This is a marvelous true story of a man who was a German soldier captured by the Soviets during World War II and forced to work in a Siberian lead mine. Conditions there were horrible and he decided he must escape to survive. No one wanted to face the 8000-mile journey through trackless wilderness with him, but two people gave him things of great importance – a compass and a map. With the help of a doctor (who also wished to escape but knew he was physically unable to make it), he was able to get out of the prison hospital and start his flight to freedom. It took him three years of mostly walking, over mountains and across deserts, being always aware of the danger of recapture, humger (he had to learn to steal any kind of food), and the bone-freezing cold. For awhile he had the companionship of a Russian dog, but most of his trip was alone. His steady strength of character is amazing!