Slavomir Rawicz Message Board
George posts on 4/8/2008 2:18:07 PM
Can I just ask? Why did a poster here say that the Wikipedia article on Rawicz was not valid? So he just makes the statement and we are supposed to agree with him. Usually Wikipedia is very fair and balanced and also very close to the truth on many things. Second point, Lester says that unconfirmed rumours of a Polish gentleman who claimed that Rawicz stole his manuscript are not evidence at all. Why not? Are htye indeed rumours? I would say that Barbara1953 was listening to a very close source to the story, his daughter perhaps. It was not a rumour. It also fits in and makes sense. You can't just brush aside this story and the one about the Polish gentleman who visited Derbyshire and was also telling the same version. They are not conclusive, I agree but rather embarrassing to the Rawicz supporters. They certainly have the ring of truth and more importantly, they have no axe to grind. The family of Rawicz have every reason to rubbish such stories-they have a vested financial interest after all. And Lester why do you say that the documentary evidence from the Soviet Union is suspect? They love paperwork there and a lot of such documentary evidence of many events still exists. There is nothing suspect or weird about it. It all sounds perfectly sound to me. I am currently in Russia doing research on the KGB in archives in the city of Kaluga, near Moscow. I look at such things all the time. But for a quite different research project. There is nothing to say that any documents of Rawicz were doctered or altered. This would only be done if the perosn involved was important, a serious threat to the state. Otherwise they would destroy documents fully. This was not done in his case. He was not particularly important. Another odd thing is the non-existence of the camp where he said he was imprisoned. No trace has ever been found of it. The Soviets kept scrupulous records of all such things but this camp has simply disappeared from the face of the earth. It's not possible for this to happen, believe me. Finally, murder was not always punished by the death penalty. There are many records of murdered being kept as slaves and workers during the Soviet period. No other writer of any period of Soviet history has written about a concentration camp which cannot be traced. That is a fact. Hm, maybe it's time for Rawicz supporters to think again.
Lester Hunt posts on 4/8/2008 1:55:35 PM
Can't anyone help me with my earlier question about the documentary evidence? That is the only thing here that is properly called evidence. Unsubstantiated rumors about a mysterious Polish gentleman are not evidence at all, of any sort. Once again, here is my question (minus html mis-haps): The BBC article says there is a document in Rawicz's hand saying the he was released from the Gulag in October of 1942 as a part of a general amnesty for Polish prisoners, a date long after the book has him escaping from the Gulag. Isn't that the documentary evidence? What I am wondering is, where did R. write this document? Both the book and the military records have him rejoining the Polish forces in Russia. If this document was written in Russia, it stands to reason that it could be the lie, and not the account in the book. After all, if there was a general amnesty after he had escaped, he would be a fool to tell the Russians, by the way, I escaped from your prison system, before the amnesty -- maybe you should arrest and torture me some more. That BBC article does seem to put a weird amount of faith in documents originating in Stalinist Russia. For instance, it says that Soviet documents say that Rawicz was arrested for killing an NKVD officer, therefore he was not arrested on a trumped-up charge. What kind of screwy logic is that?
A. Stirrer posts on 4/8/2008 12:16:05 PM
Maybe he did lots of charity work to salve his conscience after he realised the heniousness of stealing another Polishmans story and making enough money to buy a nice house on a hill from the proceeds. Do you, the last poster, as a lifelong friend of Rawicz believe in yettis? If so, then there isn't much point in you posting as I think that can safely say they don't exist and so we are dealing here with an illogical contributor. I think that truth is what Cornelius, Barbara1953 and others are talking about. Blindly clinging onto the ideal that the Long Walk is a true book, experience by Rawicz simply flies in the face of all logic.
j.s.m posts on 4/8/2008 10:52:36 AM
As a life long friend of Mr Rawicz.
Maybe I should make a few point clear.
No one, and I repeat no one , could have worked harder in their lives for charity as Slavomir and his wonderful wife Marjorie.
How you can pontificate as to what the family should do with their money, to !ease their consciences !leaves me without words.
I am sure the familys consciences are
clear ,What, or whom do they have to answer to ?
What they do with their money is their business and certainly not yours.
This is not a trial ,even if you bring it upon yourself to be judge and jury.
Lester Hunt posts on 4/7/2008 11:33:41 PM
Maybe someone can help me with what this "documentary evidence" is supposed to be. The BBC article says there is a document in Rawicz's hand saying the he was released from the Gulag in October of 1942 as a part of a general amnesty for Polish prisoners, a date long after the book has him escaping from the Gulag.Isn't that the "documentary evidence"? What I am wondering is, where did R. write this document? Both the book and the military records have him rejoining the Polish forces in Russia. If this document was written in Russia, it stands to reason that it could be the lie, and not the account in the book. After all, if there was a general amnesty after he had escaped, he would be a fool to tell the Russians, "by the way, I escaped from your prison system, before the amnesty -- maybe you should arrest and torture me some more." That BBC article does seem to put a weird amount of faith in documents originating in Stalinist Russia. For instance, it says that Soviet documents say that Rawicz was arrested for killing an NKVD officer, <i>therefore</i> he was not arrested on a "trumped-up charge." What kind of screwy logic is that?
jh posts on 4/7/2008 7:38:56 PM
wikipedia is not a valid source.
Cornelius Hechter posts on 4/7/2008 3:07:59 PM
To those who have been upset about the Polish gentleman and his claims that Rawicz stole his writing.
I think that Barbara1953, myself and others have no vested interest in rubbishing him. Facts though are facts. And there remain so many doubts now in the minds of fair-minded people about the authenticity of the book. He was not where he said he was, documentary proof has surfaced. He claimed to see yetis, he claims to climb the Himalayas in winter and so on. Many feel uneasy about this book being presented as a true story. It clearly is not. It is based on a similar journey that someone else took back in the war period.
I think all this debate is about truth. We will probabaly never get to the bottom of this matter. But many feel, and yes I have spoken to many people, literally dozens of students from various parts of the world, as a lecturer on literature, and also many colleagues, that it would be more truthful for the publishers to promote the book as a work of fiction, based on someone's true account. Even Wikipedia, generally unbiased, now describes him as someone who collaborated in the writing of the book and expresses real doubts about it. The publishers and family should really just accept the general view of the book, great and inspiring it undoubtedly is. But it is not a full and untarnished account. I shall not add to this discussion any more and wish the family well. Maybe to ease their consciences they could in future donate all the money the book makes to some charity and publicly acknowledge that it is better to view the book as merely a story which contains some elements of truth. That would be a noble thing to do.
jh posts on 4/7/2008 2:32:40 PM
does anyone know what happend to the commandant and his wife after they escaped? was it discoverd that she helped them, etc.
walter posts on 4/7/2008 5:33:45 AM
I would be very interested to know what your vested interests are? by rubbishing a man who is no longer able to defend himself,what can you possibly hope to gain,fame and fortune?.Did you not stop to consider how your insensitive remarks must be hurtfull to the Rawicz family.
The man has only been 3 years dead, I belive it is time to leave them to grieve in peace.
Belive the story or not ,that is your perogative ,but the book is written
and will be read by many generations to come, with or without your petty interference
Barbara1953 posts on 4/6/2008 7:33:43 AM
I am afriad that it is not a leap from saying yetis don't exist to finding the whoile of the book unbeleiable. If I read a book ,a non fiction one, and the writer suddenly talk of hoardes of pink bunnies appearing I would certainly question all the rest of the book. especially as Rawicz book has so many other inconsistencies. These rumours of a Polish gentleman furnish us with a creidble alternative, that Rawicz did lie, stole the story from one who had done the trip. I for one think, but can;t of course prove it, that I have found an answer. I am content to leave it at that.
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