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THE A5 BOOK REVIEW
The Long Walk is the story of a Polish army lieutenant named Slawomir Rawicz who was imprisoned after the German/Soviet invasion of Poland in 1941 and transported to a Siberian gulag camp. Using the cover of a blizzard, Rawicz and six companions escaped the camp and fled south, avoiding towns, and walking toward freedom. The group included three Polish soldiers, a Latvian, a Lithuanian, and a charismatic American engineer named “Mr. Smith”. They were joined by a 17-year old Polish girl named Kristina. The story of the hardships they faced is brutal; four people in the group died during the journey. At the same time, the story of how numerous strangers unselfishly and heroically helped them along the way is also heartwarming. Four survivors ultimately reached British-ruled India, eleven months and 4,000 miles later. In a world increasingly nervous about immigration, this book is a reminder of the strength and courage of those forced to flee their native lands, simply to survive.
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OTHER A5 RECOMMENDATIONS ON STORIES ABOUT SURVIVAL
While admittedly a stretch, our broad definition of travel literature includes the stories of those forced to face challenging journeys simply to survive. Click here to see more about our recommendations on adventure and exploration travel books.
"I hope The Long Walk will remain as a memorial to all those who live and die for freedom, and for all those who for many reasons could not speak for themselves. I had to tell my story as a warning to the living, and as a moral judgment for the greater good."
- Slavomir Rawicz, The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom
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