PJFF Film: “Karski & the Lords of Humanity”

As a debonair, trained diplomat with a worldly air about him, Jan Karski looked forward to a promising future in the Polish military. Unfortunately, his professional ambitions were cut short when Germany invaded his home country in 1939. Captured by the Red Army and transported to a labor camp in the Soviet Union, his life took an unprecedented turn.

Karski managed to escape Soviet imprisonment and returned to Poland to join the Resistance. Moving on to spy for the Allied forces, he completed multiple undercover missions during World War II, including the infiltration of the Warsaw Ghetto and a Nazi transit camp. His missions succeeded in accelerating the flow of information coming out of occupied Europe to the Allies in both England and the United States, and ultimately supplied substantial proof early on that Polish Jews were being exterminated en masse.

In “Karski & the Lords of Humanity,” Karski recounts his experiences in the Warsaw Ghetto, his witnessing of the brutal torture committed by the Gestapo, and the refusal of President Franklin D. Roosevelt to recognize his claims of Jewish extermination by the Third Reich. Karski’s courageous efforts during the war are explored through Emmy Award-winning director Slawomir GrŸünberg’s ability to combine brilliant animated sequences with the expert use of archival footage and interview segments, taken from Karski’s testimony in “Shoah,” Claude Lanzmann’s 1985 documentary about the Holocaust.

Slawomir GrŸünberg will be a guest speaker at this presentation of his film, along with Rebecca Erbelding, curator and research historian at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

This film was an official selection of the Boston Jewish Film Festival, the Jewish International Film Festival in Australia, and the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

Buy your tickets to this documentary feature here.