In Enemy Hands: A Prisoner in North Korea

Larry Zellers, Author University Press of Kentucky $36.25 (233p) ISBN 978-0-8131-1747-8
When the Korean War broke out in June 1950, the author, a Methodist missionary in Kaesong City, was arrested by North Korean authorities, accused of ideological sabotage (teaching ``a vicious ideology concerning a God that did not exist'') and sent on a forced march comparable to the infamous Bataan episode in WW II. In his first-person account, Zellers devotes only a few words to his own ordeal, expanding instead on the struggle of fellow prisoners of many nationalities, especially those who were brave and unselfish, and on the intense psychological pressures imposed by their captors. He describes North Korean ``reeducation'' as a devastating experience and provides innumerable examples of kimilsungism at the rice-roots level. (``If you really believed what you taught,'' said one of his tormentors, ``you would have a pistol and everyone would be required to listen.'') Since the Orwellian aspect of North Korean politics has remained essentially unchanged over the last 40 years, this harrowing but inspiring account is especially absorbing. Repatriated in 1953, Zellers became a chaplain in the U.S. Air Force and retired in 1975. Photos. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1991
Release date: 07/01/1991
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