Slavomir Rawicz Message Board

Tim Watson posts on 11/21/2006 5:26:24 PM The book is a proven hoax now. The evidence in the records and handwriting of the man himself are there for all the world to see. Nobody rational could look at all the records and the documents signed by Rawicz himself and think that there is still truth in the long walk. Rawicz had decades to tell the truth and all he did was come up with ever more elaborate lies. Some people still hold out hope that Rawicz might have been repeating a story told by others and there still might be a true long walk that happened. But as far as Rawicz goes, whats in the book didn't happen to him.
Brian Hepwell posts on 11/21/2006 5:55:15 AM Who are you Anatol ,some sort of expert on the Long Walk??? Why dont you leave this alone now? I read this book many years ago and had the Honour of meeting this Gentleman,talking with him and sharing his pain, I listened to the program and read the replies, and without doubt nothing has been proved.The only person who can speak on this matter is no longer here, so you can speculate all you like,no ones interested any more. I wont be posting any more messages, but I will always remember this Honourable Gentleman!
Anatol Vasilevsky posts on 11/20/2006 12:31:00 AM Anatol Vasilevsky BBC main research results made public up to now show that Mr. Rawicz did not escape from a Soviet camp and did not make his “long walk” from Siberia to India. The real walk he had to do was from the camp he was released from to the place he joined Anders Army. The seal on the document shown in BBC site indicates that he probably made his contact with Anders Army Representative in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk. Very many of the Poles released from the camps in accordance with Sikorski-Maisky Pact had to go to Central Asia to do it. And having two Soviet documents (on his amnesty and permission to join Anders Army) he did not have to hide during his walk. BBC research results confirm Mr. Rawicz’s identity (even though he had a double name), his nationality and that he was a Soviet prisoner, all of which was in some doubt. It seems particularly interesting to critically scrutinize the first half of the book, which theoretically now could be his true memoir. But I do not think that it stands such a scrutiny. The documents show that Mr. Rawicz concealed the charge he was accused of and convicted. It seems he concealed the camp too. What is more important, practically all chapters of the first half, at least partially, are not consistent with the available data. The whole of “The Long Walk” can be only regarded as fiction. Why should not have Mr. Rawicz, who was really a Soviet prisoner, describe his true experience? Mr. Downing or difficulties of communication he describes in his Foreword, might play a role: it seems very difficult to understand how an actual prisoner could write some absolutely unnecessary wrong details. More importantly Mr. Rawicz, and most likely, both of them were more interested in drama than truth. It is much worse with his invented Camp 303 description for it contradicts the very justification for the book A.V . .

Jack posts on 11/11/2006 4:14:29 AM The new defence is to blame all inaccuracies in the book on the ghost-writer Ronald Dowling. That doesn't really work all that well, but its the best they have.
Tomek posts on 11/8/2006 7:11:05 AM Sorry, I've just realised that I meant to say 'fiction' rather than 'non-fiction' on both occasions in my previous post.
Al Smith posts on 11/7/2006 2:38:32 PM This isn't the first investigation of the book. It was first discredited in the 1950s when published. What you are seeing now is the results of years of effort in new research that was made possible by the partial opening of the soviet archives. The biggest problem was much of the most important material was held in Belarus which is a really difficult place to research. .
Tomek posts on 11/7/2006 4:55:52 AM I wonder if this means that the book will be re-positioned on the book shelves to 'non-fiction', or just withdrawn altogether like 'Fragments', that other infamous work of WW2 non-fiction. It's interesting that such an investigation was not undertaken until the author passed away, but in support of Alan's post, it would also have been interesting to have heard Rawicz's reaction to the BBC's research, if he'd been alive to defend himself. But then again, Rawicz spent 50 years conveniently 'forgeting' etc. anything which he felt uncomfortable with. This was espeically the case when faced with informed individuals and audiences (often Polish) who obviously knew more than he did about what would have truly been encountered during such an escape and its aftermath. Now we know of his true origins, there's a chance that there may still be people alive, e.g. in the Pinsk region, who can come forward and shed more light on the whole affair. Can I also say that if anybody wants to defend Rawicz in the future in this forum, PLEASE have something of substance to say - it would indeed be a first!
Joseph Taylor posts on 11/7/2006 3:00:09 AM I think if you read the newspapers and the comments by many people who are sincere ,you will see that nothing has been proved.!
Alan Smith posts on 11/6/2006 6:14:18 PM The people involved with the BBC program deserve much credit. The book has been comprehensively demolished now. The irony of the situation is that the story was demolished in large part by a person who came into this trying desperately to prove that the story was true. All the facts are out in the open now written in his own hand. The only good thing about all this is that he didn't have to suffer through the public humiliation of all this.
Anatol Vasilevsky posts on 11/1/2006 12:34:54 AM Anatol Vasilevsky 2. On Trial & Dreams Actually most of the political prisoners, including the Polish officers, never even saw any judges, their sentences, passed by “OSO” - Special Commission under NKVD, were just announced to them. Mr. Rawicz could not have been tried by the Soviet Supreme Court, as he said, because, it did not take political cases, including espionage, the sessions were not conducted by NKVD uniformed officers, etc. Probably Mr. Ravicz meant Military Tribunal (Voennaiya Kollegiya) of the Supreme Court of the USSR The descriptions of closed Tribunal procedures in prisons at the time (not to be confused with a few staged public show-trials!) are rather uniform. Few people were present, they were neither friendly, nor, even verbally, abusive, the Prosecutor, who had signed the indictment was absent, a defense counsel, a funny idea nobody ever heard of. In very rare cases of prisoners who in spite of severe tortures managed not to sign the confession no attempt was made to make them admit their guilt. The whole procedure took about 20 minutes. It was a mere formality, 18 for a day. According to Mr. Rawicz, however, there were many officers, they were now friendly (cigarettes, coffee), now abusive (insults, punching) demanding that he reveal his spying (like in interrogations). And far from 20 minutes, it lasted four days! The description seems a curious mixture of: interrogation memories; small correct details of the trial (the three judges and sentencing); and a lot of fantasy. Different explanations are possible. In his Foreword Mr. Downing spoke of Mr. Rawicz’s memories for a long time spilling into his restless dreams. What about the reverse process? Could the restless dreams then spill back into his memories? What is said here about the trial, naturally, does not depend on whose story it is. A.V.
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