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[PDF / Epub] ✑ The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom ☄ Sławomir Rawicz –

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10 thoughts on “The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom

  1. says:

    There is much controversy as to whether this account is fact or fiction I googled the author s name and the book title and after reading dozens of articles and opinions, I m still not sure, though I lean towards thinking that the narrative is actually a composite of a number of experiences including Rawicz s.As was said in an account on the web entitled 18 Anderson s Long Walk Expedition , in which a group of people retraced Rawicz s journey, although on camels not on foot Attempting to find truth in every written word of the Long Walk dooms the book to skepticism The two most poignant examples of this are Rawicz and his companions crossing the Gobi desert without water for 13 days and sighting the yeti in the Himalayas However, both of these events occurred when Rawicz was close to death due to extreme environmental conditions Other sections of the book, such as the descriptions of the local people and their customs are so accurate it seems impossible a Polish immigrant living in England could have made up such details without experiencing them first hand.Giving Rawicz some creative leeway, considering English was his third or fourth language and he wrote the book than 15 years after the walk occurred, the events in the book take on a believable tone.You can find the complete article on the Polartech web site.I certainly enjoyed reading the book whether or not it was a completely true re telling of Rawicz s experiences or not The story was actually transcribed by Ronald Downing, a British reporter I m sure he took some creative liberties, especially in describing the Yeti encounter, due to his desire to find eye witness accounts of just such meetings.The story is exciting and moves along briskly The prose is sparse but captures the emotion of these survivors very well I recommend reading the book, if for no other reason, than to make up your own mind about the controversy surrounding its veracity.

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  3. says:

    When this novel was first published in 1956 it created a sensation It claimed to be a memoir of a man, who with seven others, had escaped from a Siberian prison work camp in 1942 and managed to walk all the way to British India The story was eagerly consumed by the cold war era public who were enad by the tale of an escape from the evil empire of the Soviet Union It was an incredible story of endurance that required walking across the Gobi Desert and over the Himalayan Mountains.Research of Soviet records since the cold war has revealed that while it is true that the author had been a prisoner in Siberia in the early 1940s, he did not escape in the manner described in this book Instead he was released as part of a 1942 general amnesty and subsequently transported across the Caspian Sea to a refugee camp in Iran He did end up living in Britain and probably passed through India on the way there.I m surprised that anybody believed the story in the first place because of its many technical flaws If the author had called the book a novel I would criticize for being unrealistic and in need of additional research into means of survival in the desert and mountains Unfortunately, the author claimed it to be a true memoir of his experiences I say unfortunate because it clearly makes him to be a liar.If there is any possibility of truth in the story it may be that Slavomir Rawics stole the story from another person who actually walked such a journey I think it s possible that prisoners from Siberia managed to escape to India, but I m quite confident that they didn t do it by walking across the Gobi without equipment and a map Their crossing of the Himalayas has similar problems And the book s claim that they saw Abominable Snowman i.e The Yeti establishes the fact beyond all doubt that the book is fiction, and fiction not very well done.But the fact remains that the idea of escaping from Siberia to India is a heck of a story The 2011 movie The Way Back is based on this book Maybe the movie is realistic, but I ve not seen the movie so I can t judge it The movie s popularity caused the book to be republished and consequently brought to my attention You can read about the controversy regarding the authenticity of the book at this Wikipedia article.The following review from PageADay s 2007 Book Lover s Calendar was how I first learned about the book BACK IN PRINTRawicz s memoir is one of the most extraordinary and harrowing you will ever read A young Polish officer in World War II, Rawicz was captured by Soviet forces and sent to a work camp in Siberia In 1941 he and six fellow prisoners escaped and, with only an ax head and a makeshift knife, trekked thousands of miles through Siberian tundra, the Gobi desert, and over the Himalayas to freedom in British occupied India The New York Times calls Rawicz a poet with steel in his soul and Sebastian Junger The Perfect Storm calls the book one of the epic treks of the human race THE LONG WALK THE TRUE STORY OF A TREK TO FREEDOM, by Slavomir Rawicz 1956 The Lyons Press, 1997

  4. says:

    I found this book truly inspirational and gripping I read it in 2 nights There is some banter about whether or not it is true I m still not decided on what I think about this debate What I do know, from having lived in Russia for a number of years and having toured an obscure KGB prison in Lithuania 3 times, that the author s description of his torture in Minsk and in Moscow were especially haunting From what I saw in Vilnius, he was actually given light treatment Some of the rooms in that prison possess possibilities for torture that normal humans can barely comprehend I have no doubt that if Slavomir had been a prisoner of war in Siberia records indicate he was then he most likely experienced what he claims on the way to camp 303 As for his escape, I also know many Mongols, and they are as kind as he describes.All in all, an excellent read, fiction or fact I recommend it to all.

  5. says:

    A memoir must be an unrewarding thing to write today So many have been discredited as either full of untruths or completely fabricated Jerzy Kosinski s Painted Bird , Carlos Casteneda s The Teaching of Don Juan , than a few of Oprah publicized books, and now a revelation for me The Long Walk , a book that has sold half a million copies since it was first published in 1956 I started to get suspicious about 1 3 of the way through this book There were too many implausible incidents, starting from his insistence that he was completely innocent of spying or any other any crime against the Soviets they claim he killed an NKVD officer , his extraordinary long interrogations, the long march from Irkutsk to the camp chained behind a wood burning truck, his ability to interview and then reject candidates for the escape without anyone ratting him out, the help he got from the commandant s wife, and his naive view of the natural world He claimed that the only living things in the Gobi desert were snakes, which they caught and ate what did the snakes eat Were they cannibals They evidently just laze around in holes with only their head sticking out All of the snakes I have ever seen were either lying or crawling over the ground It sounds like gopher or night crawler behavior to me.Then there were the pair of Yeti they spotted Now I know there was a lot of interest in the Yeti, Sasquatch, and Loch Ness monster back in the 50 s when this book was written, but really now, are we supposed to take this seriously I haven t researched the disbelievers extensively, but Outside did a scathing review in 2003 and the BBC did an expose in 2006.The current edition of the book has the usual testimonials on the back cover, including a glowing one from Sebastian Junger The Perfect Storm , One of the epic treks of the human race he says Well Sebastian, I ve now got you calibrated How does such obvious fabrication go unquestioned by so many people for so long read some of the angry comments at the end of the BBC article Part of it may be the desire to believe a compelling story of incredible hardship and adventure, and part of it must be the West s fixation during the cold war with the evils of the Soviet Union Anybody who can tell a story that makes them look like fools has got to be believed See for about other fake memoirs Also see

  6. says:

    I m not going to get all wrapped up in whether or not this account is true as the book claims It s a remarkable story regardless, much like the book I just read, Das Boot The Boat, was a remarkable story and may have some kernels of truth from the author s real life The story itself is good and empowering, and that s all that really matters to me.That s a lot of walking, even for fictional characters.

  7. says:

    Tragic and difficult but also hypnotic The reader may question the complete veracity of the account and and may be somewhat disappointed to learn of the amount of criticism and doubt surrounding his story Essentially, a group of political prisoners in a Soviet prison in Siberia literally walk out of captivity The idea is that an escaped prisoner will die in the bitter cold and unforgiving wilderness of eastern Asia The group walks across Siberia and into the Gobi desert and then to the Himalayas Di they really see a Yeti A very interesting book.

  8. says:

    Opening Line It was about nine o clock one bleak November day that the key rattles in the heavy lock of my cell in the Lubyanka Prison and the two broad shouldered guards marched purposely in Wow what an amazing story, epic is I guess the word I m looking for I read this after watching the movie The Way Back and as is usually the case the book is much better, vastly different yet obviously maintaining the gist of the year long trek across an entire continent to freedom As a point of interest or not Colin Farrell s tattooed gang character does not exist in the book Anyways Slavomir Rawicz wrote this memoir in 1959 as a form of therapy to escape the memories that still haunted him It has lost nothing with time however and remains one of the most incredible journeys of strength, endurance and human spirit you ll ever read.Its 1941 and Slav has just spent two years in a Soviet prison After multiple beatings and interrogations at the hands of the sadistic prison guard the Bull he is eventually found guilty of espionage and sentenced to 25 years forced labour in a Siberian work camp These sections were actually some of the most brutal in the whole book Thus begins his journey Transferred during the dead of winter Slav somehow survives the 3000 mile cattle car train ride and subsequent chain gang death march into inner Siberia and camp 303 in Yakutsk After enduring starvation, cold, illness and brutality he and six other prisoners escape Together they cross an entire continent on foot with nothing than an axe, a knife, a weeks worth of food and an unbreakable will to live Covering some of the most inhospitable conditions on earth they travel out of Siberia and through China, across the Gobi dessert into Tibet and finally over the Himalayas and into British India This is where the epic part comes in because their journey is so brutal, so filled with despair and suffering its at times unbelievable and also impossible to put down The LONG WALK is written factually and Slav doesn t ever tell us how he feels, he just gives a meticulous account of what is taking place However for this type of storytelling it was perfect Included in this 1997 version is an afterwards with some of the readers most persistent questions answered What Slav s life was like after The Long Walk, What happened to the other men Did he ever see them again This is a story I won t ever forget and I highly recommend I mean they walked from Siberia to India, just think about that for a second.

  9. says:

    The Long Walk, by Slavomir Rawicz, purports to be the true story of an heroic flight to freedom He claims to have been a Polish officer grabbed by the Russians in 1939, imprisoned and marched to camp 303 in Siberia From there he and six companions escape, with the help of the commandants wife THey begin a year long trek south, past Lake Baikal, through Mongolia, across the Gobi, over Tibet and to India and freedom Hurray What a triumph of the human spirit The book had the taint of improbability all along,especially the part about observing a Yeti couple Subsequent investigation shows the book is a fraud None of the events can be substantiated He claims to have convalesced in a British military hospital in India for a month, but there is no such record He claims to have trained with the Polish contingent of the RAF, but there is no record of that Russian records show no camp 303 they show Rawicz was a prisoner of war, but was pardoned in 1942 and sent to a refugee camp in Iran So there you go.

  10. says:

    InCREDible adventure story Unbelievable what people are physically able to endure and survive Just riveting.This man, and others, walked, after escaping from a work camp in Siberia, through Mongolia desert , oh, and then OVER the Himalayas Walked Several of them died.