Journey to Dana - Christopher PortwayLondon: William Kimber, 1955, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Good Dust Wrapper. Unlaminated dust wrapper a little edgeworn and faded with a little fraying to the head of the spine and a small scrape to the upper panel. Top edge of the text block tanned. A little age-spotting to the edges of the text block. Newspaper clipping pasted to the half-title page with a slight offset to the first blank verso. Text complete, clean and tight otherwise.
Contains: Black & white photographs; Maps to the endpapers and blanks; Portrait to the frontispiece;
From the cover: “The author was a twenty-year-old N.C.O. in the army when he was captured in France in 1944- He was sent to a camp in Poland and was put to work in a mine. He made his first escape from this camp but was recaptured and punished. In January 1945, when the Russian armies were closing in, the camp was evacuated and the prisoners were marched across the Silesian Plains. Against the background of the horrors of this death march are set the excitement and romance of the author’s personal story — for he escaped again twice, the last time successfully, and fell in love with Dana, the daughter of a Czech family who helped him. After contacting American forces he was eventually repatriated, and when the war was over he resumed his civilian life in Essex.
But he had not forgotten Dana, and returned to her country in 1947. They got married in Czechoslovakia in May 1948, she came home to England with him and they started a happy life together. During the following year Dana’s mother became ill, and in the meanwhile the Communist iron curtain had fallen across Czechoslovakia. Dana went back to visit her mother, but after some weeks letters ceased to reach her husband. He tried again and again to get a visa, and after constant evasions from the Czech officials he decided upon an unauthorised break into the country in order to reach his wife.
He was caught while trying to make his way through Czechoslovakia to his wife’s home. The closing chapters in which he describes his imprisonment behind the iron curtain and the tragic denouement of the sudden and brief encounter with his wife come as a moving climax to a book which is both a remarkable human document and an enthralling adventure.”