Slavomir Rawicz Message Board
Glenn posts on 8/22/2007 1:35:05 AM
I'm reading the book for the 3rd time and I question a number of items Rawitz mentions. For one, he says they walked during the heat of the day in the Gobi so as to follow a due south direction judging by the sun. Temps run over 45C easily and coupled with walking, there is no way anyone can survive without water for more than 3 days max. under those conditions. He claims they went as many as 6 and 7 days without water. Secondly, his party found Lake Baikal without any compass. Add to this the many references Rawitz makes about the geography of the area. He keeps mentioning Lhasa. Yet they enter the Gobi without any provisions for water. How is this possible when they had ample opportunity to prepare during their numerous encounters with the local tribesman as they headed into the Gobi? It's also interesting that the one person in his party who would easily be tracable is "Mr. Smith" - a fictitious name. Surely, after such an encounter and the bonding that takes place under such conditions, Rawitz would know the name of this man from the US? Even later in life, Rawitz makes no mention of this person's real identity. Sadly, I believe the Long Walk is a fictional account. I believe Rawitz suffered through difficult times, but he also fooled a generation of readers.
Doug posts on 8/21/2007 10:21:26 PM
I have no idea if the story is true or not. But, in response to Jack Wright's argument: most of your argument is based on Soviet documents which are to be viewed with suspicion in their own right. For example, Soviet documents report that Rawicz was given 25 for killing a Soviet agent. He would not have been given 25 years for this. He would have been executed. That alone is a good reason to discount the Soviet records. The rest of your argument is based on Indian documents, and you claim that every refugee in India was carefully recorded. According to the anti-Rawicz BBC report, this was not the case at all. In fact, the investigators discovered that India and particularly the Indian hospitals did not keep records that went back that far. Therefore it is not true that every forienger was meticulously recorded. The opposite seems to be true. And finally, Polish and British records that report his re-entry date into the Polish army do not contradict Rawicz's account. But I do wonder how a man who, by all his detractor's accounts, never stepped foot in India, Tibet or Mongolia, could possibly know so much about all three? That could use some explanation (and help me make up my own mind). There are curious details about these lands that were unlikely to be found in London libraries circa 1950. I wish somebody would research some of them - can you live on snakes in the Gobi desert? Did Chinese merchants travel the Mongolian rivers the way he said? How about Mongolian food, ranching tools, herding techniques, or how to navigate the roads in Tibet? If this detail turns out to be true then I'll be more likely to believe than disbelieve. Until then...
Walt posts on 8/19/2007 2:27:27 PM
The people whose memories are being dishonored are the true victims of Stalinism. It might be possible to point to soviet forgeries if there were other material in support of the Rawicz story, but there is isn't. Rawicz was a victim of Stalin. Like thousands of others he was run through the soviet prison system and suffered beyond human endurance. But he didn't escape, he didn't walk to India and he didn't see a Yeti.
Jack Wright posts on 8/18/2007 1:33:51 AM
The main support for the account being false is the systematic investigations by many people over the course of years that have proven every bit of the story to be false. The soviet documents showing the exit documents of Rawicz into Persia in 1942 written in his own hand were the *final* proof of what was already known. But those documents are far from the only proof.
For example, we have the incredible story told by Rawicz in the Spectator in the 1950s where he claimed he returned to the Soviet Union in 1942 and then returned to the middle east. Somehow that story never reappeared in later editions of the book for obvious reasons. Then there are the lies about his phyiscal condition when in Palestine which were proved out by tracking down men who had served with him. There are the multiple stories he told different people in private over the years and then there is the account of what Dowling's relations have to say about the whole thing. There were investigations of troopships leaving India for the middle east in 1942. There is the fact that the Indian civil service officials who tracked every foriegner in Tibet during the war never heard of the man. There is the fact that no military unit matching what he describes was on the Indian border at the time in question. There is the fact that while his name is listed in the refugee lists for men entering Iran from the Soviet Union, no mention of his name exists in India. There is the fact that soviet records exactly match up with his appearance in the polish/british records.
As far as Rupert Mayne goes, there are several explainations. Rawicz was not the only Pole in India in 1942. In fact, there were a number of refugees in Calcutta from China and the far east. Unlike Rawicz, each of them was carefully recorded in lists and registers in India. In addition, no mention of Rawicz is made in the military or private papers of Mayne. At best, Mayne remembers meeting three poles in India in 1942. He never claimed to have met Rawicz. Truth is that there camps full of Poles in India in 1942. All with their names carefully recorded except for Rawicz.
Rawicz story survived for years because of unknowns. The Polish, British, Soviet and Indian records have how comprehensively accounted for every bit of his life during the war. And what are the facts on his side? None. People have wasted years of their lives to show what everyone already knew in the 1950s. The book is false. Many of those people originally set out trying to prove that the story was true. But in the end the evidence clearly spoke for itself. The book is a lie.
AltaGid posts on 8/15/2007 5:41:39 AM
Hello! Help solve the problem.
Very often try to enter the forum, but says that the password is not correct.
Regrettably use of remembering. Give like to be?
Lorie posts on 8/3/2007 4:45:45 AM
Could you please email me and let me know if this book is available in Spanish. I'm desperately looking for a copy in Spanish for a friend. Thanks....Lorie :)
DKNorge posts on 7/26/2007 11:54:10 AM
To dishonor the memory of Mr. Rawicz with specutlation that the Stalinist government would have produced accurate documents on his release fits the definition of "naive". Many of those interned at camps throughout Russia were cleary innocent, though the government had "documents" of their guilt. The communists had paper trails for everything....to cover their tracks, not to tell the truth!
keith clarke posts on 7/13/2007 2:13:51 AM
Several years ago an Indian man named "Sunil Nayajee" stated that his grandfather was one of the doctors who took care of the The Long Walk survivors in Calcutta in 1942. If anyone has information or knows of Sunial Nayajee" I would appreciate any help. Also, if anyone else in India who knows of family or friends who met or helped the survivors, I would like that info too. I am doing research on this subject for what is known as the "Forgotten Holocaust" which is 4 to 6 million non jewish Poles that were killed by both the Nazi's and Stalin.
I am intimately aware of the BBC Radio doc which I might remind people says that someone did this walk, whether or not Slav is the one who did it is the question. There is another verification of someone who met the survivors in India other than the British Intelligence officer who came forward in 1956. This other man started telling of his meeting as early as 1947. He shared this info with his wife who is still alive today to confirm the story. This man never read the book until the 1980's and only did so when his son gave it to him and asked him if this is the story his father had been telling all these years. He confirmed that it was. He could not recall Slav's name but essentially verifeid that the book was the story he was told by the survivors. This man was a Lithuanian who spoke many languages and worked for British Intelligence too.
Mike Hutton posts on 4/21/2007 8:45:44 AM
Finally I here the film is finally being made of this remarkable book, which is still selling after all these years.
Geddy posts on 12/23/2006 8:55:50 AM
OK I really don't think this discussion needs to go further. The so called "honorable gentleman" lied for decades.
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