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Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom

Rawicz, Slavomir Author

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This is one of the world's greatest stories of adventure, survival and escape. SlavomirRawicz was a young Polish cavalry officer. On 9th November 1939, he was arrested by the Russians and after brutal interrogation in Moscow's infamous Lubyanka prison and a farce of a trial, he was sentenced to 25 years' hard labour in the Gulags, for 'spying'. After a three-month journey to Siberia in the depths of winter, he escaped with six companions, realising that to stay in the camp meant almost certain death. In June 1941, they crossed the trans-Siberian railway and headed south, climbing into Tibet and, finally, freedom nine months later in March 1942, after travelling on foot for 4,000 miles through some of the harshest regions in the world, including the Gobi Desert. By the end, he weighed just five stone and 3 of the 7 had died.

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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.”
—Slavomir Rawicz
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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