He has met and interviewed people who were tested to the extreme during World War II. From both sides he has talked to mass killers, people in Resistance movements, those who were rapists, cannibals and murderers, and those who endured dreadful imprisonments - as human mine detectors, for example, soldiers who never surrendered, those who just 'did as they were told' and many others. The stories are gripping and often chilling.
For the last 20 years, award-winning director and bestselling author Laurence Rees has worked on projects based on the Second World War. His documentaries such as Auschwitz and The Nazis- A Warning From History have been celebrated across the board and have broken new boundaries. In the course of his work he has encountered a spectacularly wide range of people who lived through the war. Some of these people he found inspirational in their seemingly limitless ability to deal with impossible situations, to cope with no end of despair and still come out the other side. Viewers of his programmes will know that he has also achieved the impossible - in persuading those who carried out what can only be described as crimes against humanity, to talk about how they came to act the way they did; to bring us all closer to an understanding of what human beings are capable of doing when pushed to extremes. resented as a beautifully packaged small hardback, this is a unique and special book. On one hand it represents fascinating encounters with a collection of individuals. And on the other hand, it is an inspiration, a book that encourages you to dwell on the big questions, that challenges you