The human spirit is indeed indomitable.

It only seems that I read a lot of stories of individual survival, but then I read a lot of WWII history, and that war was amazingly replete with such stories.

My latest was “As Far As My Feet Will Carry Me,” by Josef Martin Bauer, the amazing story of a German Prisoner of War who escaped from a Russian lead mine in Siberia, and made his way home. We are talking more than a thousand miles, over more than three years, without “papers” — but amazingly with the fortuitous help of some who were anti-Soviet, or just anti-authority.

Escaping from Siberian forced-labor mines was nearly impossible because the prisoners were just so weak, and kept near starvation. More than half the prisoners died during the train, truck, horse-sled and dog-sled transit to the mines, and for those who served in the lead mines the advancing slow death of lead poisoning made a journey in Winter across Siberia impossible.

Few made it, perhaps only one: Clemens Forell.

No mortal man would have made it, but other books of enormous personal bravery and survival that I have read include “Unbroken” which will soon be a movie directed by Angelina Jolie, and “We Die Alone, by David Howarth.”

The human spirit is indeed indomitable.

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