History 21/01/20 “Escape from the Gulag” what’s wrong, and in the story of a German soldier Cornelius’s Growth
the birth Place of Cornelius’s Growth was in Tyrol — at the time part of the newly formed Austrian Republic. The second World War he met in Munich, the cradle of the Nazi party, and after the outbreak of hostilities was on the Eastern front as part of the Wehrmacht. And then there were Soviet captivity.
After returning home he worked in a printing house, where he met with writer and journalist Joseph Martin Bayer. It Bayer ex-soldier told the story of his escape from the camp in the far East. The writer details recorded words of Growth and with the consent of the narrator has used this material in the book “walk as are my legs,” published in 1955. It is believed that for reasons of personal safety, Bayer changed the name of the protagonist of this biographical work on the “Clemens Forell”.
the Incredible adventures of a German in the Gulag…
According to the book, Cornelius Rost was serving a prison camp of the GULAG system with a focus on lead mining. Hard work at the mine and the harsh climate led to the deterioration of his health. To escape, the Germans were plotting to escape. The first attempt failed, and Growth beat guards and prisoners, deprived of rations because of his antics. Salvation in the form of a new plan of escape came from the dying doctor Stauffer.
after Leaving the prison camp, the fugitive took refuge in solitary places, after which joined with the two criminals. In warm time of the year their group was washed in the rivers of the Golden nuggets, and then exchanged for warm clothing, supplies, and accommodations at sites of herders. One of the bandits killed a friend when he found out that he hid the gold. The growth was left alone and miraculously made it to Ulan-Ude.
From Buryatia, he was able to leave, making his way on a freight train. The further way to the West lay through Central Asia and southern Russia. On Toavcasa smugglers helped the Germans to leave the boundaries of the Union through Turkey, and from there you can get to Europe. The distance covered was more than ten thousand kilometers and lasted from 1949 to 1952-th year.
needless to say that this story became popular in Germany. German post-war society saw Clemens Forelle unfair casualty of the war. It was a kind of return of revanchist moods. A certain mark was put growing development of the Cold War and ideological confrontation between the West and the USSR when the time came, the North Atlantic Alliance and the Warsaw Pact. Already four years after the publication of the manuscript Bayer on television screens out the eponymous series of six episodes, which became popular. In 2001 was released a kind of remake of the movie “Escape from Gulag” with considerable deviations from the original source.
…or wild imagination
However the story is not so simple: some years ago the Bavarian broadcasting company published the results of a journalistic investigation, in which many facts from the biography of Growth has been disputed. For example, the main street of Moscow, appearing in the description of the defiant carriage “Krauts”, in the text named “Nevsky prospect”. With the whereabouts and identity of the pow camp at Cape Dezhnev also had problems – the most Eastern facilities for prisoners of war were located in the Urals region. Describes the queries of the red cross about the fate of fictional Growth. Moreover, he was supposed to be released for repatriation to Germany on 28 October 1947, a few months after the decision of the conference powers-winners.
a Large doubt was caused by the fact of an illegal stay in Russia for a few years with poor knowledge of the language. By the way, views were expressed about the involvement of the fugitive to the war crimes. Perhaps the most famous escape from the camps just a beautiful story.
© Russian Seven
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