Book review: Escape from Camp 14 // ''I escaped North-Korean prsion camp

I wanted to make a new review about this book since it's one of my oldest posts here so many of you haven't saw it and I really want to share this. I rarely read books but when I heard about this book a year ago I really wanted to get my hand on it. It's a true story about North-Korean man Shin Dong-hyuk who escaped from prison camp called ''camp 14'' and in this book he shares his story.

Shin Dong-hyuk was born in prison camp so after he escaped, people called him brain-washed and yes that's exactly what they did for him during his whole life before escape. One of the saddest things that he commented was:

''I'm rising up from level of an animal but progress is really slow. Sometimes I try to cry and laugh like others just to try does it feel like anything''. 
 By buying this book you will also donate for Amnesty International charity. This book was 30€ when I bought it but I guess the price is getting lower.. not sure about this.

I don't want to spoil this to you because this is really worth of reading! It makes some people wonder that can this be even true and yeah well I can't say it either is all things true or not. I still believe that Shin has been honest with most things but he is only covering some things for his own safety since he still had problems with trusting people which I totally understand.
Shin is the only person known to have successfully escaped from a "total-control zone" grade internment camp in North Korea but also believed to be the only person to have been born in a North Korean prison camp to escape from North Korea. His whole life was just about to stay alive and follow all 10 rules. If you didn't you could loose your meal or get killed.

Ten rules that they had to follow:

1. escape
  • Anyone who tried to escape will be shot immediately
  • Anyone who witnesses an escape or doesn't report it will be shot immediately
2. gatherings
  • Anyone who enters another zone wi thout permission from the responsible  national security officer will be shot immediately.
  •  Gatherings outside of work are forbidden, unless expressly permitted
  •  During the night not more than 3 personsd are allowed to move together
  •  Outside of work not more then 3 persons are allowed  to meet and talk
3. theft
  • Anyone who possesses or steals a weapon will be shot immediately
  •  Anyone who steals or hides any kind of food in the work camp will be shot immediately
  • Who willingly destroys machinery or tools will be shot immeadiatly
4. obedience
  • Anyone who disobeys an order will be shot immediately
  •  Anyone who assaults or rebels against a member of national security will be shot immediately
  •  Nobody is allowede to contardict against the member of national security
  •  Everybody has to great a member of national security
5. outsiders
  • Whoever hides or protects an outsider will be shot immediately
  •  Possessing or hiding any kind of object from outside is forbidden and the person will be shot
6. control
  • Prisoners must retain order, be attentive and keep watchful tabs on each other and report anything suspicious to the guards
  •  Everybody has to be present at ideological assenbly
  •  Nobody is allowed  not to criticize  themsefs  in front of the ideolagical assembly

7. work
  • Anyone who neglects or fails to carry out the work allocated to hi will be shot immediately
  •  The accomplishment of your assigned duties is the only way to pay your debt and show gratitude for the laws which show you mercy
  •  Your are not allowed to chasnge any given orders

8. husband and wife
  •  Anyone who has unauthorised contact with a man or a woman will be shot immediately
  •  Men and women may not talk to each other outside of work without express permission
  •  Without reason men an women are not allowed to hold hands or share the same bed
  •  Without permission nobody is allowed to enter rooms of men or women
9. guilt
  • Anyone who doesn’t admit or confess to his wrongdoings, or forms his own opinion of his guilt will be shot immediately
  •  You are obliged to reflect your guilt and try hard to become a better member of society
  •  Only those who accept their guil t and repent have a chance at a new beginning
10. rules
  • Anyone who disregards the camp rules and regulations will be shot immediately
  •  All camp inmates must make up for their past mistakes by accepting the national security officials as their teachers and by strictly abiding by the ten rules and regulations. Honest work and rules will contribute to this
The story how Shin lost his mother and brother is tragic one and reader might be struggling by thinking did Shin right or wrong thing. When Shin was 13, he overheard his mother and brother planning an escape attempt. [First rule] Shin told the guards, informing was something he was taught to do from an early age, and he hoped to be rewarded. Rather than reward Shin for turning his family members in, the guards tortured him for four days to extract more information, believing him to be part of the plan to escape. What happened, Camp officials forced Shin and his father to watch the public execution of his mother and brother. On that moment Shin thought that they deserved to die but later in life the death of his family would haunt him.

The camp is still there and Shin does not even know is his father alive anymore or still a slave in there. It creeps to go to google map and see this, it's real. There is people suffering at the moment in this camp and they have a wrong image about world outside. One of the main reasons why Shin escaped was food. When he got friends with a 40-year-old political prisoner named Park, he heard about world outside. Meat, he wanted to taste meat.

There is so many unbelieveble things that causes hard emotions and thoughts for reader. I was feeling a lot of anger and sadness while reading this but also small things that happened for Shin made me smile! You can see from his eyes what kind of life he has been living, so much suffer. I really don't know exactly how to descripe this book but this is only book that I have bought by myself, talked about it for people, recommended and read so many times. This might sound selfish but yes I'm so happy about that I'm living in place like my home. God bless this man!


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