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Article about: Hi all, My partial reference book list which I have limited to English language editions only. It is a mix of out-of-print and more recent — Cazalet, V.A., With Sikorski to Russia, Lon

  1. #31

    Default Re: Books

    Sławomir Rawicz was born on 1 September 1915 in Pinsk, Poland (today Belarus), the son of a landowner. He had a Russian mother and learned Russian as a youth. He received private primary education and went on to study architecture in 1932. In 1937 he joined the Polish Army Reserve and went through the cadet officer school. In July 1939 he married Vera, his first wife. She went missing during WWII.

    According to his account, when Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union defeated Poland, Rawicz returned to Pińsk, where the NKVD arrested him on November 19, 1939. He was taken to Moscow, then sent to Kharkov for interrogation, then, after a trial, to the Lubyanka prison in Moscow. He claims to have been tortured to make him confess to being a spy. He was sentenced to 25 years of hard labour in a Siberian prison camp, ostensibly for espionage.

    [edit] Escape from the Gulag camp
    In the book, Rawicz claims to have been transported, alongside thousands of others, to Irkutsk and made to walk to the Gulag Camp 303, 650 km south of the Arctic Circle. His labour duties in the camp included the construction of the prisoners' barracks, the manufacture of skis for the Russian army, and the repair and operation of the camp commandant's radio.

    In The Long Walk, Rawicz describes how he and six companions escaped from the camp in the middle of a blizzard in 1941 and headed south, avoiding towns. Apparently they were not actively pursued. The fugitives included two Poles, a Latvian, a Lithuanian, a Czech and an enigmatic US engineer called "Mr. Smith"; they were later joined by a 17-year-old Polish girl. The book also mentions the spotting of a pair of Yeti in the Himalayas.

    According to the book, four survivors of the 11-month trek reached British India around March 1942 and stumbled upon a Gurkha patrol. They were taken to a hospital in Calcutta. Once released from the hospital, the survivors went their own ways.

    [edit] WWII activities after imprisonment
    According to Rawicz, he moved from India to Iraq, then re-entered the Soviet Union in June 1942 and rejoined the Polish Army on July 24, 1942 at Kermini. He then returned to Iraq with Polish troops and moved on to Palestine, where he spent time recovering in a hospital and teaching in a military school. He claimed that General Władysław Anders and Colonel Luzinski recommended his transfer to Britain for training as a pilot of the Polish Air Forces in Great Britain.

    [edit] Historical records
    Soviet records confirm that Rawicz was a Polish soldier imprisoned in the USSR, but differ from The Long Walk in detail on the reasons for his arrest and the exact places of imprisonment. Polish Army records show that Rawicz left the USSR directly for Iran in 1942, which contradicts the book's storyline. Aside from matters concerning his health, his arrival in Palestine is verified by the records. The story of the escape to India comes from Rawicz himself. The BBC report does mention the account of Captain Rupert Mayne, an intelligence officer in Calcutta, who - years after the war - said that in 1942 he had debriefed three emaciated men claiming to have escaped from a Siberian camp[2].

    [edit] Postwar life
    After the war he settled in Sandiacre, Nottingham, England and worked at the Nottingham Design Centre. He married Marjorie Gregory née Needham in 1947; they had five children. In the early 1970s he became a technician at the Architectural Ceramics course at Nottingham Trent University School of Art and Design. A heart attack forced him into early retirement in 1975. He lived a quiet life with his family in a country house, giving public talks and answering fan mail, until his death on 5 April 2004.

    [edit] The Long Walk
    The The Long Walk was ghost-written by Ronald Downing based on conversations with Rawicz. It was released in the UK in 1956 and has sold over half a million copies worldwide and has been translated into 25 languages.[3] It's been an inspiration for many explorers, including Benedict Allen, Bear Grylls and Cyril Delafosse-Guiramand.[4]

    Over the years, critics of the book's accuracy have included Peter Fleming (the brother of Ian Fleming), Eric Shipton and Hugh E. Richardson, a British diplomat stationed in Lhasa.[5] In May 2009, Witold Glinski, a Polish WWII veteran living in the UK, came forward to claim that the story was true, but was actually a recount of what happened to him, not Rawicz. [6]

  2. #32

    Default Re: Books

    Quote by dorava View Post
    didnt hear that...would be interested to hear about it if so...
    It is a pretty incredible story

    Accusations had been leveled against Rawicz from the moment the book was published, but the BBC discovered evidence that Rawicz was in fact serving with the Polish Army after being released from the gulag during the time the events in the book occurred.

    BBC News article

    ...."There were official documents he had filled out as a young man, which tell us a lot about his family and his background. But they couldn't confirm his arrest, or his escape.

    Amnesty document

    An amnesty document challenges Rawicz's account of his escape

    Our next find came at the Polish Institute and Sikorski Museum in London, a treasure trove of Second World War memorabilia.

    We found Rawicz's military record, which clearly says he had rejoined the Polish Army in Russia. We wondered how this could possibly fit with the story of The Long Walk.

    The missing link came through documents discovered by an American researcher, Linda Willis, in Polish and Russian archives. One, in Rawicz's own hand described how he was released from the gulag in 1942, apparently as part of a general amnesty for Polish soldiers. These are backed up by his amnesty document and a permit to travel to rejoin the Polish Army.

    These papers make it almost impossible to believe that Rawicz escaped, unless there is a case of mistaken identity. However, the name and place and date of birth all match.

    The documents also show that rather than being imprisoned on trumped-up charges as he claimed, Rawicz was actually sent to the gulag for killing an officer with the NKVD, the forerunner of the Soviet secret police, the KGB"....

  3. #33

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    Shallow Graves in Siberia - M.krupa

    Gary J.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Books  

  4. #34

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    I only have three books on the Polish forces.
    An Army in Exile by Lt. General Anders, published by Macmillan 1949
    The Secret Army by T. Bor-Komorowski,published by Victor Gollancz 1950.
    Destiny Can Wait, The Polish Air Force in the Second World War,published by William Heineman Ltd. 1949.
    If anyone would like any extracts from these books please ask. John.

  5. #35

    Default Re: Books

    For anyone as interested in WWII Polish war artists as I am:

    Monte cassino: Sketches of the Battle Fought By the 2nd Polish Corps. by Zygmunt Turkiewicz. [Rome. nakł. Oddziału Propagandy i Kultury APW, 1944] Hardback edition 2500 copies. Polish and English text, published shortly after the battle.

    Enjoy some of Turkiewicz wonderfully evocative illustrations
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Books   Books  

    Books   Books  


  6. #36

    Default Re: Books

    Great idea to launch the “books” topic
    Small contribution form my library
    Attached Images Attached Images Books Books Books 

  7. #37

    Default Re: Books

    few more
    Attached Images Attached Images Books Books Books 

  8. #38

    Default Re: Books

    a few more
    Attached Images Attached Images Books Books Books Books Books Books Books Books 

  9. #39

    Default Re: Books

    more !
    Attached Images Attached Images Books Books Books Books Books Books Books Books Books Books 

  10. #40

    Default Re: Books

    some more navy ones
    Attached Images Attached Images Books Books 

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