Author(s): Slavomir Rawicz
This is one of the world's greatest stories of adventure, survival and escape. Slavomir Rawicz was a young Polish cavalry officer. On 9th November 1939, he was arrested by the Russians and after brutal interrogation in Moscow's infamous Lubyanka prison and a farce of a trial, he was sentenced to 25 years' hard labour in the Gulags, for 'spying'. After a three-month journey to Siberia in the depths of winter, he escaped with six companions, realising that to stay in the camp meant almost certain death. In June 1941, they crossed the trans-Siberian railway and headed south, climbing into Tibet and, finally, freedom nine months later in March 1942, after travelling on foot for 4,000 miles through some of the harshest regions in the world, including the Gobi Desert. By the end, he weighed just five stone and 3 of the 7 had died.
One of the most epic treks of the human race...It must be read - and re-read. -- Sebastian Junger An heroic tale desperately live and compellingly told, Rawicz carries us with each weakening step, sustained by his simple undying vision of the liberty that lies beyond the cruel emptiness of Siberia and the sterile gravles of the Gobi. The Long Walk is an odyssey through the wastelands of Asia and the vastness of the soul - a classic of triumph over despair, of beauty found in the Void. Benedict Allen Positively Homeric. Cyril Connolly, The Times
Slavomir Rawicz was born in Pinsk in 1915. After his ordeal of The Long Walk he settled in England in 1944 were he remained for the rest of his life working in education. He died in 2004.