The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom

By Slavomir Rawicz

The harrowing precise story of escaped Soviet prisoners¿ determined march out of Siberia, via China, the Gobi wasteland, Tibet, and over the Himalayas to British India.

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She passed over to me a present that was once to be of inestimable price – an axehead. ‘That might be on my judgment of right and wrong all my life,’ she acknowledged. ‘It is first thing i've got ever stolen. ’ I made a deal with for it and Kolemenos wore it for secure protecting contained in the again waistband of his trousers. another invaluable article I made within the ski store used to be an outstanding three-inch-wide and foot-long knife. It was once initially a piece of damaged observed blade which I heated within the workshop range, hammered into form and flooring at the grindstone. The deal with was once items of formed wooden tightly thonged jointly through lengthy strips of deerskin. As Kolemenos turned the keeper of the awl, so did I take over the custody of the knife. those have been perilous possessions contained in the camp. the invention of both might have wrecked the complete scheme. the matter of creating hearth was once one we already had the reply to. right here, the place suits have been counted a luxurious, there existed an efficient, if primitive, process which made use of a thick fungoid wooded area progress which the Russians referred to as gubka, actually sponge. it may be tugged off the timber in sheets. It used to be then boiled and dried. The fire-making gear used to be accomplished with an inclination nail and a section of flintstone. The dry gubka, a provide of which all of us carried filled into our jacket wallet, conveniently took the spark from the flint and will be blown right into a crimson smoulder. all of us grew to become specialists in its use. The observe reached us that during a week’s time it might be Easter Sunday. It fell in 1941 on thirteen April, i've got given that found. The Sunday sooner than, 6 April, marked the top of our arrangements. Our break out cloth cabinet used to be then whole with the making of 7 balaclava caps of fur with an extension flap down the again that could be tucked into the neck of our jackets. We have been all stressful and able to pass, frightened approximately our precious new possessions – the skins, the awl, the knife, the shop of dehydrated bread – and frightened that at this aspect a few of them should be stolen. And on that day Ushakova despatched for me and stated, ‘My husband has long past to Yakutsk. this is the reason he didn't attend the parade this day. i've got made seven luggage out of provision sacks. you'll have to take them out separately. ’ She used to be completely calm. My middle was once hammering with nervousness. whilst she passed me the 1st of those luggage I observed that she had provisioned it, too, and that i puzzled how in all probability shall we cover it. I tucked the bag less than my arm within my jacket, caught my palms within the deep wallet and walked again to the prisoners’ traces hunched up and bending over like a guy in deep concept. Six instances extra within the following couple of days I made that damaging journey, understanding at any time when that if any Russian came upon what i used to be wearing catastrophe will be surprising and whole. We made pillows of them, protecting them with bits of animal epidermis and moss, and each hour that we have been clear of the hut we sweated in apprehension. We bought in these previous few days a discarded and worn soldier’s sheepskin jacket. I instructed the others of an previous poacher’s trick during which a sheepskin was once dragged alongside in the back of to place the gamekeeper’s canine off the human odor.

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