Escape from Camp 14 by Blaine Larsen

One of the most horrifying books I have ever read.

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A couple of weeks ago I read Blaine Larsen’s Escape from Camp 14 the story about Shin Dong-Hyuk and his flight from a North Korean work camp.

The Story evolves around Shin Dong-Hyuk and his live in a North Korean prison, he was born in Camp 14 one of the worst work camps in North Korea.

Shin tells about how his father got married to his mother, the marriage was a reward to Shin’s father. He had no influence about who he would marry, the prison guard paired the people rewarded with a marriage in pairs. The marrige is not what we normally think about, when we think marrige, because in their marriage they would not live together but only see each other few times a year, but in they still had Shin and his big brother.

He tells about all the horribly things that happens in the camp, a story that he remembers very well is that a girl in his school got beaten to dead for having a corn in her pocket.

He describes how he found out that his mother and brother was planning to escape the camp, but he turned them in to a teacher, in the end the teacher told the guards that he was the one that discovered it and therefore Shin and his father was tortured because the guards was sure that they knew something about it to, Shin tried to tell them that he was the one that told the teacher, but they did not believe him and in the end a friend (the closes he ever got to a friend) came forward and said what Shin was telling was the truth because he was there when Shin told the teacher, in the End his mother and Brother was killed.

Second half of the book is about how he learned about life outside the camp and how he soon wished to experience it and how he together with another prisoner named Park planned to escape the camp and about how he succeeded but how Park was electrocuted on the electric fence.

He spent 30 days travelling through North Korea to China, but still there he was not free, because he knew that all North Koreans was send back. In the end he made it to South Korea and later to America.

One of the things that touched me the most in the book is how he described that even though he is free in body, his mind is still imprisoned, since he has a hard time adapting to life outside of the camp, he has a hard time showing emotions and even trusting people to tell them his whole story, this is all because he was raised to never trust anyone and therefore things as love or friendship can be a hard thing for him.

 

Here is a short Interview with him, where he shortly describe what he went through

Interview with Shin Dong Hyuk

 

North Korea the reality

Even though I knew that North Korea was a very communistic land, I don’t think that I ever imagined that their prisoners were living under the same conditions as the prisoner under the second world war lived under in the concentration camps, they live in constant fear of getting betrayed, killed or tortured. From the 1990 and till this day the North Korean people are living in extreme poverty

Korea_Lights

This is a picture I saw the other day of Korea at night by satellite, in the middle of the picture one can se North Korea the place that lights up the most is Pyongyang the rest of the country is in total darkness, I find it quite astonishing to see the black spot in between the bright South Korea and China.

 

My reason for writing about this book, is that I want to race awareness about what is going on in North Korea.

 

Nu på dansk 😉

En af de mest skræmmende bøger jeg har læst 

For noget tid side læste jeg Blaine Larsen’s “Flugten fra Camp 14”, historien om Shin Dong-Hyuk og hans flugt fra en Nord Koreansk arbejdslejr.

Historien handler om Shin Dong-Hyuk og hans liv i et nordkoreansk fængsel, han er født i et af Nord Korea’s værste arbejdslejre.

Shin fortæller i bogen om hvordan hans far blev gift med hans mor, ægteskabet var en gave til Shin’s far fordi han havde gjort noget godt. Dog havde han ingen indflydelse på hvem han blev gift med, det var fængselsvartegne der havde indstillet Shin’s far til ægteskab der satte parrende sammen. Ægteskabene er ikke som vi normalt tænker på et ægteskab, de fik nemlig ikke lov til at leve sammen, men derimod kun se hinanden et par gange om året, Men de fik dog stadig Shing og hans ældre bror.

Shin fortæller om nogle af de forfærdelige ting der skete i lejre,  bl.a. hvordan en klassekammerat blev banket ihjel fordi hun havde en majs korn i lommen.

Han beskriver også hvordan han en dag fandt ud af at hans mor og bror planlagde at flygte, ham fortalte dette til en lære, men det vidste sig at læren fortalte til vagterne at det var ham der havde opdaget det og derfor blev Shin og hans far torturret, da vagterne var sikre på at de måtte vide noget om flugtplanerne. Selv om Shin prøvede at fortælle dem at det var ham der havde opdaget det, troede de ikke på ham, det var først da Shin’s ven (det nærmeste han nåede på en ven i lejren) fortalte at det var sandt hvad han sagde, for han havde selv været der at de troede på ham, det hele endte med at hans mor og bror blev dræbt.

Anden halvdel fortæller om hvordan Shin lærte om verdenen uden for lejren og derfor fik et ønske om at opleve det og om hvordan ham og en anden fange ved navn Park planlagde at flygte fra lejren og om hvordan det lykkedes ham men at Park blev stegt på et elektrisk hegn.

Han brugte 30 dage på ar rejse igennem Nord Korea til Kina, men heller ikke her var han fri for kineserne sendte nord koreanere tilbage hvis de blev fanget. Til sidst nåede han dog til Syd Korea og senere også til Amerika.

En af de ting der rørte mig mest var da han i bogen beskrev, at selv om han fysisk fri er han stadig psykisk fanget. Dette er fordi at han har det svært med at tilpasse sig livet uden for lejren. han har svært ved at vise følelser og endda stole på folk til at fortælle hele sin historie, dette kommer sig af at han er opvokset med aldrig at stole på nogen og derfor kan sådan noget som kærlighed og vendskab være svært for ham.

 

Her er et kort interview med Shin

Interview med Shin Dong-Hyuk

 

Virkelighedden i Nord Korea

Selv om jeg allerede vidste at Nord Korea er et kommunistisk land, så er jeg ikke sikker på at jeg nogensinde havde forestillet mig at deres fanger levede under samme forhold som fangerne levede i, i koncentrations lejrende under anden verdenskrig. De lever i den konstante frygt for at dræbt eller tortureret.

Siden 1990 og frem til den dag idag har Nord Korea levet i ekstrem fattigdom.

Korea_Lights

Jeg så dette sattelit billede sidste dag af Korea om natten, i midten af billedet kan man se Nord Korea, det sted der lyser mest op er Pyongyang resten af landet ligger hen i total mørke. Jeg selv finder det utroligt at se hvordan man ser den mørke plet imellem det lyse Syd Korea og Kina.

 

Min grund til at skrive om denne bog, er fordi jeg gerne vil bringe folks opmærksomhed mod hvad der foregår i Nord Korea.

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