Genocide in Germany
Polish Resistance Fighter's Account On the Jewish Population
Jan Karski, born April 24, 1914, was a soldier for the underground Polish Army. After crossing over enemy lines countless times, he witnessed the poor living conditions of the Poland Jews at the Warsaw Ghetto. From there he was disguised and snuck into a German concentration camp where he witnessed the killing of Jews by the masses. Karski's climax in historic reference appeared at the start of World War II where he became the very first to attempt to prevent Nazi Germany from carrying out genocide.
As a cold memory of part of our nation's history, the Holocaust remains the worst. During the Holocaust, the Jewish race was exterminated in large numbers through out parts of Europe. This genocide was believed through the impurity of the Jews, which provoked Nazi action to make the Jews extinct. Various "concentration camps" were scattered throughout Europe which was where a majority of the slaughter happened. Karski was smuggled into the Warsaw Ghetto where he retrieved most of his evidence towards the genocide of the Jews. He was then again snuck into a German concentration camp. The sight was horrifying. It truly made life a living hell for the Jews.
Jan Karski decided to unveil his findings with Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States at the time. On July 14th, 1948, Karski and Roosevelt met at the white house to discuss the alleged matters at hand. Unfortunately, Karski was unable come with tangible evidence besides eye-witness testimonies, losing the president's attention. Not long from then, would FDR realize the mistake he made that day.
Karski's efforts to uncover the genocide didn't remain unnoticed, despite the fact that it took half a century for them to be recognized. Karski was honorably noticed as a citizen of Israel, the land where Judaism first originated from. A tree was planted with his name engraved on it to recognize his deeds in the Valley of the Righteous Among Nations. Also, in 2012, the Polish Senate finally honored Karski as a World War II hero for uncovering Nazi efforts to exterminate Jews in Poland. United States President, Barack Obama, attempted to congratulate Karski, except he misused the term "Polish death-camp" for "Jewish death-camp occupied by Nazi Germany". In the end Karski was rewarded with the medal of honor, accepted by a Polish ambassador.
It is frustrating knowing that Karski was given the opportunity to stop the genocide but didn't despite his best efforts. Then again it wasn't his fault because he did all he could to prevent it. Aside from that, Karski was then recognized later that he was right all along, which gives Karski's story a better ending than it may have gotten. It's amazing how one man had such a duty and obligation to stop Nazi oppression. In the end, you could call Karski and an underdog, an underclass hero, a martyr, a variety of names. But only one would suit all. A hero.