Penguin Putnam Shortlisted for the 2018 RBC Taylor Prize
The untold true story of the secret negotiations—by the most unlikely figures—to end the Holocaust
On November 25, 1944, prisoners at Auschwitz heard a deafening explosion. Emerging from their barracks, they witnessed the crematoria and gas chambers—part of the largest killing machine in human history—come crashing down. Most assumed they had fallen victim to inmate sabotage and thousands silently cheered. However, the Final Solution's most efficient murder apparatus had not been felled by Jews, but rather by the ruthless architect of mass genocide, Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler. It was 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. He uncovers an astounding story involving the secret negotiations of an unlikely trio—a former fascist President of Switzerland, a courageous Orthodox Jewish woman, and Himmler's Finnish osteopath—to end the Holocaust, aided by clandestine Swedish and American intelligence efforts. He documents their efforts to deceive Himmler, who, as Germany's defeat loomed, sought to enter an alliance with the West against the Soviet Union. By exploiting that fantasy and persuading Himmler to betray Hitler's orders, the group helped to prevent the liquidation of tens of thousands of Jews during the last months of the Second World War, and thwarted Hitler's plan to take "every last Jew" down with the Reich. Deeply researched and dramatically recounted, In the Name of Humanity is a remarkable tale of bravery and audacious tactics that will help rewrite the history of the Holocaust.