The film The Way Back, starring Colin Farrell and Ed Harris, is based on this amazing true story.
Twenty-six-year-old cavalry officer Slavomir Rawicz was captured by the Red Army in 1939 during the German-Soviet partition of Poland and sent to the Siberian Gulag. In the spring of 1941, he escaped with six of his fellow prisoners, including one American. Thus began their astonishing trek to freedom.
With no map or compass but only an ax head, a homemade knife, and a week’s supply of food, the compatriots spent a year making their way on foot to British India, through four thousand miles of the most forbidding terrain on earth. They braved the Himalayas, the desolate Siberian tundra, icy rivers, and the great Gobi Desert, always a hair’s breadth from death. Finally returning home, Rawicz reenlisted in the Polish army to fight the Germans.
This is his story.