Sławomir Rawicz

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Sławomir Rawicz (1915–2004) was a Polish Army lieutenant who was imprisoned by the Soviets after the German-Soviet invasion of Poland. In a ghost-written book called The Long Walk, he claimed that in 1941 he and six others had escaped from a Siberian Gulag camp and walked over 6500 km (4000 miles) south, through the Gobi Desert, Tibet, and the Himalayas to finally reach British India in the winter of 1942. In 2006, BBC released a report based on former Soviet records, including "statements" allegedly written by Rawicz himself, showing that Rawicz had been released as part of the 1942 general amnesty of Poles in the USSR and subsequently transported across the Caspian Sea to a refugee camp in Iran and that his escape to India never occurred.

In May 2009, Witold Gliński, a Polish WWII veteran living in the UK, came forward to claim that the story of Rawicz was true, but was actually an account of what happened to him, not Rawicz. Gliński's claims have been questioned by various sources.

Early life and army career

Sławomir Rawicz was born on 1 September 1915 in Warsaw, the son of a landowner. He received private primary education and went on to study architecture in 1932. In 1937 he joined the Polish Army Reserve and underwent the cadet officer school. In July 1939 he married Vera, his first wife. She went missing during WWII.

According to his account, when...
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