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The film The Way Back, starring Colin Farrell and Ed Harris, is based on this amazing true story.
Twenty-six-year-old cavalry officer Slavomir Rawicz was captured by the Red Army in 1939 during the German-Soviet partition of Poland and sent to the Siberian Gulag. In the spring of 1941, he escaped with six of his fellow prisoners, including one American. Thus began their astonishing trek to freedom.
With no map or compass but only an ax head, a homemade knife, and a week's supply of food, the compatriots spent a year making their way on foot to British India, through four thousand miles of the most forbidding terrain on earth. They braved the Himalayas, the desolate Siberian tundra, icy rivers, and the great Gobi Desert, always a hair's breadth from death. Finally returning home, Rawicz reenlisted in the Polish army to fight the Germans.
This is his story.
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Cavalry officer Slavomir Rawicz was captured by the Red Army in 1939 during the German-Soviet partition of Poland and was sent to the Siberian Gulag along with other captive Poles, Finns, Ukranians, Czechs, Greeks, and even a few English, French, and American unfortunates who had been caught up in the fighting. A year later, he and six comrades from various countries escaped from a labor camp in Yakutsk and made their way, on foot, thousands of miles south to British India, where Rawicz reenlisted in the Polish army and fought against the Germans. The Long Walk recounts that adventure, which is surely one of the most curious treks in history.From the Inside Flap:
“I hope The Long Walk will remain as a memorial to all those who live and die for freedom, and for all those who for many reasons could not speak for themselves.”
In 1941, the author and six fellow prisoners escaped a Soviet labor camp in Yakutsk—a camp where hunger, cold, untended wounds, untreated illness, and daily executions were everyday fare. Their route—thousands of miles by foot—out of Siberia, through China, the Gobi Desert, Tibet, and over the Himalayas to British India endures as a statement of man’s desire to be free.
Written with haunting detail, the book has stirred the hearts of many, including legendary director Peter Weir, whose film adaptation, The Way Back, was inspired by the story. Included in this special edition is an afterword, written by the author shortly before his death, and the author’s moving introduction to the book’s original Polish edition.
Guaranteed to stay in the reader’s mind, The Long Walk remains a testament to the strength of the spirit and to the universal desire for freedom and dignity that knows no borders.
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