A Photographer Retraces His Grandfather’s 1,300-Mile Escape from a Soviet Prison Camp
In 1945, the final year of World War II, Anton Iwanowski and his brother Wiktor escaped from a Soviet gulag in a stolen rowboat. During the long voyage that followed, the pair of fugitives had to stay clear of people: They traveled mostly by night, hitched rides on freight trains, and dodged gunshots and Russian troops. They slowly made their way through Russia, Belarus, and Lithuania, sleeping in turns in forests, living on mushrooms, berries, and the occasional stolen cabbage. Three months and 1,367 miles after the escape, the brothers arrived safely at their home in Wroclaw, Poland.
Nearly 70 years later, Anton Iwanoski’s grandson, photographer Michal Iwanowski, retraced this journey using makeshift maps his uncle Wiktor had drawn.