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Joined: 28 Nov 2007 / Male ♂
Last Post: 28 Nov 2007
Threads: Total: 1 / In This Archive: 1
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From: Saltburn
Speaks Polish?: No
Interests: Film making

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28 Nov 2007
History / The Impossible Escape - Proposed Feature Film about Polish GULAG survivor [8]


I am a Producer/Director in the United Kingdom who has been developing a film for 2 years about a Polish man's experiences in 1939. His story is incredible and one that we believe needs a large audience.

The synopsis of the film can be found below. We still have a long way to go to get the film off the ground, with much specific research still to do. Particularly around his arrest by the NKVD (KGB) and resultant incarceration in the Soviet GULAG in Kolyma. Like many, Jan was held in deplorable conditions, but made an escape and arrived in Alaska months later. Finally, re-enlisting with the Polish Free Army in New York, before being dispatched to North Africa and eventually fighting with the Allies at Monte Cassino in Italy. Settling in the United Kingdom in 1946, where he still resides today.

Certain aspects of the story still need clarifying, such as :

1. NKVD operations in and around Lida/Baravoniche/Novojenia (now Belarus) between 1939-1940
2. NKVD prison in Baravoniche
3. Current state of the narrow-guage railway near Novojenia
4. Other members of the escape party who made it (2-3 other Poles out the 7 in the group)
5. Information about Sergey Garenin (NKVD Magadan, Kolyma)

A pitching trailer showing the style of the film proposed is available at :
web: (with Polish subtitles)

All information received would be welcome.


David Jinks
Fridge Productions
United Kingdom.

email : enquiries _at_
web :
Myspace :

The Impossible Escape (Working Title)


With everything to live for, a young man will stare death in the face.
Experiencing brutality, cannibalism and almost certain death in the Arctic wasteland of Siberia. This is a true story of courage, sacrifice and endurance.


Jan, is an 18 year old engineer working in the railway yards. Betrayed by an old School friend he is sentenced to death for de-railing goods trains laden with food destined for the Soviet war effort. It is 1939 and Poland has been annexed by the Nazis and Russians.

Standing in front of the firing squad, facing certain death, he is given a last minute reprieve. A shortage of engineers results in him being transported by rail and sea with 1000’s of other prisoners to support the work in the labour camps deep within Siberia. Living a squalid existence in snow-covered, tents housing over a 100 men they work more than 12 hours a day. Every day prisoners die around him. For 8 months Jan is moved from camp to camp, repairing the diesel engines used to excavate and mine gold.

Whilst working in the most easterly camp he is involved in overthrowing the guards. Masterminded by an elderly Russian General to the deposed Tsar, himself imprisoned since the 1917 revolution. 84 prisoners make their escape, but the cold and dark Arctic winter is quickly descending upon them.

They walk constantly. Day and night with only the stars to guide their path. Taking it turns to pull their resting comrades on makeshift sleds made from the skins of bears that that they have been killing for food. As the Winter takes its icy grip their numbers dwindle through starvation, exposure and suicide.

Within 2 weeks half are dead. Surviving over 1,000 miles, cannibalism, the Arctic winter and now pulling the now dying General on a sled the remaining escapees make it over the mountain range which separates them from the frozen Bering Straits and their only passage of escape.

Encountering a ravenous polar bear foraging on the sea-ice. It
indiscriminately and savagely attacks, brutally killing a further 6 men until they
overcome it using only knives.

Only 58 miles separate them from Alaska and freedom. But the crossing is
tortuous. Food is no longer available and they are totally exposed on the ice
and are soon engulfed by freezing blizzards. Exhausted, one-by-one they
collapse and lose consciousness. Seemingly lifeless, malnourished and
wrapped in bear skins they are discovered by an Inuit hunter. Only 7 of the
original 84 men remain.