NORTH KOREA: A POW'S MANUSCRIPT ALBUM, KOJE-DO POW CAMP, MAY, 1952 POW manuscript: 7.5 x 11.5in (19 x 29cm)

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Lot 108
NORTH KOREA: A POW'S MANUSCRIPT ALBUM, KOJE-DO POW CAMP, MAY, 1952
POW manuscript: 7.5 x 11.5in (19 x 29cm)

Sold for US$ 10,000 inc. premium
NORTH KOREA: A POW'S MANUSCRIPT ALBUM, KOJE-DO POW CAMP, MAY, 1952
An illustrated manuscript by a captured North Korean POW, 6 card leaves, text in Korean, illustrated with mounted drawings including the capture of Brigadier-General Francis Dodd by the prisoners and other scenes of the famous Koje uprising. Original card covers; together with a book explaining the Koje incident, by Burchett and Winnington, "Koje Unscreened," self published, Peking, China, 1953, 8vo, original wrappers. Edges rubbed.

Koje-do, a hilly island 20 miles off the southeast coast of Korea was selected by the UN shortly after the start of the Korean War, as the place to construct a POW camp. The camp soon became the site of multiple violent incidents between the camp guards and the North Korean prisoners. The camp's POWs were divided between hardline Communists and more regular prisoners, the first of whom would frequently stage riots and murder supposed collaborators in order to maintain their control over the prison population. Matters came to a head after the United Nations adopted a policy of allowing POWs to decline repatriation prior to the Panmunjom peace talks in February, 1952. The extremists in Koje immediately began a campaign of intimidation and violence against their fellow prisoners with the aim of preventing any defectiions. The visit on 7 May of camp commander Francis Dodd resulted in Dodd being taken hostage for 78 hours. Efforts to secure his release by Dodd's replacement, General Charles Colson, saw Colson sign a statement that the UN forces had tortured and abused the POWs and initiated the violence in Koje-Do. The Western Press widely reported the incident, with some of the more pro-Communist journalists such as Wilfred Burchett upholding the North Korean version of events. The result was a major propaganda victory for the Communists and the swift demotion of Colson and Dodd upon the latter's release. Dodd's replacement, Brigadier General Haydon Boatner, announced in late May that all remaining hard-core Communist POWs would be dispersed to smaller camps, and dispatched troops backed by tanks to take control of the hardliner HQ in Compound 76 of Koje-Do. Thirty POWs and one US soldier died in the resulting clash, but the uprising was crushed. This crude but remarkable propaganda booklet made by a North Korean prisoner during the uprising vividly portrays the campaign of vilification directed at Dodd and the American camp guards.
POW manuscript: 7.5 x 11.5in (19 x 29cm)
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