The dramatic, untold, true story of the secret negotiations--by the most unlikely people--that ended the Holocaust
Early in the morning of November 26, 1944, prisoners at Auschwitz heard a deafening explosion. Emerging from their barracks, they witnessed the crematoria--part of the largest killing machine in human history--come crashing down. Most assumed they had fallen victim to inmate sabotage and thousands gave a silent cheer. However, the Final Solution's most efficient murder apparatus had not been felled by Jews, but rather by the ruthless architect of mass genocide, SS chief Heinrich Himmler--an edict that has puzzled historians for more than six decades.
Holocaust historian and New York Times bestselling author Max Wallace--a veteran interviewer for Steven Spielberg's Shoah Foundation--draws on an explosive cache of recently declassified documents and an account from the only living eyewitness to unravel the mystery. For the first time, he reveals an incredible story involving the secret negotiations of an unlikely trio--a former fascist President of Switzerland, a courageous Orthodox Jewish woman, and a Finnish osteopath--to end the Holocaust, aided by clandestine Swedish and American intelligence efforts. He documents their efforts to deceive Himmler, successfully prevent the extermination of hundreds of thousands of Jews during the last months of the Second World War, and thwart Hitler's plan to take "every last Jew" down with the Reich. These are revelations that will help rewrite the history of the Holocaust and the Second World War.
MAX WALLACE is a writer and journalist. His book The American Axis, about the Nazi affiliations of Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh, was endorsed by two-time Pulitzer-winner Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. Wallace co-authored the New York Timesbestseller Love & Death, about the final days of Kurt Cobain. Earlier, he wrote Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight: Cassius Clay vs. the United States of America. Ali himself wrote the foreword. From 1996-2000, Wallace worked for Steven Spielberg's Shoah Foundation documenting the video testimonies of Holocaust survivors. As a journalist, Wallace has contributed to the Sunday New York Times as a guest columnist as well as the BBC. He has appeared three times on NBC's Today, as well as on Dateline NBC, Anderson Cooper 360°, CBS This Morning, and Good Morning America, plus numerous appearances on CSPAN's Book TV.
"Wallace introduces readers to a host of inspiring heroes, most of whom were quiet and unassuming yet intensely dedicated to saving European Jewry. A riveting tale of the previously unknown and fascinating story of the unsung angels who strove to foil the Final Solution." —Kirkus starred review
"This fascinating, largely untold account shows how an unlikely confluence of people and events saved the lives of a remnant of surviving European Jews." —Jay Freeman, Booklist
PRAISE FOR THE AMERICAN AXIS
“What a drama! Two of the most popular figures in 20th century America – Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh – pitted against a third – Franklin Delano Roosevelt – over what to do about Adolf Hitler. Max Wallace reminds us that the destiny of the republic hung in the balance in the Great Debate of 1940-41.” —Two-time Pulitzer-winning historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.