Escape From Camp 14 By Blaine Harden

712 Words3 Pages

In the biography, Escape From Camp 14, Blaine Harden shows that snitching in the concentration camps was widely accepted and encouraged by the guards. However, if the prisoners did not snitch on each other the conditions in the camps for the prisoners would be better. Shin would not feel the burden that he does today, of having some of his family killed, if he had not snitched on his mother. The overall living conditions of the prisoners would be better without snitching because snitching leads to cruel abuse and if someone snitches on you, you are the one who is beaten. In the story, Shin snitches on his mother and his brother in an attempt to follow the rules that have been set before him for his entire life. “Shin explained what his brother …show more content…

The guard telephoned his superiors. He told Shin and Hong to go back to the dormitory and get some sleep. He would take care of everything” (Harden 52). Shin later felt extreme guilt for turning on his family and having them killed. Had Shin gone against what he was taught and not snitched on his family, they most likely could have had a better relationship and Shin would not feel the remorse that he does to this day. Guards who did not snitch were hard to come by because they did not really receive a reward for keeping quiet. “The new teacher took Shin to the cafeteria after mealtimes, where he told the boy to eat whatever leftovers he could find. He sometimes sneaked food to Shin. He also assigned him less arduous work and made certain that Shin had a warm place to sleep on the floor of the student dormitory” (Harden 74). This teacher chose to help Shin and to not snitch on him for his actions, but he did not receive anything for doing so. Perhaps a sense of humanity was gained or he could …show more content…

“But Park’s stories were much more valuable to Shin. They became an essential and energizing addiction, changing his expectations about the future and giving him the will to plan for it. He believed he would go mad without hearing more” (Harden 100). Shin’s emotional condition in the camp improved because now he had a hope for the future, and he had a companion that actually cared for him. Shin could start to trust Park and he even relied simply on the stories that Park told him calling them an addiction. The guards encouraged snitching and received some sort of gift of gratitude when they facilitated snitching. “The teacher had not received any credit from his superiors for uncovering the escape plot” (Harden 68). Shin’s teacher did not gain anything because Shin could not find him, so Shin decided to tell another guard. The guard became angry which shows that the reward the guards received for snitching was apparently worth Shin taking extra time to seek out his teacher, demonstrating that although it is not beneficial for prisoners to snitch, it is evident that it is beneficial for guards to

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