23 agosto 2016

Escape from Camp 14

Writing my impressions about a book has never been so hard. I think it was the first time that I stopped reading a story because I felt like it was necessary to find some distance from what was going on with the characters.
Escape from Camp 14 is the real story of a North Korean surviver who escaped from a place where love has no meaning and cruelty is most people's middle name. When I thought that he has had enought, something even worse happened and it made me feel exausted, powerless, hopeless, that one day he would have what we can call a "normal life". 





In "Escape From Camp 14," Blaine Harden unlocks the secrets of the world's most repressive totalitarian state through the story of Shin Dong-hyuk. 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 mother and brother. In certain point he even says that he is now learning how to be more human and less animal.
The late Dear Leader Kim Jong Il was recognized throughout the world, but his country remains sealed as his third son and chosen heir, Kim Jong Eun, consolidates power. Few foreigners are allowed in, and few North Koreans are able to leave. North Korea is hungry, bankrupt, and armed with nuclear weapons. It is also a human rights catastrophe. Between 150,000 and 200,000 people work as slaves in its political prison camps. These camps are clearly visible in satellite photographs, yet North Korea's government denies they exist.
I won't say this is an easy reading, to relax you at any time and place. But this is definitely life changing. Nothing will be the same after this book, the way that I look at the world now  is totally different than before and I think you should see what I see, too. Most people that I talked about it, their reaction was something like "I just can't deal with it at the moment", I'm sorry to tell you but you must do it, you must do it because this isn't fiction, this is a surviver's scream, a cry for help, so please... If you trust me, you should read it.


Disclaimer: Nowadays, Shin is an activist and he fights for Noth Korean's rights. You can watch many of his talks on Youtube or even find an article on Google.

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