In August 1969, Pike and Diane traveled to Israel, to perform research for a proposed book. On September 2 they drove into the Judean Desert. In preparation for a book on the historical Jesus, they wanted to have a feeling for why Jesus would have gone out into that wilderness to fast and meditate for 40 days. They were unprepared for the journey, having taken along only two Cokes and no water. When their rented car became stuck in a deep rut, the two were not able to extract it (neither knew how to use the car's jack). After an hour of stressful efforts to get the car to move, they decided to walk toward Qumran, where they knew there would be water. What they did not know was that they were far south of Qumran in Wadi Mashash. After two hours of walking in the very hot sun, Pike felt he had to rest. Diane was concerned that, without water, they would both die there so she determined to walk on to find help. After ten long hours of climbing on the walls of the canyon and stumbling along a road under construction, she came upon a camp of Arab laborers. They gave her tea to drink until the foreman came and took her to the nearest army camp. It took four days to find Pike’s body. He had tried to follow his wife and had fallen more than 60 feet down a steep canyon wall where he died. The probable date of his death is September 2; some sources cite it as between September 3 and 7. He was buried in the Protestant Cemetery in Jaffa, Israel, on September 8 1969.
As prisoner of war Clemens Forell, a German soldier during WW II, is sentenced to a labor camp in far east Siberia. After four years working in the mines he escapes from the camp (in 1949) and tries to get home to his wife and children. For three years he journeys through Siberia. An odyssey of 14,000 kilometers, set against a backdrop of desolate and inhospitable landscape, beset by danger (from both animals and humans). Constantly battling the worst nature can throw at him, Forell makes his way, step by step towards Prussia and the longed-for freedom. Sometimes riding on trains, sometimes by boat, mostly on foot, he never knows if his next step won't be his last. His prosecutor Kamenev is always right behind him, and more than once it seems that Forell is captured again... Written by Pooh Frames