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    By: Laurence Rees

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    Award-winning writer and filmmaker Laurence Rees has spent nearly 20 years meeting people who were tested to the extreme during World War II. He has come face-to-face with rapists, mass murderers, even cannibals, but he has also met courageous individuals who are an inspiration to us all. His quest has taken him from the Baltic States to Japan, from Poland to America, and from Germany to China. In ITheir Darkest Hour/I he presents 35 of his most electrifying encounters. Meet Estera Frenkiel, a young Jewish woman given the chance to save ten fellow Jews from deportation and death; Peter Lee, a British officer brutally treated by his Japanese captors; Zinaida Pytkina, a female member of the Soviet UnionĂ¢??s infamous SMERSH organisation, who took pleasure in killing a German prisoner; Hiroo Onoda, a Japanese soldier so fanatical that he refused to surrender until 29 years after the end of the war; and Petras Zelionka, a Lithuanian who shot Jewish men, women and children for the Nazis. This devastating first-hand testimony is a unique historical resource. ITheir Darkest Hour/I is both a lasting contribution to our understanding of the war and a powerful insight into the behaviour of human beings in crisis.

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