The the Korean War had broken out,

The 1950’s was an era of conflict, as it was
during this time that the Korean War had broken out, also known as the ‘Forgotten
War’ which lasted three years from 1950 to 1953. However, the civil war between
the two Korea’s turned into a full-fledged international conflict. In June of
1950, when ruler of North Korea at the time, Kim II Sung invaded South Korea,
the U.S responded. Amidst the war and geopolitical conflict, around 7,000
American soldiers were captured and 3,000 died. Prisoners that were captured
were subject to hard conditions and treatment, which led to demonstrous physical
and psychological stress, which included sleep and food deprivation, followed
by incarceration in tiny boxes which would last from days to months, and
strangulation by which prisoners were left standing bound to a rope around
their neck and if they fell, they would be strangled. Prisoner’s social and
individual autonomy were broken, as there was minimal contact, troops and
leaders were separated, religious expressed banned and cognitive stimulation
was limited to constant use of propaganda. In addition, coercive attempts to
reform prisoners to communist ideologies included daily lectures that lasted
for hours about benefits of communism and perils of capitalism, interrogations
which lasted for weeks and humiliation and enforced public confession. The
captors approach was essentially a ‘big stick, small carrot’ approach. When
submerged in complete darkness with no hope such in the case of the American
prisoners, the smallest inkling of light or hope will grab people’s attention.
For the American prisoners, their only hope was cooperation, which led to small
rewards such as food or improvements in living conditions and hopefully in the
long run, freedom. However, freedom doesn’t necessarily mean (Something), for
some it could have just been freedom of physical and psychological torture
inflicted upon them.

Out of the 4,00 soldiers that survived only 21
American soldiers chose to stay with their captors rather than returning to the
U.S.

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