Michael Krupa was born into a poor family in south-west Poland, and in his teens was accepted into a Jesuit seminary. He ran away before taking his final vows and joined the army. Soon afterwards, the German tanks rolled into Poland and easily defeated her antiquated forces - the Polish cavalry were armed with sabres. Krupa survived Hitler's invasion, but was arrested in Soviet-occupied eastern Poland and accused of spying. After enduring torture in Moscow's notorious Lubianka prison, he was sentenced to ten years' corrective labour and deported to the Pechora Gulag. Most prisoners there were worked and starved to death within a year. But Krupa managed again to escape, and in the chaos following the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union made one of the most extraordinary journeys of the war - from Siberia to safety in Afghanistan. Krupa's Jesuit training had given him an inner strength and resilience which enabled him to survive in the face of appalling brutality and cruelty. Luck and the kindness of strangers helped him complete his epic journey to freedom. The story of the suffering inflicted on millions in Stalin's camps has been told before - but Krupa's story is remarkable and uni
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(200mm x 130mm x 14mm)
Publisher: Birlinn General
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
Michael Krupa's account of his experiences as a prisoner in Stalin's Russia is an inspiring piece of writing. Though he writes almost as a detached observer of his own terrors and suffering at the hands of a brutal dictatorship, the strong narrative of a prisoner striving for freedom brings alive every step of Krupa's incredible journey. From the torture cells of prison, to the Siberian death camps, escapes from wolves, outwitting Soviet officials whilst on the run and finally to a dramatic escape across the mountains to Afghanistan, Krupa holds the reader in an icy grip of appalled fascination, admiration and sheer exhilaration. This is boy's own adventure material, yet more powerful than any thriller because such dreadful and horrific events are true and told with a simple honesty which gives the reader the chance to bear witness to one man's struggle for liberty. You will never forget Krupa's story and the people he encounters on his flight from the Gulag. A tremendous, chilling, uplifting book. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Michael Krupa
Michael Krupa was born in Rudnik, near Krakow, and trained to be a Jesuit before joining the 13th regiment of the Polish cavalry in 1937. After his extraordinary exploits during the Second World War he moved to Britain and settled in West Yorkshire, where he still lives.