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View Full Version : OT: Great read ( So weit die Füße tragen )and a question for our German friends !



The.Tyke
07-23-2006, 02:28 AM
Just finished reading a fantastic survival story, As Far As My Feet Will Carry Me.
I've tried Google-ing for these questions without much success.

1. Is Forrell still alive and if so are there any pictures of him ?
2. There is a German film out ( So weit die Füße tragen ), based on the book. Is it worth getting ??

The.Tyke
07-23-2006, 02:28 AM
Just finished reading a fantastic survival story, As Far As My Feet Will Carry Me.
I've tried Google-ing for these questions without much success.

1. Is Forrell still alive and if so are there any pictures of him ?
2. There is a German film out ( So weit die Füße tragen ), based on the book. Is it worth getting ??

bienenbaer
07-23-2006, 04:30 AM
1. This is a translation from the german wikipedia, no guarantee for its truth:

"... Josef Martin Bauer got to know a man who had severely suffered on body and soul. He could hardly remember many things, but always on the conditions under which they happened. The man, who never revealed his name, travelled from Cape Deschnjow to Tabris more than 14.000 in rendeer-slide, train, truck, and especially on his own feet."

2. There are two "pictures", one is the german TV series from 1959 that lasted 347 min in 6 episodes. This one is said to be close to the book.

The movie from 2001 is said to be different from the book in many parts.

EDIT ... 6 episodes ...

The.Tyke
07-23-2006, 04:43 AM
Ok thanks, I'd love to know what happened to him after he got back to Germany in the mid 50's and whether he lived into old age.

JZG_Thiem
07-23-2006, 04:51 AM
the TV episode was one of the biggest hits in german TV history. Literally everybody (with a TV) at that time watched it.

Get it!

but dont expect hollywood cr@p and tons of CGI.

slipBall
07-23-2006, 05:33 AM
Josef Martin Bauer (Farmer), born March 11, 1902
age 68 died March 15, 1970

there may be more info using Farmer
http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=htt...GGLG:2006-06,GGLG:en (http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=http://www.lesekost.de/autoren/HHLA10.htm&sa=X&oi=translate&resnum=3&ct=result&prev=/search%3Fq%3DJosef%2BMartin%2BBauer%26hl%3Den%26lr %3D%26rls%3DGGLG,GGLG:2006-06,GGLG:en)

http://www.lesekost.de/autoren/HHLA10.htm

The.Tyke
07-23-2006, 07:05 AM
Ok I've found out something. Clemens Forell was not the real name of the escaped paratrooper. His real name was Cornelius Rust, his real name had to be kept secret for fear of reprisals from the KGB.
He died in Munich in 1983.

slipBall
07-23-2006, 07:13 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by The.Tyke:
Ok I've found out something. Clemens Forell was not the real name of the escaped paratrooper. His real name was Cornelius Rust, his real name had to be kept secret for fear of reprisals from the KGB.
He died in Munich in 1983. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

quote
1. Is Forrell still alive and if so are there any pictures of him ?



there is a pic in those links

BerkshireHunt
07-23-2006, 02:57 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by The.Tyke:
Ok I've found out something. Clemens Forell was not the real name of the escaped paratrooper. His real name was Cornelius Rust, his real name had to be kept secret for fear of reprisals from the KGB.
He died in Munich in 1983. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I read this book 20 years ago and was very impressed with it - apart from the rushed ending. IIRC the author spends three quarters of the book detailing the main protagonist's walk through Siberia, then speeds through his failed attempt to escape Russia via Iran in just a few pages. "Forrell" meets a dissident Armenian jew (an unlikely saviour for a former Nazi paratroper) and 'voila' - without further ado he is assisted across the Caucasus into Turkey, and he is free. An unsatisfactory end to a very engaging book, which gives every impression of having been forced on the author due to a sudden awareness that he was going to exceed his publisher's 80,000 word limit.
Like you, I tried to find out more about the author and the book. What I found was that he was a struggling journalist-***-novelist in the 1950s. I read a publicity blurb for the recent German film which said that the author died without ever revealing who Forrell really was. It also said that many historians doubted the veracity of the story - the implication was that Bauer made it all up simply to earn a crust at a time when he was particularly indigent. Having received a lot of publicity in the 1950s he felt he could never 'come clean', so to speak, in later life.
That said, I would personally love to believe that it's all true. Can you tell us where you found Forrells's real name?
I remain sceptical about the book, because it was briefly the fashion in the 1950s to write exciting accounts of real wartime activities as seen through the eyes of a fictional character.

I have an example sitting on my bookshelf right now called 'I bombed London', by one Karl Engel. Very convincingly written in 1954, Engel was supposedly a He 111 pilot in Norway and Belgium who was killed in 1943 on a raid over England. The book was posthumously written from his diary by his friend, 'Siegfried Ritson'. However, there are strange technical errors which make me reluctantly reject the book (diesel engines on a He 111? German Sea Reconnaissance Squadron 622? Breda machine guns in a Ju88?)

If you want to read an undoubtedly true story about a wartime trek across Russia to freedom try 'The Long Walk' http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1558216847/104-8023127...49?v=glance&n=283155 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1558216847/104-8023127-3329549?v=glance&n=283155)

Though Forrell may not be 'for real', Slavomir Rawicz definitely is (he lives in Britain).

ploughman
07-23-2006, 03:27 PM
My old man was quite charismatic and became the regiment's liason officer on account of the number of mates he made in the local community while he was stationed in Celle in the early '70s. One guy ran an inn, an older gent I remember even though I was like 4 or 5 years old. He didn't have all his fingers which is the sort of detail a kid remembers but he was like Santa Claus, he always had something for children and he kept budgies and stuff in a wonderful aviary on the side of his inn which was by a canal or river. During the war he'd been captured on the Eastern front, I think at Stalingrad but perhaps not. He was finally released in the mid-1950s after Krushchev allowed the PoWs home. One story he had of the time he spent whilst in the gulags was he stole some salt, was caught and summararily executed. Blindfolded and put before a wall he heard the orders of execution in Russian, load, aim, fire. The crack of the rifles. And no impact. The blindfold was removed.

It was a joke. The Russians were wetting themselves. 'No more stealing, tovarisch.'

Harsh.

Pirschjaeger
07-23-2006, 05:29 PM
"As far as my feet will carry me"

word for word "So far the feet carry"

I enjoyed the movie. In fact, I watched it twice.

Fritz

Dtools4fools
07-23-2006, 06:06 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">meets a dissident Armenian jew (an unlikely saviour for a former Nazi paratroper) </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Just read a book about Stalingrad (and if the fellow in Ploughman's post was one of the about 5000 to survive the captivity then he was indeed very lucky and wnet throu some real bad stuff, maybe that's why he didn't tell much about it) and survivors actually reported that they were well treated by Russian jews, even helped by them.
Massive story in the book is about a guy who wants to get out of already accelarating train as he spots his sister in the crowd and drops between train and platform being crushed; on the day of returning from the POW camps.
*****

cawimmer430
07-24-2006, 02:36 PM
There is a guy in my town who fought in Stalingrad. I don't know his age, but he was very young when he fought and, he fought in an SS unit. As far as I know, he fought in virtually every theater of the war (with the exception of SS-free North Africa), according to him.

He was lucky to be airlifted out of Stalingrad though, I believe the fact that he was a Waffen SS trooper saved him from facing the demise with the rest of his "Kameraden" from the 6th Army.

Anyway, this guy now runs a flower business, well, his daughters do but he sits around and talks to anyone who appears - and always about the war and his experiences.

Being a World War II buff, I sat down and chatted with him for awhile. Some of the stories he tells will just blow you away. These are some I remember.

Once, in Yugoslavia, he and his unit captured a group of Partisans, and summarily excecuted them in cold blood with a bullet to the back of the head. He claimed that although this was horrible and cold-blooded, the Partisans did horrible things to captured SS soldiers (as he had personally seen bodies of Partisan inflicted mutilated comrades), so this was their way of "getting it done" and getting revenge.

In Italy, he was tasked with attacking an American machine gun nest up on a hill, head-on with virtually no cover. As he crouched up through the vegetation, the MG nest spotted him and began firing. He said that somehow he managed to dodge the bullet, free a grenade, throw it, and run for cover. But as he was running, bullets caught him in his right elbow and chest and head - yet he survived. He showed me the scars on his body, really nasty stuff. He also confessed that he was really lucky not to have lost his right arm. Usually, a machine gun hitting you there would have torn your arm off... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

I gotta go and talk to this guy some more. Really interesting person. I mean first of all, he was a Waffen SS soldier! You don't get to talk to those every day!