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The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to…
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The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom (original 1956; edition 2007)

by Slavomir Rawicz (Author), Ronald Downing (Ghostwriter)

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1,460485,128 (4.05)86
Member:PickledOnion42
Title:The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom
Authors:Slavomir Rawicz (Author)
Other authors:Ronald Downing (Ghostwriter)
Info:London : Robinson, 2007
Collections:Memoirs, Nonfiction
Rating:
Tags:incarceration, gulag, survival, soviet union, fugitives

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The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom by Slavomir Rawicz (1956)

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English (47)  French (1)  All (48)
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom by Slavomir Rawicz; (4 1/2*); ROOT, 08/10/2015;

The story told in this book did not actually occur as told. The BBC, along with an American researcher, revealed that they have found records in the former Soviet Union that conclusively prove that Slavomir Rawicz, while imprisoned in Siberia, did not escape. But rather he, like so many other Polish prisoners, was released by the Soviets after the German invasion and was sent to a refugee camp in Iran. The documents that prove this are written by and bear the signature of Slavomir Rawicz.
While this book was the subject of debate for many years we now know that it is a work of fiction, albeit a fascinating tale and I would venture to say that a great deal of it is based on factual happenings, whether they occurred to Slavomir Rawicz, or any number of prisoners.
Those who found the book inspiring should take heart in understanding that even though this man did not walk from Siberia to India, he still suffered terribly in the Gulag and he lived through a painful experience that was no less heroic than the story written here.
It is also important to understand that some parts of the book are very likely to be true or to have grains of truth in them. Rawicz was a Polish solider and he was arrested by the NKVD. He was in prison camps in the Soviet Union. He actually did join the Free Polish Army after he left the Soviet Union and he did serve in Palestine and Britain during the war. It is even quite possible that a 'long walk' to India actually happened but with others, as yet unidentified taking part, it causes to story to be a bit confusing as to the true events & the dramatization of factual events.
The world now knows that Rawicz did not make the long walk. But this still may not be the end of the story. Even though the book is, strictly speaking, not entirely & factually true that does not that this is not an important story. As a story, I found it to be very inspirational and it stands as a tribute of sorts to the hundreds of thousands who passed through the Gulag and lived amazing stories that will never be told nor heard. ( )
  rainpebble | Oct 26, 2016 |
Superb story - hard to believe but apparently true - very realistic, well written. ( )
  JW1949 | Aug 31, 2016 |
Great story and good read with so much disappointment after words. I dont know why so many authors write memoirs and lie in them!! It is so frustrating to find out after a good read that it was a lie and a sham!! Near the end of this book I had a gut feeling that some of it was bullshit. So I researched it and found out it was a lie. Such a let down. Great story though!! This author should be ashamed!! ( )
  yahscott | Mar 7, 2016 |
A fascinating and quick read. I had more questions than answers by the time I finished. I highly recommend. If it is true. other reviews suggest it ma not be. I will admit that the lack of collaboration is unusual if true. ( )
  vanjr | Oct 4, 2015 |
Skeptical of this story, unable to find any corroborating evidence of companions to verify story. ( )
  Amante | Oct 2, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Slavomir Rawiczprimary authorall editionscalculated
Downing, RonaldGhostwritersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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It was about nine o'clock one bleak November day that the key rattled in the heavy lock of my cell in the Lubyanka Prison and the two broad-shouldered guards marched purposefully in.
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In 1941, the author and six fellow prisoners escaped a Soviet labor camp in Yukutsk-a camp where surviving hunger, cold, untended wounds, and untreated illnesses, and avoiding daily executions were everyday feats. Their trek over thousands of miles by foot-out of Siberia and through China, the Gobi Desert, Tibet, and over the Himalayas to British India-was a remarkable journey through some of the most inhospitable conditons on the face of the earth. (978-1-59921-975-2)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 094113086X, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:59:41 -0400)

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Describes the four-thousand-mile journey across the Gobi Desert and the Himalayas of seven men who escaped from a Siberian prison camp.

(summary from another edition)

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