For the past two hours I have been held captive by a book that has shaken me from my state of ignorance about North Korea into an informed state of rage! Escape From Camp 14 tells the graphic story of life in a concentration camp in North Korea. These camps exist at the moment you are reading this and were started by the current leader’s grandfather. They can be spotted using Google Earth and yet North Korea says they do not exist.
The individuals residing within them may have done nothing against the North Korean government yet are locked up because of the decisions of their relatives. Individuals new to the camp are separated from those that have spent their whole lives in the camp so children are raised with no knowledge of the outside world. Men and women are kept separated but some may earn a mate through good behavior. Children that come from these unions grow up in a world lacking love and safety; in fact, the main character viewed his mom as competition for food and never felt love for her while at the camp.
I’m not sure what to say about this book other than it left me angry and uncertain about what I could do to help. I grew up reading Holocaust books but it all seemed pretend to me until I got older and realized real people were affected by Hitler. Right NOW something far worse is happening and we are just standing by not helping in any way. Many refuges are in China and South Korea but need a great deal of mental health assistance to allow them to function as a human being with feelings and emotions. It breaks my heart and I want to find out more about how to help. In the meantime, I think everyone should read this book to find out more about what is going on in the world around us!