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Freedom Collection

Interviews with Shin Dong-hyuk

Interviewed February 20, 2024

As a person born as a prisoner in the prison camp, I had somebody that I called “Father” and “Mother.”

[Shin Dong-hyuk’s birth was the result of a “reward marriage” orchestrated by prison officials. These “marriages” were granted to prisoners for being a good worker.]

Those were the words that I knew to use to describe these two people in my life, but there was no love, no desire to give them things, or desire to help them.

There was nothing in the sense of a familial relationship between my parents and me.

My mother and brother were caught attempting to escape from the prison camp.

As a result, my father and I were beaten and tortured for a long period, and I still bear the scars from that horrible experience.

In the prison camp, if one person in the family commits a crime or is found guilty of something, then the entire family is punished.

Unfortunately, my mother and brother were publicly executed. Luckily, my father and I were not.