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Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West by Blaine Harden
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Escape from Camp 14 Quotes (showing 1-30 of 34)
“I am evolving from being an animal,' he said. 'But it is going very, very slowly. Sometime I try to cry and laugh like other people, just to see if it feels like anything. Yet tears don't come. Laughter doesn't come.”
Blaine Harden, Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West
“High School students in America debate why President Roosevelt didn't bomb the rail lines to Hitler's camps. Their children may ask, a generation from now, why the West stared at far clearer satellite images of Kim Jong Il's camps, and did nothing.”
Blaine Harden, Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West
“His first memory is an execution.”
Blaine Harden, Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West
“High school students in America debate why President Franklin D. Roosevelt didn’t bomb the rail lines to Hitler’s camps,” the editorial concluded. “Their children may ask, a generation from now, why the West stared at far clearer satellite images of Kim Jong Il’s camps, and did nothing.”
Blaine Harden, Escape From Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West
[I]t was in the pairs that the prisoners kept alive the semblance of humanity
concluded Elmer Luchterhand, a sociologist at Yale who interviewed fifty-two concentration camp survivors shortly after liberation.
Pairs stole food and clothing for each other, exchanged small gifts and planned for the future. If one member of a pair fainted from hunger in front of an SS officer, the other would prop him up.
Survival . . . could only be a social achievement, not an individual accident
, wrote Eugene Weinstock, a Belgian resistance fighter and Hungarian-born Jew who was sent to Buchenwald in 1943.
Finally the death of one member of a pair often doomed the other. Women who knew Anne Frank in the Bergen-Belsen camp said that neither hunger nor typhus killed the young girl who would become the most famous diarist of the Nazi era. Rather, they said, she lost the will to live after the death of her sister, Margot.”
Blaine Harden, Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West
“Freedom, in Shin's mind, was just another word for grilled meat.”
Blaine Harden, Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West
“Shin’s story of survival is different. His mother beat him, and he viewed her as a competitor for food. His father, who was allowed by guards to sleep with his mother just five nights a year, ignored him. His brother was a stranger.”
Blaine Harden, Escape From Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West
“And so Shin’s misery never skidded into complete hopelessness. He had no hope to lose, no past to mourn, no pride to defend. He did not find it degrading to lick soup off the floor. He was not ashamed to beg a guard for forgiveness. It didn’t trouble his conscience to betray a friend for food. These were merely survival skills, not motives for suicide.”
Blaine Harden, Escape From Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West
“I escaped physically,' he said. 'I haven't escaped psychologically.”
Blaine Harden, Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West
“As important, in a media culture that feeds on celebrity, no movie star, no pop idol, no Nobel Prize winner stepped forward to demand that outsiders invest emotionally in a distant issue that lacks good video. “Tibetans have the Dalai Lama and Richard Gere, Burmese have Aung San Suu Kyi, Darfurians have Mia Farrow and George Clooney,” Suzanne Scholte, a long-time activist who brought camp survivors to Washington, told me. “North Koreans have no one like that.”
Blaine Harden, Escape From Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West
“9. Prisoners must genuinely repent of their errors. Anyone who does not acknowledge his sins and instead denies them or carries a deviant opinion of them will be shot immediately.”
Blaine Harden, Escape From Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West
“About sixty percent of Shin’s class was assigned to the coal mines, where accidental death from cave-ins, explosions, and gas poisonings was common. Many miners developed black lung disease after ten to fifteen years of working underground. Most miners died in their forties, if not before. As Shin understood it, an assignment in the mines was a death sentence.”
Blaine Harden, Escape From Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West
“There are six camps, according to South Korea’s intelligence agency and human rights groups. The biggest is thirty-one miles long and twenty-five miles wide, an area larger than the city of Los Angeles. Electrified barbed-wire fences—punctuated by guard towers and patrolled by armed men—encircle most of the camps.”
Blaine Harden, Escape From Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West
“Most North Koreans are sent to the camps without any judicial process, and many die there without learning the charges against them. They are taken from their homes, usually at night, by the Bowibu, the National Security Agency. Guilt by association is legal in North Korea. A wrongdoer is often imprisoned with his parents and children. Kim II Sung laid down the law in 1972: '[E]nemies of class, whoever they are, their seed must
be eliminated through three generations.”
Blaine Harden, Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West
“Among the elite in Pyongyang, one of the most coveted signifiers of status is an electric rice cooker.”
Blaine Harden, Escape From Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West
“His professional expertise—before defecting to South Korea in 2003—was managing a state-run global insurance fraud. It collected hundreds of millions of dollars from some of the world’s largest insurance companies on falsified claims for industrial accidents and natural disasters inside North Korea. And it funneled most of the money to the Dear Leader.”
Blaine Harden, Escape From Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West
“Although pity was forbidden, there were few other guidelines for treatment of prisoners. As a result, An said, guards were free to indulge their appetites and eccentricities, often preying on attractive young female prisoners who would usually consent to sex in exchange for better treatment.”
Blaine Harden, Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West
“Even South Koreans themselves struggle mightily to fit into their own success-obsessed, status-conscious, education-crazed culture.”
Blaine Harden, Escape from Camp 14
“To identify and isolate his perceived political enemies, Kim Il Sung created a neofeudal, blood-based pecking order in 1957. The government classified and, to a considerable extent, segregated the entire North Korean population based on the perceived reliability of an individual’s parents and grandparents. North Korea called itself the Worker’s Paradise, but even as it professed allegiance to communist ideals of equality, it invented one of the world’s most rigidly stratified caste systems.”
Blaine Harden, Escape From Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West
“As contemporaries, Shin and Kim Jong Eun personify the antipodes of privilege and privation in North Korea, a nominally classless society where, in fact, breeding and bloodlines decide everything.”
Blaine Harden, Escape From Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West
“I am evolving from being an animal,” he said. “But it is going very, very slowly. Sometime I try to cry and laugh like other people, just to see if it feels like anything. Yet tears don’t come. Laughter doesn’t come.”
Blaine Harden, Escape From Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West
“A perverse benefit of birth in the camp was a complete absence of expectations.”
Blaine Harden, Escape From Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West
“Nel Campo 14, campo di prigionia per i nemici politici della Corea del Nord, era assolutamente vietato radunarsi in più di due persone: l'unica eccezione erano le esecuzioni, a cui tutti avevano l'obbligo di assistere. Le uccisioni pubbliche, e la paura da esse generata, venivano utilizzate come momenti educativi.”
Blaine Harden, Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West
“Durante tutti gli anni trascorsi nel campo mi ha detto di non aver mai, neanche una volta, sentito pronunciare la parole amore.”
Blaine Harden, Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West
“Aveva sentito parlare del concetto di perdono in una chiesa sudcoreana, ma ne era rimasto perplesso: chiedere perdono nel Campo 14 significa solo implorare di non essere punito.”
Blaine Harden, Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West
“Prima di qualsiasi altra cosa Shin imparò a sopravvivere denunciando e tradendo ognuno di loro. Amore, pietà e famiglia erano parole prive di significato. Di onon era né morto né scomparso: Shin semplicemente non lo aveva mai sentito nominare.”
Blaine Harden, Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West
“«Ragazzo, tu hai ancora molti giorni da vivere» gli diceva. «Ricorda, il sole splende anche sottoterra». Furono quelle cure e quelle parole compassionevoli a tenerlo in vita. La febbre se ne andò, la mente tornò lucida, le ustioni divennero cicatrici.”
Blaine Harden, Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West
“La gente nel pubblico non riusciva a star femra nei banchi: negli occhi si leggevano disagio, disgusto, rabbia, shock. Alcuni volti erano rigati di lacrime. Alla fine del discorso, quando Shin disse che un solo uomo che decida di non tacere può contribuire alla liberazione di decine di migliaia di persone ancora prigioniere, la chiesa esplose in un applauso. Magari non ancora nella sua vita, ma almeno in quel discorso Shin aveva preso il controllo del suo passato.”
Blaine Harden, Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West
“He filled his stomach three times a day with the roasted meat that he and Park had fantasized about in Camp 14. He bathed with soap and hot water. He got rid of the lice he had lived with since birth.”
Blaine Harden, Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West
“Defectors frequently quit jobs found for them by the government and start businesses that fail. Some newcomers are disgusted by what they see as the decadence and inequality of life in the South. So to find employers who will put up with the prickliness of newcomers from the North, the Ministry of Unification pays companies up to eighteen hundred dollars a year if they risk hiring a defector.”
Blaine Harden, Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West

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