Auschwitz, Dachau, Bergen-Belsen and Sobibor.
Four names of four Nazi concentration camps that were infamous for holding many political prisoners captive, but most for the systematic torture and killing of Jews, gypsies and others that were seen as impure.
We know the names and have images in our memories that we associate with them. But how many of us are familiar with names as Yodok, Bukchang, Kaechon and Chongori? Neglected by a large part of the international community, several hundred thousand people languish in these Nazi-like death camps, where they are stripped of all humanity.
Christians are kept in isolation from other people in the total control zone. What we know specifically about them are only bits and pieces. But Lee Soon-Ok, who was imprisoned in prison facility No. 1 Kaechon, wrote in her book ‘Eyes of the tailless animals’ about several hundred Christians who were kept there.
“They received less food and were punished harder than others. Once or twice a month all the 6,000 prisoners needed to gather on a Saturday or Sunday and one or two Christians were publicly asked to denounce their faith. If not, they were beaten or stabbed with a sharp bamboo stick. I was amazed the Christians choose to suffer and did not betray their God. Often they just sang songs or said ‘Amen’. The guards became furious and frequently killed Christians. The Christians also had to do the most dangerous and hardest work, like working in the rubbery factory. If a guard managed to force a Christian to denounce God, he or she would receive a promotion. Sometimes we had to walk over the Christian until he died.”
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