Understanding Totalitarianism

Below are videos from North Korean defectors. You can find the transcripts of these videos on the Freedom Collection website. This website, established and maintained by the George W. Bush Foundation, documents the fight for freedom and democracy. In their own words, they “pursue the principles of human liberty by documenting the personal stories of men and women who have led or participated in freedom movements.” While the videos below are required for our work on Animal Farm, I encourage you strongly to explore this site. Although much of this may be difficult to listen to, and it will not be entertaining, it is vital to the spread and defense of freedom.

As George Orwell said, “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”

This looks like you have a lot to watch, but each video is very short. I did not put this on EDpuzzle with embedded questions because I want you to focus on these men’s stories. But we will be doing activities that depend on your knowledge and understanding of these videos, so be sure to have watched them by the deadline!

Below: A former North Korean discusses defecting to South Korea. Pay special attention to how he had been taught to think about South Korea and the United States by the totalitarian North Korean regime.

Below A former North Korean discusses the role of propaganda in a totalitarian government

Below: A north Korean discusses how the North Korean government indoctrinates citizens

Below: A former North Korean political prisoner talks about conditions in the Gulags

The image at the top of this page is a satellite photograph of North Korea at night. The black area shows how dark North Korea gets at night in contrast to the regions surrounding it. It is both a literally and figuratively dark place.