The story of Slavomir Rawicz has Luckily enough his story has been told through his rightfully named memoir, The Long Walk. The Long Walk is an amazing book documenting and retelling the story of a former Polish soldier as he fghts his way through Russian mistreatment and to a place of solitude and freedom. An unforgettable story like his could only come with admiration from the reader for the resilience and bravery Slavomir had during his fight for freedom.
With many people dying along the way, Slavomir went many thousands of miles with a goal of freedom n mind. The Long Walk is a true first person narration of Slavomir Rawicz’s Journey and escape from a Serbian work camp. This Journey describes the hardships and the will power to survive. To begin in 1938, Slavomir Rawicz, 24, was a Polish Lieutenant of the Polish Cavalry who returned home to Eastern Poland after WW1. When home, the Soviet Secret Police found him and accused him of being a Polish spy.
These accusations were formed on the basis that Rawicz, along with the fact that he was in the Polish Cavalry as also living in Eastern Poland in the town of Pinsk and was educated with an ability to speak Russian fluently. After being arrested he was imprisoned in Minsk and Khrarkov, where he was tortured by being beaten and even to the extent of being tarred by the Russian guards at these prisons. He was sentenced to 25 years of hard labor. Along with thousands of other prisoners they were transported thousands of miles to Irkutsk while facing starvation and the cold.
After the prisoners got off the train, they then walked to the Gulag Camp 303 where the labor duties ncluded the construction of prisoner cells, the manufacture of skis and the reparation of radios for the Russian army. The real Journey will then start in this Siberian camp with Rawicz’ persistence being pushed to the limit. Never discouraged but tested, Slavomir Rawicz began to formulate a plan that would lead to his freedom. In Siberia, Slavomir Rawicz has a plan to escape to one day relive his old life with his wife, Vera.
He recruited six other prisoners and decided that for the next big snowfall, they would head south to British India some 5,000 miles away. With help from a Russian commanders wife, she told him when the commander was off and so they planned to leave during the next blizzard. The fugitive party included three Polish soldiers, a Latvian landowner, a Lithuanian architect, and an enigmatic US metro engineer called “Mr. Smith”. They collected supplies of dried bread, steal deer, sable and rabbit skins from the guards, and managed to create warmer clothing, shoes and other tools for survival before leaving the camp in mid-April, 1941.
They raveled on foot through Siberia, China, the Gobi desert and then over the Himalayas Mountains. Four of the group died, two in the Gobi, two in the Himalayas. Throughout this Journey, traveling through excruciating elements proved a sense of toughness and determination within Slavomir Rawicz. After reading this book it showed me another example to never stop from trying to treatment one may be given and to always remain true. he fight and his will to survive is an inspiration to never give up and always appreciate the life you have no matter how hard things get.