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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 Paperback


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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 + We Die Alone: A WWII Epic of Escape and Endurance + Escape From Davao: The Forgotten Story of the Most Daring Prison Break of the Pacific War
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing (May 17, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1602392366
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602392366
  • Product Dimensions: 3 x 2 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,613 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Josef M. Bauer was a seminary student, editor, and writer. He produced stories, a radio play, and seven novels in a career spanning forty years.

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Customer Reviews

Truly one of the best adventure stories ever told!!!
George Coppedge
His story leaves me speechless without words powerful enough to even discuss it.
DH Koester
An amazing story of human endurance in a most horrible time.
Farmuel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 66 people found the following review helpful By George Coppedge on March 31, 2005
Format: Paperback
Absolutely one of the best books that I have ever read! There were times when my heart was literally racing while reading this book. This is the story of one man's quest against both nature and man to reach his home - by foot, alone, walking west from the Bering Strait, destination: Germany! Our man fights Siberian blizzards, relentless hunger, ravenous wolves, escaped convicts, and even manages to defy the immense, omnipresent dangers of the Soviet police state.

From beginning to end, the story leaps right out of the pages, and you can feel you are right there with Forell (the main character). Forell is a German POW that has been sentenced to 25 years hard labor in a Soviet lead mine at the edge of human existence. Of course, no one lives more than a few years after mining lead - who cares anyway since they are enemies of the Soviet state. After some time Forell and all his comrades slowly but inevitably begin to succumb to lead poisoning. Shaking off the lead-induced apathy, Forell makes his grim resolution to reach Germany or die trying - there will be no surrender. From then on we follow Forell's long, hard, and bitter journey to ultimate freedom. After his labor camp ordeal, his trek across the wilds of Siberia, and his experience with Soviet-style civilization, even his own uncle is completely unable to recognize him.

Truly one of the best adventure stories ever told!!! I never wanted to put the book down!
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Marc Genberg on December 9, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This story begins with the protagonists journey into imprisonment. We don't get details on the war at all but rather begin with his incarceration and brutal travels. The tale takes us to the labor camp where he works and some insight (but very little) into the details of daily life. A few incidents occur during the two years of imprisonment and then our protagonists makes his escape. The book is substantially about the journey from prison/labor camp to freedom and the events that occur along that route.

The drama of the story is compelling and reading it, I kept wanting to know how the subject of our story continued to survive, battling the brutal winter in Siberia and some of the villanous characters along the way. Throughout, this individuals courage and will to live proved inspiring.

I've thoroughly enjoyed this book. While there are some areas I would have wanted more details, the drama is compelling. The author has taken appropriate liberty to weave the story telling as he explains in the forward. Overall, a great story of survival.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 31, 2004
Format: Paperback
This story just demands to be read. It is one of tremendous suffering and the triumph of the human spirit. This is the ultimate World War II escape story.One sees the fate of the defeated German Army in a new light. Sent to die in a lead mine, this German Soldier has a remarkable account to share. I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest from this period. You will never forget it.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Ls World on April 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
As for the other half negative reviews, like it being for a young reader, don't pay any attention to that. Obviously those reviews are written by people that can't look or think beyond their own egos nor actually try to imagine what it must have been like, what the permanent affects were after such an altering event, and obvious emotional scars that must have continued on and on... After I finished the book, I re-read the preface and understood why there seemed to be pieces "I" wanted answers to, but understood why they weren't there.

I recommend this book to anyone of all ages. It's absolutely an amazing account of someone accomplishing a journey home with EVERYTHING against him and the beckoning door of death at every turn. How he survived? It's beyond me....

Now, I will hunt for the DVD....if anyone knows where I can find the DVD, please find a way of letting me know. Thanks!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By wj2007 on March 11, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Recently discovered documentary evidence apparently shows that this story did not happen and really is eine Faelschung (= a fake or a fraud).

I read this book several years ago. It is a dramatic, moving story of World War II German POW Clemens Forell's three year trek to freedom from the furthest eastern end of Siberia all of the way to Iran. Dozens of reviews on this book page attest to the book's impact. The book purports to be historically accurate and it is just that which makes the tale so riveting. At the time that I read it, I believed that the story was true and had been verified.

Alas, apparently I was seriously mistaken.

I have just discovered that seemingly fatal questions have been raised regarding the veracity of the story. Please refer to the Wikipedia article on Cornelius Rost (the real name of the Clemens Forell):

"Comprehensive researches, condensed in 2010 into a three-hour radio feature by radio journalist Arthur Dittlmann for the Bayerischer Rundfunk (Bavarian Broadcasting Company), left serious doubts about the authenticity of the events told in Rost's original story. For example, no prisoner of war camp existed at Cape Dezhnev in the Far East of Siberia at the time claimed in the book; Rost was not a Wehrmacht officer as depicted in the story; the German Red Cross, with headquarters in Munich, never received any inquiry about his whereabouts, which is unusual for a ten-year imprisonment; and Rost had been released from a Russian prisoner of war camp on 28 October 1947, about two years before his alleged escape in 1949-1952, which he therefore could not have accomplished."

The source material for Bauer's book is eight hours of tapes made by Cornelius Rost in the early 1950s.
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