz. On this occasion, the Franciscan Publishing House «Fraternal Call» in Krakow will be publishing a volume of poetry by Kazimierz Braun entitled "Songs of Saint Maximilian and other poems".