Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from

Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West Ever wonder why the world didn t doto end the horrors of Stalin s gulags or Hitler s work camps Someday our children or perhaps grandchildren or great grandchildren will ask the same question about our world today Why doesn t the world doto end the horrible inhumanity imposed on people in the work camps of North Korea And the political prison camps in North Korea have existed twice as long as Stalins Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps, and the Ever wonder why the world didn t doto end the horrors of Stalin s gulags or Hitler s work camps Someday our children or perhaps grandchildren or great grandchildren will ask the same question about our world today Why doesn t the world doto end the horrible inhumanity imposed on people in the work camps of North Korea And the political prison camps in North Korea have existed twice as long as Stalins Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps, and there s no end in site of the between 150,000 and 200,000 people who live in those campsYet while Auschwitz existed for only three years, Camp 14 is a fifty year old Skinner box, an ongoing longitudinal experiment in repression and mind control in which guards breed prisoners whom they control, isolate, and pit against one another from birthThe existence of these camps can be verified by anyone with a computer and internet using Google Earth, and still there s limited awareness among the world s public of conditions in these camps North Korea s belligerant reputation combined with nuclear weapons has prevented international pressure to be focused on their work campsWhen North Korea deigns to enter into international diplomacy, it has always succeeded in shoving human rights off any negotiating table Crisis management, usually focused on nuclear weapons and missiles, has dominated American dealings with the NorthIt takes a pretty strong stomach to read this book I could write a long list of horrible things described by this book, but I ve decided to refrain from going there You can read other reviews for that The story is not a pretty one, and frankly leaves readers such as myself feeling helpless with the knowledge conveyed I suggest that at the least, good citizens of the world owe it to the prisoners of North Korea to at least be informed about the existance of their conditions.Here s a link to my review of Orphan Master s Son, a novel about life in North Korea.http www.goodreads.com review show When I hear the term labor camps, I think of the Nazis The Holocaust Concentration camps something that happened decades ago and surely surely doesn t still exist Right Wrong Even though North Korea publicly insists that prison and work camps don t exist, evidence has been seen on satellite photos and on Google Earth Additionally, numerous North Koreans who have witnessed the camps have defected and have testified to the hellish conditions there.Shin was unlucky enough to be born When I hear the term labor camps, I think of the Nazis The Holocaust Concentration camps something that happened decades ago and surely surely doesn t still exist Right Wrong Even though North Korea publicly insists that prison and work camps don t exist, evidence has been seen on satellite photos and on Google Earth Additionally, numerous North Koreans who have witnessed the camps have defected and have testified to the hellish conditions there.Shin was unlucky enough to be born in Camp 14 His father was a political prisoner because his brothers defected to South Korea in the 1950s According to state law, if a family member tries to escape or defect, everyone else in that family will be punished, even if they knew nothing about it.Because he was raised in the prison camp, Shin knew nothing of the outside world He did not even know that China existed, because camp children were only taught basic reading and math nothing else of the world Shin went through his childhood constantly hungry because there was never much food, and he was always prepared to snitch on another prisoner, usually in a ploy to get extra food or to spare a beating It wasn t until Shin was a teenager that he heard another prisoner talking about how good the food was out in the real world After hearing the man s stories, Shin began to imagine what it would be like to escape the camp After several weeks of planning, Shin was able to escape through the electrified prison fence and eventually found his way to China After that, a journalist helped him get to South Korea, where he went through rehabilitation and counseling, and finally he moved to the United States Shin s story is an amazing one, but I also appreciated this book for its insights into North Korea and how the state uses propaganda, fear, beatings and a caste system to try and control its citizens I would recommend this book to everyone.My rating 4.5 stars rounded up to 5Update January 2015I read an article in The New York Times in which Shin has recanted parts of his story It is not clear yet which parts are not true, but it sounds like he didn t spend all of his life in Camp 14, but at some point was transferred to a different labor camp that wasn t as restrictive as 14 I am of two minds on this issue First, I am disappointed whenever I hear such a retraction These losses of credibility hurt everyone Second, I wonder how much it actually matters So many people have complained about the labor camps in North Korea, and Shin was one of those voices The fact that the timeline or certain details were manipulated doesn t change the horrible conditions for political prisoners there It is unfortunate that the title of the book is Escape from Camp 14, but I hope this development doesn t damage human rights efforts in that country Ostensibly getting rid of families, rather than individuals, considered undesirable by the regime, in actuality slave labour for the State.A mixture of 1984, Animal Farm and the Nazi Dachau concentration camp It is the story of North Korea and worse in every single respect than every dystopian novel you ve ever read Here, one is born, lives one s whole life and dies in a vast camp where fear rules through hunger and brutality One man, only one, escaped and this is his story.Not an easy book t Ostensibly getting rid of families, rather than individuals, considered undesirable by the regime, in actuality slave labour for the State.A mixture of 1984, Animal Farm and the Nazi Dachau concentration camp It is the story of North Korea and worse in every single respect than every dystopian novel you ve ever read Here, one is born, lives one s whole life and dies in a vast camp where fear rules through hunger and brutality One man, only one, escaped and this is his story.Not an easy book to read, but rewarding Even if everything in this book has been exaggerated, it would still be the worst nightmare of how people actually live on planet Earth in the 21st or any other century 4 1 2 stars Picture from documentary Camp 14Imagine the UnimaginableImagine growing up with no comprehension, let alone experience of love or friendship, where every day you struggle for scraps of food, rest, and warmth, striving to avoiding abuse, imprisonment, and maybe execution Where you view your own mother as competition for survival , rather than a source of love, security, and comfort Where redemption through snitching and hard work is essential for survival, and you are inured to the punishmen Picture from documentary Camp 14Imagine the UnimaginableImagine growing up with no comprehension, let alone experience of love or friendship, where every day you struggle for scraps of food, rest, and warmth, striving to avoiding abuse, imprisonment, and maybe execution Where you view your own mother as competition for survival , rather than a source of love, security, and comfort Where redemption through snitching and hard work is essential for survival, and you are inured to the punishment and murder of others, because it s commonplace and always deserved Where you are too broken, ignorant, and worthless for the authorities to bother brainwashing you with political propaganda I hope that is almost unimaginable for you, but that was the life of Shin Dong hyuk, born and raised in a North Korean complete control district labour camp Extreme deprivation and brutality were all he knew The Sins of the ForefathersShin s crime , in this godless place not even The Dear Leader was known to him was a version of original sin that his blood was tainted by the alleged sins of an uncle The camp had to cleanse three generations Escape Why To What For prisoners with no knowledge of anything beyond the camp walls, the desire, let alone the possibility of escape, rarely arises It is literally unimaginable Those who do escape are likely to find themselves in either China or South Korea And then what In China, they have to hide from the authorities, lest they re sent back to NK So much for hard won freedom.In SK, only the language is familiar, and even that has diverged significantly in recent decades How can North Koreans comprehend, let alone make a life in the fast paced, neon lit world of what is arguably the most competitive, consumerist, stressful society on the planet, when they ve lived without electricity, furniture, and running water, never sat an exam, have no friends and don t even know how to make any Truth, and the Telling of itThis is a true story Probably Mostly.There are many defectors from NK, some of whom escaped from prisons or labour camps, but Shin is thought to be the only person born in a camp to escape from that camp, which makes his experienceextreme.This should be a really exciting, but agonising story Unfortunately, I didn t find it so The writing was flat, with long chunks of geo political history breaking up Shin s story ten yes, ten pages about NK s global insurance fraud, three pages about the history of dams and so on And because Shin was raised amoral and psychologically damaged, and his lack of trust make him reluctant to accept advice, he wasn t always as sympathetic a character as his suffering should merit.More fundamentally, the book s power was diluted by extraordinary luck at crucial moments, made less credible by inconsistencies in the story Further, Shin changed other aspects of his story during the writing of the book, and again after it was published Some of the reasons are understandable if you d betrayed your mother, leading to her death, you would discover that was shocking to people outside, and ultimately find it a guilty burden But as a reader, I was left unsure of the truth.The book ends with half a dozen Sketches from Shin s life in Camp 14 , though whether they re drawn by Shin or from his descriptions is unclear.The Big PictureHarry Harlow s rhesus macaque experiments on maternal deprivation are rightly considered unethical today See also John Bowlby on attachment theory But far worse has been going on in NK, for twice as long as the Soviet Gulags, with hundreds of thousands of human victims And it s not a secret NK may not have a campaigning figurehead like the Dalai Lama or Aung San Suu Kyi, but the world has known something of the number, scale, and brutality of these camps for many years, from escapees accounts and satellite imagery International pressure is half hearted at best.SK provides money and practical support to defectors for a limited time, including three months in the Orwellian sounding House of Unity But the culture shock is so extreme, and the rest of SK society so at odds with these newcomers and often resentful , that it s woefully inadequate Paranoia is the norm in defectors, and a real barrier to assimilation Unemployment, depression, and suicide are shockingly high in refugees from NK I don t know what the answer is Nor do Shin or Harden How do you force a nuclear power to do anything Should aid to starving people be conditional on improved human rights Perhaps that impasse is the greatest tragedy, the greatest failing.As for Shin, he has struggled to adapt to life outside, but he is now a campaigner who has harnessed his self loathing and used it to indict the state that had poisoned his heart and killed his family That s within sight of a happy ending.The Ten Laws of Camp 141 Do not try to escape.2 Nothan two prisoners can meet together.3 Do not steal.4 Guards must be obeyed unconditionally.5 Anyone who see a fugitive or suspicious figure must promptly report him.6 Prisoners must watch each other and report any suspicious behaviour immediately.7 Prisoners mustthan fulfil the work assigned to them each day.8 Beyond the workplace, there must be no intermingling between the sexes for personal reasons.9 Prisoners must genuinely repent of their errors.10 Prisoners who violate the laws and regulations of the camp will be shot immediately.The devil really is in the chilling details, not included above.Overall, 2 writing, but 3 for its importance.It s real life contemporary dystopia I think that s part of the fascination of books like this Maybe there s a similarity with children loving dinosaurs the thrill of them being real monsters, but we re out of reach With dinosaurs, time keeps us safe, and with NK, it s geography Escape from Camp 14 One Man s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West, Blaine HardenShin Dong hyuk born Shin In Geun, 19 November 1982 or 1980 is a North Korean born human rights activist He is reputed to be the only known prisoner to have successfully escaped from a total control zone grade internment camp in North Korea He was the subject of a biography, Escape from Camp 14 One Man s Remarkable Odyssey From North Korea to Freedom in the West, by former Washington Pos Escape from Camp 14 One Man s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West, Blaine HardenShin Dong hyuk born Shin In Geun, 19 November 1982 or 1980 is a North Korean born human rights activist He is reputed to be the only known prisoner to have successfully escaped from a total control zone grade internment camp in North Korea He was the subject of a biography, Escape from Camp 14 One Man s Remarkable Odyssey From North Korea to Freedom in the West, by former Washington Post journalist Blaine Harden Shin has given talks to audiences around the world about his life in Camp 14 and about the totalitarian North Korean regime to raise awareness of the situation in North Korean internment and concentration camps and North Korea Shin has been described as the world s single strongest voice on the atrocities inside North Korean camps by a member of the United Nations first commission of inquiry into human rights abuses of North Korea In January 2015, he recanted aspects of his story, but a majority of experts continued to support his credibility as a victim of North Korean human rights abuses 2016 14 1394 229 9786002293282 1395 1396 1397 21 14 1398 272 9786008755944 I think Shin s story is an important one, but the way that it s presented makes it a little tough to really connect with Shin, born and raised in a North Korean labor camp, was the first person actually born in a camp to escape Having had no prior knowledge of the outside world, he was raised, in his own words, as an animal, taught to rat out others, to feel littlethan fear, with no affection for anyone He does some pretty horrible things as a result and while I can logically understand I think Shin s story is an important one, but the way that it s presented makes it a little tough to really connect with Shin, born and raised in a North Korean labor camp, was the first person actually born in a camp to escape Having had no prior knowledge of the outside world, he was raised, in his own words, as an animal, taught to rat out others, to feel littlethan fear, with no affection for anyone He does some pretty horrible things as a result and while I can logically understand why he would act like he does since that s all he s been taught it s still hard to process emotionally The same with once he has escaped he doesn t really take any initiative or responsibility in his own life, doesn t want to listen to anyone who is willing to help him, etc which again, makes sense, given what he has lived through but it makes it hard to go beyond an intellectual concern to an emotional concern The author, in his acknowledgements, calls Shin an amazing person , and I think I can agree with that mentally, but my heart isn t as touched as I thought it would be That could perhaps be due to the style of the book there are a lot of times when the author interjects information from other sources, I think to provide evidence of the veracity of Shin s story, but the fact that he keeps constantly trying to prove it and takes us away from Shin creates a distance that can be a little jolting Or, I could just be too hard hearted and other people are completely touched by it I think I m touched by Shin s story, but not so much the presentation And as an American who can t even imagine what it would be like be born and raised in an environment of such hatred and fear, I am probably biased in ways that I don t even understand Anyway, like I said at the beginning, I do think it s an important story the world needs to know about North Korean labor camps and how they affect people I rate this book five stars not because it s beautiful literature or great story telling, but because it is a huge eye opener and important information There are approximately 200,000 prisoners kept in camps or virtual prisons in North Korea Many of the cellmates are the children and grandchildren of people who broke the law in Northern Korea The theory is that it takes at least three generations of purging to get rid of the bad seed of law breakers The description of the horrible control I rate this book five stars not because it s beautiful literature or great story telling, but because it is a huge eye opener and important information There are approximately 200,000 prisoners kept in camps or virtual prisons in North Korea Many of the cellmates are the children and grandchildren of people who broke the law in Northern Korea The theory is that it takes at least three generations of purging to get rid of the bad seed of law breakers The description of the horrible control and treatment of these poor people rivals or even beats the Nazi exterminations and treatment and it has gone on for over 50 years Women are regularly beaten, raped, humiliated, they live on watery cornmeal mush, rice a rare and incredible treat, they are rewarded for snitching, they don t live with their parents, they are forbidden to have sex, many die of malnutrition, and woman getting pregnant, even from guards, are put to death, etc etc etc The main character, Shin, having seen his mother and brother hang for planning an escape, spends many years suffering ridiculous torment and miserable conditions, is one of the only known escapees He was lucky enough to find people there who opened his eyes to the outside world He was always so hungry and miserable, that his whole goal in life, his main fantasy, was waling into a restaurant to eat some grilled meat I guess he was tired of living on raw rat flesh In the meantime, Kim Jong un and the elite crowd live in ridiculous wealth and virtually steal everything worthwhile and extort monies from countries, charitable organizations and others trying to be helpful It s a mess that no one seems to know how to handle, including their well off neighbors, the South Koreans So, what should we do about it No good answers This book at least starts to open our eyes about the situation, not only in the camps, but in North Korea as a whole I wish the Chinese, the South Koreans, the Japanese and the US would ban together and come up with a plan to liberate North Korea But it s not going to happen, each government having different ideas about what life should be like What a nightmare world It s hard to believe and a cause I would love to somehow do something to help A New York Times bestseller, the shocking story of one of the few people born in a North Korean political prison to have escaped and survivedNorth Korea is isolated and hungry, bankrupt and belligerent It is also armed with nuclear weapons Between , and , people are being held in its political prison camps, which have existed twice as long as Stalin s Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps Very few born and raised in these camps have escaped But Shin Donghyuk didIn Escape from Camp , acclaimed journalist Blaine Harden tells the story of Shin Dong hyuk and through the lens of Shin s life unlocks the secrets of the world s most repressive totalitarian state Shin knew nothing of civilized existence he saw his mother as a competitor for food, guards raised him to be a snitch, and he witnessed the execution of his own family Through Harden s harrowing narrative of Shin s life and remarkable escape, he offers an unequaled inside account of one of the world s darkest nations and a riveting tale of endurance, courage, and survival ❰Reading❯ ➿ Book Lover Author Jennifer Kaufman – Lavons.co.uk the shocking story of one of the few people born in a North Korean political prison to have escaped and survivedNorth Korea is isolated and hungry [EPUB] ✷ Secret Delivery / Her 24-Hour Protector By Delores Fossen – Lavons.co.uk bankrupt and belligerent It is also armed with nuclear weapons Between ❰EPUB❯ ✰ Kholodovs Last Mistress Author Kate Hewitt – Lavons.co.uk and ❰Epub❯ ❧ Wicked Sinner (Regency Sinners 7) Auteur Carole Mortimer – Lavons.co.uk people are being held in its political prison camps ➵ [Reading] ➷ If the Stiletto Fits... By Wendy Etherington ➪ – Lavons.co.uk which have existed twice as long as Stalin s Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps Very few born and raised in these camps have escaped But Shin Donghyuk didIn Escape from Camp ❰PDF / Epub❯ ☄ What Phoebe Wants (Harlequin Flipside, Author Cindi Myers – Lavons.co.uk acclaimed journalist Blaine Harden tells the story of Shin Dong hyuk and through the lens of Shin s life unlocks the secrets of the world s most repressive totalitarian state Shin knew nothing of civilized existence he saw his mother as a competitor for food [PDF] ❤ Ruthlessly Royal (Self-Made Millionaires By Robyn Donald – Lavons.co.uk guards raised him to be a snitch [Reading] ➶ An Amish Family Christmas By Marta Perry – Lavons.co.uk and he witnessed the execution of his own family Through Harden s harrowing narrative of Shin s life and remarkable escape [PDF / Epub] ☆ Interrupted Lullaby By Dana R. Lynn – Lavons.co.uk he offers an unequaled inside account of one of the world s darkest nations and a riveting tale of endurance ➶ [Read] ➲ Gift-Wrapped Governess By Sophia James ➾ – Lavons.co.uk courage ☉ Vows of Revenge PDF / Epub ❤ Author Dani Collins – Lavons.co.uk and survival I m split on this book On one hand, the subject matter is utterly compelling Little is heard in mainstream media about these detention camps that hundreds of thousands of prisoners live in for literally generations Entire Families are doomed because of the real or imagined actions of one, and apparently treason must be wiped out over three generations So children are born in these camps between assigned parents and never learn filial love or even learn any emotional state higher than the a I m split on this book On one hand, the subject matter is utterly compelling Little is heard in mainstream media about these detention camps that hundreds of thousands of prisoners live in for literally generations Entire Families are doomed because of the real or imagined actions of one, and apparently treason must be wiped out over three generations So children are born in these camps between assigned parents and never learn filial love or even learn any emotional state higher than the animal need for basic survival.But the writing is somewhat frustrating.The facts are recited and researched well enough, but the way the story is told gets in the way of havingimpact Interspersed within the personal story of Shin the author throws in history and sidebar Useful for context, I suppose, but it takes away from the powerful personal nature of the story It s akin to reading the Diary of Anne Frank but having a narrator interrupt with voiceover explanation And ultimately, it does a disservice to the obvious need for the world at large to becomepersonally outraged as to what s going on over there I suspect the author is right when he says that sometime in our future our children will be asking us why the rest of the world didn t doto intervene with what was going on inside North Korea I m not entirely sure what I d tell them 5 starsnot because it s a classic but because I learned so much about North Korea I knew North Korea was a horrible place but I had no knowledge of the prison camps The conditions are horrific For example A classmate of Shin s the man who s story is being told was beat to death by a teacher in front of the class for having a few kernels of corn in her possession Shin s mother and brother were hung, while Shin watched on, for having an escape plan Shin is the one who reported them to 5 starsnot because it s a classic but because I learned so much about North Korea I knew North Korea was a horrible place but I had no knowledge of the prison camps The conditions are horrific For example A classmate of Shin s the man who s story is being told was beat to death by a teacher in front of the class for having a few kernels of corn in her possession Shin s mother and brother were hung, while Shin watched on, for having an escape plan Shin is the one who reported them to authorities for discussing the escape, because this is what the people are told to do Shin s father was put in the camp because a family member of his escaped from North Korea to South Korea Subsequently Shin and his brother were born in the camp and knew no other existence Shin s escape is nothing short of miraculous Since escape Shin struggles to exist in a free society.On a side note Dennis Rodman befriended Kim Jong un Is he an idiot or just ignorant


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