As Far as My Feet Will Carry Me: The Extraordinary True Story of One Man's Escape from a Siberian Labor Camp and His 3-Year Trek to Freedom

As Far as My Feet Will Carry Me: The Extraordinary True Story of One Man's Escape from a Siberian Labor Camp and His 3-Year Trek to Freedom

Language: English

Pages: 288

ISBN: 1602392366

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

As Far as My Feet Will Carry Me: The Extraordinary True Story of One Man's Escape from a Siberian Labor Camp and His 3-Year Trek to Freedom

Language: English

Pages: 288

ISBN: 1602392366

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


In 1944, German paratrooper Clemens Forell was captured by the Soviets and sentenced to twenty-five years of labor in a Siberian lead mine. In the Gulags, this was virtually a death sentence. Driven to desperation by the brutality of the prison camp, he staged a daring escape. For the next three years, Forell traveled 8,000 miles in barren, frozen wilderness, haunted by blizzards, wolves, criminals, the KGB, and the fear of recapture and retribution. Only a remarkable will to survive, and a bit of luck, allowed him to reach the safety of the Persian border. The resulting story is a rare document of the horrors faced by POWs in the Soviet Union, and a testament to the human spirit.

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‘Cobweb did it, to distinguish me from someone else, I suppose. She was a wonderful nurse.’ Hägelin looked thoughtful, but said nothing. Heinz Dechant was getting ready to make his escape at the beginning of autumn. The circle of those in the know was small and confined to the individuals whose help he would need. But how many prisoners suspected or had somehow already got wind of the scheme, none of the initiates dared guess. Dannhorn, at any rate, had to know, as he was needed to draw the

to discover the reason for the others’ ill humour. But they never spoke a word. Before they set off next morning, Anastas asked Grigori to reconnoitre the route with him for about a quarter of a mile ahead. It was a pretext, obviously, to talk to him alone, but Grigori agreed: talk could never rob him of his gold. Sure enough, as soon as they were out of earshot, Anastas told him bluntly that his secret was out. Grigori already knew that – or so he maintained, when later he gave the German his

slope, he saw buildings in the valley below him – sixteen compact-looking houses and two sheds, or barns. But it was not these that riveted his attention so much as the appearance of the surrounding fields. For the first time since his escape, he was looking at green grass, ‘real’ grass, and grazing cows. It was a glimpse of home in a foreign land, the more poignant for being unexpected. Even the sounds were familiar – farm dogs barking monotonously, more in boredom than alarm. There was no sign

you sign, or you don’t – you’re free to choose. But if you don’t, then you must take the consequences. So they had signed. They had not been too keen on the work to start with, but the pay was good and at the end of the two years would amount to a fair-sized sum. After that, they would probably be asked to sign on for another two years – ‘asked’, or ‘told’, it came to the same thing … ‘What sort of work were you on, Pyotr Jakubovitsch?’ ‘Road work.’ ‘Ah-ha …’ ‘It wasn’t too bad.’ ‘Um … What

men up and down the passageway. But the Vratsch, as it happened, was a man incapable of assimilating the glorious achievements of Soviet or of any other medicine, and while his fellow men of science strode shoulder to shoulder towards a germ-free socialist paradise, he stumbled along the mazy paths of mediaeval alchemy, clutching his panacea, a box of anonymous white tablets tasting remarkably like aspirin. For some minutes, the Vratsch gazed at the patients, uncertain apparently which of two

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