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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.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
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 Back Cover:
In 1941, the author and a small group of fellow prisoners escaped a Soviet labor camp. Their march out of Siberia, through China, the Gobi Desert, Tibet, and over the Himalayas to British India is a remarkable statement about man's desire to be free.With a new Afterword by the author, and the author's Foreword to the Polish edition, this new edition of The Long Walk is destined to outrank its classic status. (6 X 9, 256 pages, map)"One of the epic treks of the human race. Shackleton, Franklin, Amundsen...history is filled with people who have crossed immense distances and survived despite horrific odds. None of them, however, has achieved the extraordinary feat Rawicz has recorded. He and his companions crossed an entire continent--the Siberian arctic, the Gobi desert and then the Himalayas--with nothing but an ax, a knife, and a week's worth of food...His account is so filled with despair and suffering it is almost unreadable. But it must be read--and re-read."--Sebastian Junger, author of The Perfect Storm"The Long Walk is a book that I absolutely could not put down and one that I will never forget..."--Stephen Ambrose
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