Mr. Mills -
I strongly object to your characterization of Jan Karski as a "self-promoter," and having his name in the same paragraph with the word "hypocrisy."
Jan Karski was real, a reserve soldier and then a political courier for the Polish Government in Exile, and fulfilled his duties above and beyond. You apparently know very little about this unusually brave man.
On the contrary, I know quite a lot about this person.
I am well aware that he was a courier for the Armia Krajowa, and that at on two occasions he brought information out of occupied Poland. He may well have shown a certain amount of bravery in carrying out those activities, although whether he showed more than the many other couriers and activists is open to discussion.
However, he was certainly a hypocritical self-promoter in his claim to having tried to rescue Jews. The height of self-promotion was reached in a book called "The Man Who Tried to Stop the Holocaust"; that claim is a total exaggeration.
In fact, he shared the anti-Jewish feelings of most Poles of that time. I invite you to read his first report from occupied Poland, the one presented to the Polish Government-in-Exile in France in early 1940. In that report, Kozielewski (his real name, before he adopted the pseudonym Karski) described the Jews as the main supporters of the Soviet occupiers in Soviet-occupied Eastern Poland, and predicted that the Poles would take a bloody revenge on them. His report was so anti-Jewish that, on the instructions of the Polish Government-in-Exile, he prepared a second, doctored version, which portrayed the Poles under occupation as sympathetic to the plight of the Jews, and which would be more acceptable to the Allies.
Late in 1942, Karski returned from his second mission to Poland, bringing a number of messages from Armia Krajowa operatives, including a message from a couple of Jewish leaders in Warsaw. However, the latter was only a minor part of his mission, and it was several months before he delivered the message to Jewish leaders in the United States.
Early in 1943, two Polish Jewish representatives in the Polish Government-in-Exile in London, Szwarcbard and Zygielbojm, published a report on the deportation of Jews from Warsaw. In it, they described the Jews being taken to a transit camp, from which they later were taken to an extermination camp, identified by Szwarcbart and Zygielbojm as Belzec; that was a mistake, it was actually Treblinka. The two writers claimed that their report was based on material brought out of Poland by a courier for the Underground.
In 1944. Karski produced the book "Story of a Secret State", on the orders of the Polish Government-in-Exile, which wanted a best-selling work that would raise the profile of the Polish cause. Much of the material was given to Karski, and he was writing according to the directions of his superiors, although he also included some of his personal experiences.
The Szwarcbard-Zygielbojm report was incorporated holus-bolus into the book, with a lot of hyperbole, and including the error that the Jews deported from Warsaw were taken to Belzec. However, Karski introduced a sensational element by presenting the report as something he himself had witnessed, ie he claimed to have been in the Warsaw Ghetto and in the Belzec camp himself.
Karski's descriptions of the Warsaw Ghetto are so fantastic and full of errors that it is extremely unlikely that the story presented in "Secret State" is his own experience. Raul Hilberg, in his book "Victims, Perpetrators, Bystanders", describes all the errors in Karski's account, and strongly implies that it is not true, although of course he does not say so explicitly. Nevertheless, in later years, Karski promoted himself as a hero who tried to save Jews, on the basis of the problematic account in "Secret State".
It is for that reason I called him a self-promoter. And the stark contrast between that claim and the anti-Jewish views appearing in his 1940 report is reason why I used the term "hypocrisy".