Yannick Haenel: Jan Karski, The Messenger

Yannick Haenel: Jan Karski, The Messenger

French writer Yannick Haenel discusses the challenges of writing his partly fictionalised biography of Jan Karski.

Karski was a prominent figure in the Polish resistance to Nazi and Soviet occupation. During World War Two, he was given a unique, terrifying insight into the workings of the Warsaw ghetto.

He travelled to the UK and US to give testimony of what he’d seen to President Roosevelt, among others, but his urgings for intervention were largely ignored. Karski struggled with the legacy of the message he carried inside him for the rest of his life.

In this video, Haenel explores a variety of themes including messengers, witnesses, authorial legitimacy and language.


Portrait of Yannick Haenel

Yannick Haenel

Yannick Haenel is an award winning French novelist.

Portrait of Mark Baker

Mark Baker

Mark Baker is director of the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation and an associate professor at Monash University.

Listen to Yannick Haenel: Jan Karski, The Messenger