Excerpt: In the Name of Humanity
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.
We have updated our Privacy Policy, effective May 25, 2018, to clarify how we collect and process your personal data. By continuing to use this website, you acknowledge that you have read and agree to the updated Privacy Policy.


"Norbert Masur had traveled from Sweden [to Berlin] as a representative of the World Jewish Congress to meet the man who had almost singlehandedly been responsible for the decimation of his people. If the Führer, holed up in his bunker, were to discover that a member of the hated race was waiting nearby to meet with his most powerful lieutenant, the consequences would almost certainly be catastrophic. As Masur waited, he had no idea of the events that had led to this improbable journey, nor the role played by an ultra-Orthodox woman he had never heard of in bringing about his fateful mission … Masur’s mission, then, was no less than preventing the imminent extinction of [the remaining] European Jewry. The burden weighed heavily on him as he spent the day awaiting an unlikely encounter that few could have imagined possible. When he was still waiting at midnight, however, it appeared that his trip had been undertaken in vain. Finally, at precisely 2:30 a.m., he heard a car pull up. As the front door opened, Norbert Masur came face-to-face with the devil."
Publisher: Allen Lane