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The Chief Witness: escape from China’s modern-day concentration camps

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A shocking depiction of one of the world’s most ruthless regimes — and the story of one woman’s fight to survive. I will never forget the camp. I cannot forget the eyes of the prisoners, expecting me to do something for them. They are innocent. I have to tell their story, to tell about the darkness they are in. It is so easy to suffocate us with the demons of powerlessness, A shocking depiction of one of the world’s most ruthless regimes — and the story of one woman’s fight to survive. I will never forget the camp. I cannot forget the eyes of the prisoners, expecting me to do something for them. They are innocent. I have to tell their story, to tell about the darkness they are in. It is so easy to suffocate us with the demons of powerlessness, shame, and guilt. But we aren’t the ones who should feel ashamed. Born in China’s north-western province, Sayragul Sauytbay trained as a doctor before being appointed a senior civil servant. But her life was upended when the Chinese authorities incarcerated her. Her crime: being Kazakh, one of China’s ethnic minorities. The north-western province borders the largest number of foreign nations and is the point in China that is the closest to Europe. In recent years it has become home to over 1,200 penal camps — modern-day gulags that are estimated to house three million members of the Kazakh and Uyghur minorities. Imprisoned solely due to their ethnicity, inmates are subjected to relentless punishment and torture, including being beaten, raped, and used as subjects for medical experiments. The camps represent the greatest systematic incarceration of an entire people since the Third Reich. In prison, Sauytbay was put to work teaching Chinese language, culture, and politics, in the course of which she gained access to secret information that revealed Beijing’s long-term plans to undermine not only its minorities, but democracies around the world. Upon her escape to Europe she was reunited with her family, but still lives under constant threat of reprisal. This rare testimony from the biggest surveillance state in the world reveals not only the full, frightening scope of China’s tyrannical ambitions, but also the resilience and courage of its author.


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A shocking depiction of one of the world’s most ruthless regimes — and the story of one woman’s fight to survive. I will never forget the camp. I cannot forget the eyes of the prisoners, expecting me to do something for them. They are innocent. I have to tell their story, to tell about the darkness they are in. It is so easy to suffocate us with the demons of powerlessness, A shocking depiction of one of the world’s most ruthless regimes — and the story of one woman’s fight to survive. I will never forget the camp. I cannot forget the eyes of the prisoners, expecting me to do something for them. They are innocent. I have to tell their story, to tell about the darkness they are in. It is so easy to suffocate us with the demons of powerlessness, shame, and guilt. But we aren’t the ones who should feel ashamed. Born in China’s north-western province, Sayragul Sauytbay trained as a doctor before being appointed a senior civil servant. But her life was upended when the Chinese authorities incarcerated her. Her crime: being Kazakh, one of China’s ethnic minorities. The north-western province borders the largest number of foreign nations and is the point in China that is the closest to Europe. In recent years it has become home to over 1,200 penal camps — modern-day gulags that are estimated to house three million members of the Kazakh and Uyghur minorities. Imprisoned solely due to their ethnicity, inmates are subjected to relentless punishment and torture, including being beaten, raped, and used as subjects for medical experiments. The camps represent the greatest systematic incarceration of an entire people since the Third Reich. In prison, Sauytbay was put to work teaching Chinese language, culture, and politics, in the course of which she gained access to secret information that revealed Beijing’s long-term plans to undermine not only its minorities, but democracies around the world. Upon her escape to Europe she was reunited with her family, but still lives under constant threat of reprisal. This rare testimony from the biggest surveillance state in the world reveals not only the full, frightening scope of China’s tyrannical ambitions, but also the resilience and courage of its author.

54 review for The Chief Witness: escape from China’s modern-day concentration camps

  1. 5 out of 5

    Petra X is enjoying a road trip across the NE USA

    I didn't want to review this book by putting my own interpretation on it. I had prepared a iist of quotes and was just going to post them with a line or two of introduction for each one. I wrote all of this on my phone. Tonight whilst going on an exercise walk at sunset around the marina with my son, my phone came off it's leash and flew into the deep blue sea. It took with it my driver's licence, vaccination card and my credit cards. Oh dear. So now I'm going to have to write a review, not quot I didn't want to review this book by putting my own interpretation on it. I had prepared a iist of quotes and was just going to post them with a line or two of introduction for each one. I wrote all of this on my phone. Tonight whilst going on an exercise walk at sunset around the marina with my son, my phone came off it's leash and flew into the deep blue sea. It took with it my driver's licence, vaccination card and my credit cards. Oh dear. So now I'm going to have to write a review, not quotes. Still, must look on the bright side, I might have to cancel and get new credit cards but at least I know no one is using them. Review of this important book to come. And the strange omission, a mystery, it contains.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Stefania Dzhanamova

    According to the government in Beijing, Sayragul Sauytbay was guilty since birth and was supposed to spend her whole life in China, repenting and setting her transgression right. What horrific crime had Sayragul Sauytbay committed againts the CCP (Communist Party of China) and the Chinese people? Had she stolen, killed, or plotted a terrorist attack? No. Sayragul Sauytbay's only crime was being born a Kazakh on Chinese soil. Sayragul was born in East Turkestan, an area that has been home to a pre According to the government in Beijing, Sayragul Sauytbay was guilty since birth and was supposed to spend her whole life in China, repenting and setting her transgression right. What horrific crime had Sayragul Sauytbay committed againts the CCP (Communist Party of China) and the Chinese people? Had she stolen, killed, or plotted a terrorist attack? No. Sayragul Sauytbay's only crime was being born a Kazakh on Chinese soil. Sayragul was born in East Turkestan, an area that has been home to a predominantly Uighur population, but also to Mongolians, Kyrgyzstanis, Tartars, and the second-largest group, the Kazakhs. In 1949, China violently annexed the whole region, which was strategically advantageous, and Mao renamed it the Autonomous Region of Xinjiang (New Frontier). In her shocking book, Sayragul shows us very clearly exactly how much autonomy the indigenous people of the region had. Despite all that happened to her later in life, Sayragul is convinced she has been born lucky. At least, she knew how to dodge death. As she muses about her childhood in the village, about her parents and many siblings, she vividly remembers her multiple encounters with death. She was not even one-year old when the basket she was in fell off a camel's back and tumbled down into a gourge. To all the villagers' disbelief, she was unscathed, sleeping peacefully. When she was two, she fell asleep in a cave teeming with poisonous snakes; not one of them bit her. She cheated death again when she was five, and so it seems that death was willing to let her cheat for many years to come. This luck, together with Sayragul's remarkable resilience, was what drove her through the hell her life had become. Her book is written like a diary. She gives the reader more than a glimpse into her personal life. At first, I was impatient, constantly asking myself, "But when will she finally get to the camps?" Then, however, I became fascinated by her whole story. It was the little details from one woman's daily life that gave me the graphic picture of a whole ethnic group being deliberately and mercilessly exterminated. It is her thoughts, her beautiful descriptions that made my heart ache for her. Sayragul was a smart, ambitious girl. She did not care about boys and marriage; she went on to study medicine, and at university she first encountered discrimination and prejudice. By the time, Deng Xiaoping's slightly more relaxed regime was over, and the CCP was slowly driving China back towards Maoism. "70% of what Mao did for the country was good," the new propaganda boomed. "The rest are insignificant mistakes." Sayragul remembers how each paper she submitted, no matter its subject, had to extol the accomplishments of the CCP or there was no chance of receiving a high mark, how the Chinese students spied on the Kazakh and Uighur ones. (Soviet Union, is that you?) Then, as she found a well-paid job at a hospital, she came to realize that while all patients are equal, indigenous patients are less equal. But the real shock came when she was called back to her village to tend to her ill mother. The government in Beijing had already started building an invisible wall around East Turkestan. What more, it had launched a project to Sinicise China’s most resource-rich province. It paid Han Chinese people to move to the region and allowed them to have two children. The Chinese came; they took over all the lucrative jobs, and the indigenous population grew even more impoverished. The number of Chinese policemen and guards increased; they stole the animals of the villagers, who managed to survive only through farming, at a whim. The springs around the village were now polluted with chemicals. The behavior of the people changed too. The Kazakhs of the region, Sayragul remembers, had been social and musical. Now they were closed, their minds as beleaguered as the overexploited countryside around them. Out of poverty and desperation, the young men went to work in the new mines and rapidly deteriorated into invalids. But the worst was yet to come. Since Sayragul could not find a job as a doctor in the village, she became a teacher of Chinese for Kazakh students. Thus, in July 2002, she went on a four- week training course in the regional capital of Ghulja, where teachers from the eleven administrative divisions had been brought together, and met her handsome future husband, Uali, who at the time was pursued by two other beautiful women but who fell in love with Sayragul at first sight; they married after two years of his courting her. Meanwhile, one political campaign followed hard on the heels of another. The CCP introduced a new subject, “Xinjiang”: a history lesson that was "like a stuck record," writes Sayragul. Xinjiang is an inseparable part of China. And not just since Mao — apparently, the Kazakhs and Uighurs of the province have been Chinese for centuries. Thanks to the influence of the Chinese, the kids at school read, the primitive Uighurs and Kazakhs in that remote region with its backwards culture had learned to live like normal, civilised human beings. In addition to brainwashing, the Party literally shut the mouths of indigenous people: Sayragul was horrified to find out that Chinese kindergarten teachers put sticky tape over the mouths of her son and the other children who spoke Kazakh. After Islamic terrorists attacked the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon on September 11 2001, Beijing announced a "global war on terrorism." This was a flimsy reason to clamp down on East Turkestan more brutally than ever. Islam merely served as a suitable pretext to eradicate Uighur and Kazakh culture. Suddenly, reading the Koran, being Muslim, or simply not having a Chinese name was enough to be suspected of terrorism. Beijing was deliberate sowing hatred and fear of Kazakhs and Uighurs among the Han Chinese. Tyranic governments can survive only with the help of extensive propaganda, after all, and it needed some support for the mass genocide it was going to conduct. In 2009, after an Uighur girl was raped by Chinese men, a riot broke out. Thousands of Uighurs held a large-scale demonstration to protest against discrimination and unremittingly harsh treatment by the government. It was a relatively peaceful demonstration until Chinese operatives, dressed in plain clothes and carrying sticks and knives, attacked their own Chinese compatriots, trying to stir up more conflict and give the other soldiers an excuse to crack down. The soldiers rolled their tanks into the crowd, crushing innocent by-passers, and by the time they were finished, the streets were running with blood and littered with body parts. The next evening the CCP sent plain-clothes officers door to door at night, prohibiting Han Chinese families from stepping outside for the next two days, or from opening the windows or drawing the curtains. Other ethnic groups were not informed. They went about their business like always, suspecting nothing. What followed next was a widespread “purge” in which many innocent Uighurs and Kazakhs were killed. The brutal incident was reported on TV, but was depicted simply as a riot by Uighur terrorists. The words “Uighur” and "terrorist” were now constantly linked so that people would think they were the same thing. The daughter of a friend, Sayragul writes, worked at a crematorium. On the evening of the uprising, she had seen soldiers bring countless human bodies to the crematorium on military trucks and dump them out like rubbish. Among the dead bodies, there were many injured people, crying for help. The police tipped them into the furnace together with the corpses. Yes, we are not talking about the Middle Ages. We are talking about the 21st century. The invisible wall Beijing had impreceptibly built around East Turkestan now stood in plain view, high and insurmountable. Uali and the children had barely managed to escape to Kazahstan (Sayragul was forbidden to leave because, as a headteacher in a kindergarten, she was considered a governmental worker) when the Party closed the borders and cut off East Turkestan from the rest of the world. Indigenous people could not travel; they could not make calls abroad or chat with anyone outside China on WeChat (the Chinese WhatsApp); their passports were confiscated. But the worst was yet to come. During a big teacher conference that Sayragul attended, senior Party officials informed them that the CCP was setting up "re-education centers" for indigenous people. They assured the teachers that there was nothing to be afraid of, but Sayragul had long realized that when the Party said that everything would be fine, it actually meant there were a hundred reasons to be alarmed. It would not a life anymore. It was survival in a constant state of fear. If this was just a harmless integration program, why were people disappearing at night? And how would an eighty-something woman with a college degree benefit from it? Sayragul would soon learn the answers to this troubling questions. After a series of nightly interrogations about her husband, who is labeled a traitor, during which she was beaten and yelled at, she would end up in a camp herself — surprisingly, not as a prisoner but as a teacher and translator. While I read her description of the camp, I could not believe that such horrors can be possible in modern society. To Sayragul, the prisoners looked like the living dead. They were beaten and crammed into urine- and excrement-filled cells until there was barely any room to move a limb. They were forced to confess to crimes they have never comitted and then were beaten once more for punishment. In the "classroom," Sayragul taught them Chinese customs in a snappish voice — just as she had been instructed. (She had signed her own death sentence, according to which every mistake of hers would be punished with death.) Imagine teaching those sick, ematiated, starved, beaten, raped people Chinese marriage customs! Guards with machine guns were watching the prisoners' every move. Those who did not sit straight, who missed even a word of the praises, such as "Without the CCP there would not be New China," they were supposed to parrot, who dared to stare, who dared to breathe in a un-Chinese way, was dragged to the black room. Yes, the camp had its own torture room, equipped with electric chairs, "[t]asers and police cudgels in various shapes and sizes: thick, thin, long, and short, [i]ron rods used to fix the hands and feet in agonising positions behind a person’s back, designed to inflict the maximum possible pain," implements used to pull out fingernails and toenails, a long stick with a sharpened end used for jabbing into a person’s flesh etc. We are not talking about the age of the Inquisition. We are talking about modern China, about year 2018. The prisoners, as well as Sayragul, were also experimented on. Pills were literally forced down their throats. Sayragul was supposed to take them too, but a nurse – the only member of the camp staff to show any humanity whatsoever – warned her they were poisonous, designed to make the men sick and the women infertile. The Party's final goal was not to turn those people into obedient tools of the state, which was obviously impossible; it was to exterminate them. When in charge of examining the meticulously kept prisoner medical records the camp staff kept, Sayragul noticed that every strong, healthy person had a red "X" on his record. She also noticed that exactly those people disappeared mysteriously at night. Soon she found out why: they were used either as slave labor in the interior of the vast country or were killed for organs. That's when she realized why so many healthy human organs were available for medical students at university. The Chinese government sold most of them to the countries of the Middle East, where people preferred to receive the organ of another Muslim. Sayragul never lost hope she would made it out of the camp alive. The moment she saw the unspeakable horrors for the first time, she comitted herself to remembering everything to the smallest detail so that she would tell the world later. For instance, she remembered the paper she was shown by smug Chinese official, a classified Beijing document explaining the government's Three- Step plan: Step One: 2014–2015: Assimilate those who are willing in Xinjiang, and eliminate those who are not. Step Two: 2025–2035: After assimilation within China is complete, neighbouring countries will be annexed. Step Three: 2035–2055: After the realisation of the Chinese dream comes the occupation of Europe. This sounds like an excerpt from a sick horror novel. But this idea is actually nurtured by the madmen from the CCP. "This is not a nightmare. This is reality," is the message Sayragul, this extraordinary brave woman, wants to convey. It's not the Chinese people who want to exterminate an ethnic group and conquer the world; it's the perverted government in Beijing that is responsible for shattering lives. They can and have to be stopped, but had any of the big Western firms such as Microsoft, Bosch, Adidas, and Lacoste, which benefit from slave Kazakh and Uighur labor, lifted a finger? Siemens keeps supplying crucial infrastructure, among other things, to the camps where innocent people are held against their will, monitored 24/7, and tortured. That's not how you stop such a great evil from enveloping the world. That's not how you battle the mad government of the scariest modern surveillance state. That should not be the only result of Sayragul's suffering. Her courage to withstand torture and death threats both in China and in Kazahkstan, one of the corruption-ridden states that are so indebted to the vast empire next door that was ready to deliver Sayragul back to the Chinese secret police (which would have happened had not Serikzhan Bilash, the founder of Atajurt, an organisation dedicated to saving Kazakh and Uighur people imprisoned in China's modern-day concentration camps, raised hue and cry for the whole world to hear), has to change something. This book is a gallery of nightmares. I finished it yesterday and had trouble sleeping the whole night. There was blood, blood, blood everywhere around me, just like the blood Sayragul saw all over the tortured victims of the Party's "re-education." But the chilling, unfathomable fact is that my nightmare is someone else's reality. According to the estimations made by the United Nations and humanitarian organizations, in 2019 three million indigenous people were prisoners in those camps of hell. Confronted with satellite images, Beijing akcnowledged the existence of this so-called "re-educational centers." However, acknowledgement does not mean change. Who knows how many innocents are being tortured in those camps today? Are they four million already? Maybe five? It's not the Kazakh girl raped by three policemen in front of all the rest of her imprisoned, tortured compatriots that has to be re-educated. It's the leaders of the CCP. Sayragul Sauytbay's book is a must-read. For everyone. It doesn't matter that this will be the most hair-raising read of your whole life. It doesn't matter that you have a weak stomach. Beijing is trying to silence all witnesses. We have to read Sayragul's testimony because the only way to help is to raise worldwide awareness.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Samsö

    Ein unglaubliches Buch, und eine unglaubliche Geschichte die einem so surreal vorkommt, aufgrund dessen dass sie erstaunlicherweise viele Parallelen zum Klassiker von Goerge Orwell „1984“ beinhaltet; bloß das diese Geschehnisse der Wirklichkeit entsprechen. Es ist erschreckend, erschütternd und lesenswert. Ein Buch das man besten Herzens weiterempfehlen kann und sollte.

  4. 5 out of 5

    TARA

    Une survivante, voilà comment nous pouvons nommer Sayaragul Sautbay, qui, née dans la province chinoise du Xinjiang, médecin de formation, nous a livré un bien émouvant témoignage avec son livre : "Condamnée à l'exil - Témoignage d'une rescapée de l'enfer des camps chinois." (Editions Hugo Doc - parution le 6 mai 2021), ceci avec la collaboration de Alexandra Cavelius. Sayaragul Sautbay, écrit en page 11 : " Les cadres du Parti m'ont intimé de me taire sur ce que j'ai vécu dans cet enfer, moi, la Une survivante, voilà comment nous pouvons nommer Sayaragul Sautbay, qui, née dans la province chinoise du Xinjiang, médecin de formation, nous a livré un bien émouvant témoignage avec son livre : "Condamnée à l'exil - Témoignage d'une rescapée de l'enfer des camps chinois." (Editions Hugo Doc - parution le 6 mai 2021), ceci avec la collaboration de Alexandra Cavelius. Sayaragul Sautbay, écrit en page 11 : " Les cadres du Parti m'ont intimé de me taire sur ce que j'ai vécu dans cet enfer, moi, la fontionnaire nommée directrice d'écoles par l'Etat. "Sinon ce sera fini pour toi", m'ont-ils prévenue. Il m'a fallu signer ma propre condamnation à mort." ou un peu plus loin : "Dites que le Parti est bon et votre vie joyeuse ! Ces mascarades, orchestrées par le PCC , nous les connaissons depuis l'enfance. Je m'étrangle rien que d'y penser." Mais : "En tant que témoin-clé, je me dois de partager ce que je sais de ce système sans pitié. Je ne le fais pas que pour moi : je parle au nom de tous les détenus , de ceux qui tremblent, ceux dont la vie est menacée. (...) L'empire du Milieu déroule patiemment sa stratégie, décennie après décennie et compte bien tirer profit de ce qu'offre la "société ouverte" pour mettre à mal, petit à petit, la démocratie." On apprend qu'on la surnommait "Sari May" ("beurre", "car ma peau en a la couleur"). Mais là, n'est pas le plus important car dans cet ouvrage, c'est une longue suite d'événements tous plus douloureux les uns que les autres - la description des horreurs qu'elle voit - son éloignement forcé de sa petite famille (d'abord de ses parents pour aller travailler - puis de son mari et ses enfants devant partir, afin qu'eux, au moins, trouvent une existence moins dure - quant à elle, elle ira les rejoindre si elle réussit à ce qu'on lui restitue ses papiers). C'est là qu'arrive le tragique : elle se retrouve en prison. Sa force de caractère l'aide énormément ainsi que sa volonté farouche. Elle ne baisse pas les bras et relève la tête, prête à tout endurer. Elle le fera jusqu'au bout malgré tous les traitements avilissants qu'elle subit. Toujours le même espoir : retrouver les siens et mettre en garde le monde contre les horreurs ayant lieu dans son pays. Cet ouvrage comporte quelques illustrations, des photos surtout de moments heureux. Il est touchant, entre autres, de la voir avec son mari et ses enfants. En fin d'ouvrage, Alexandra Cavelius écrit : "De retour chez moi, j'envoie à Sayragul par WhatsApp une photo de biceps bandés. Ce symbole nous donne de la force et du courage quand de nouveaux obstacles entravent notre chemin. J'accompagne mon envoi d'un message : "Tant que nous serons libres, nous poursuivrons notre travail d'information. Personne ne nous arrêtera. Personne. Sayragul me répond dans la seconde." Ma conclusion ? Je l'ai relevée en quatrième de couverture car je l'ai trouvée importante : "Grâce à ce témoignage exceptionnel, nous ne pourrons plus dire que nous ne savions pas."

  5. 4 out of 5

    Glenn

    Sayragul Sauytbay has been persecuted solely because of her ethnicity AND religion, both crimes against humanity. She has taken refuge in Germany, a country also known for concentration camps. Let's hope China's concentration camps, which are already horrific, do not become like the death camps of the "new Germany" of the 1930s and 1940s to the end of WWII. Ms. Sauytbay is courageous. She stands as a witness to a horror that many world leaders avoid discussing, because economic ties with China ove Sayragul Sauytbay has been persecuted solely because of her ethnicity AND religion, both crimes against humanity. She has taken refuge in Germany, a country also known for concentration camps. Let's hope China's concentration camps, which are already horrific, do not become like the death camps of the "new Germany" of the 1930s and 1940s to the end of WWII. Ms. Sauytbay is courageous. She stands as a witness to a horror that many world leaders avoid discussing, because economic ties with China override their humanitarian concerns. Much like the United States overlooked the horrors of "new Germany" in the 1930s, so that its businesses could prosper by trade with Nazi Germany. Is it too much to ask that we live in peace and harmony?

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lori L (She Treads Softly)

    Sayragul Sauytbay shares her life story, her oppression, and her escape from China in The Chief Witness, a very highly recommended biography. She was trained as a doctor but later retrained as a teacher and was appointed a senior civil servant. She was arrested and sent to a prison based only on her ethnicity. She managed to escape from China into Kazakhstan where she was reunited with her family who had fled there years before. Shockingly, she was then arrested by the secret police in Kazakhsta Sayragul Sauytbay shares her life story, her oppression, and her escape from China in The Chief Witness, a very highly recommended biography. She was trained as a doctor but later retrained as a teacher and was appointed a senior civil servant. She was arrested and sent to a prison based only on her ethnicity. She managed to escape from China into Kazakhstan where she was reunited with her family who had fled there years before. Shockingly, she was then arrested by the secret police in Kazakhstan (with the CCP involved) and put on trial for entering the country illegally. It was during her trial that her courage to speak out over what was happening in China resulted in worldwide attention and support for her. Since Sauytbay shares her whole life story we get to know her childhood, her feelings, and the lifestyle of her family before the CCP and the camps threatened her life. She and her family now live in Sweden but still have the CCP calling and threatening her. Sauytbay was born a Kazakh in what was called East Turkestan until China annexed the whole region in 1949. Later Mao Zedong renamed it the Autonomous Region of Xinjiang. The area is home to a predominantly Muslim population, chiefly Uighur, but there are also Mongolians, Kyrgyzstanis, and Tartars. The north-western province has also become home to over 1,200 penal camps which are called "reeducation camps" where all these minorities are being incarcerated beaten, raped, tortured, and used as subjects for medical experiments simply based on their ethnic heritage and religion. They are treated as slave labor or bodies to harvest organs from by the CCP. This Chronicles the deliberate extermination of an entire ethnic group. But the CCP ambitions are far beyond this as they have plans to conquer the whole world using the same nefarious strategies. As long as companies and citizens in the free world fail to hold China accountable and continue to value financial interests above human rights, we will be selling our souls to the devil. Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Scribe Publications http://www.shetreadssoftly.com/2021/0...

  7. 5 out of 5

    Cathryn Wellner

    Few of us in the West will ever be detained in concentration camps simply because of our cultural heritage. Sayragul Sauytbay's crime was to be Kazakh in a region around which China was slowly tightening the noose. Her extraordinary memoir lays bare China's nefarious, long-range plan for world domination. They have put the plan into play in Xinjiang, where the dominant Muslims have been forced to deny their religion, eat pork, parrot the Communist party's rhetoric, and, in the case of hundreds o Few of us in the West will ever be detained in concentration camps simply because of our cultural heritage. Sayragul Sauytbay's crime was to be Kazakh in a region around which China was slowly tightening the noose. Her extraordinary memoir lays bare China's nefarious, long-range plan for world domination. They have put the plan into play in Xinjiang, where the dominant Muslims have been forced to deny their religion, eat pork, parrot the Communist party's rhetoric, and, in the case of hundreds of thousands, endure torture, rape, and imprisonment. The memoir is plea to the West to respond to the horrors and halt the slow march of oppression of ethnic minorities. Given the anti-democratic backlash of the West's own far-right groups, the warnings within Sauytbay's book ring louder than ever. Her nightmare shows no sign of ending. Our task is to pay attention and to speak out.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Loretta Mitro

    Leaders of every country should read this book, especially democratic countries, and countries that have accepted help from the Chinese. The Chinese never do anything without a log-term plan in mind. If people like Sayragul Sauybay is brave enough to stand up to the Chinese and tell the world the truth about the situation in East Turkistan, then "The G-7" and their friends should not hesitate to stand up to them, and take action against the Chinese human-rights violations. Leaders of every country should read this book, especially democratic countries, and countries that have accepted help from the Chinese. The Chinese never do anything without a log-term plan in mind. If people like Sayragul Sauybay is brave enough to stand up to the Chinese and tell the world the truth about the situation in East Turkistan, then "The G-7" and their friends should not hesitate to stand up to them, and take action against the Chinese human-rights violations.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Barker

    Excellent read regarding the truth in China Eye opening about China and what they are doing to silence opposition and destroy other cultures. I really think everyone should read this to see the truth about the atrocities taking place in China.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ruth

    Ein erschütternde Buch, dass einen fassungslos macht und eine ohnmächtig Wut auf eine Regierung macht, die jegliche Menschenrechte mit den Füßen tritt. In der Schule haben wir in den 80ern "1984" von George Orwell gelesen, die Utopie von einem Üverwachungsstaat der Andersdenkende einer " Gehirnwäsche" unterzieht. Nichts ahnend, dass solch ein Szenario 40 Jahre später Wirklichkeit wird und das im großen Stil. Auch haben wir uns den Schrecken des Holocaust gestellt, in der Hoffnung und dem Glauben, Ein erschütternde Buch, dass einen fassungslos macht und eine ohnmächtig Wut auf eine Regierung macht, die jegliche Menschenrechte mit den Füßen tritt. In der Schule haben wir in den 80ern "1984" von George Orwell gelesen, die Utopie von einem Üverwachungsstaat der Andersdenkende einer " Gehirnwäsche" unterzieht. Nichts ahnend, dass solch ein Szenario 40 Jahre später Wirklichkeit wird und das im großen Stil. Auch haben wir uns den Schrecken des Holocaust gestellt, in der Hoffnung und dem Glauben, dass so etwas nie wieder passiert. Auch da habe ich mich geirrt. Ganze ethnische Minderheiten werden gefoltert, geknechtet, "umerzogen" und getötet ohne jeglichen Skrupel. All dies offenbart sich in diesem Buch und die zunächst subtile Vorgehensweise der Chinesischen Regierung sich eine autonome Region zu Eigen zu machen, absolut zu kontrollieren und zu überwachen. Sayragul Sauytbay schildert ihr Leben von ihrer Geburt, als ihr Heimatland noch ursprünglich war, über ihr Studium, ihren Job als Lehrerin und die Schlinge, die sich immer enger um ihren Hals zieht, bis auch sie als Ausbilderin in ein Lager kommt. Die Gräueltaten die sie dort erlebt sind unfassbar. Aber auch nach ihrer Flucht nach Kasachstan ist sie nicht sicher. Die Frau hat soviel Schreckliches erlebt in dem ganzen Unglück aber noch Glück gehabt zu überleben und ihre Familie wiederzusehen. Ich wünsche ihr, dass sie ihr Leben in Schweden in Freiheit und ohne Angst leben kann. Ich hoffe so sehr, dass den armen Menschen in Xinjiang geholfen wird und sich nicht immer mehr Staaten in die Abhängigkeit Chinas begeben. Ein Buch das man gelesen haben sollte!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Anett Kovacs

    Die Kronzeugin ist die unfassbare Geschichte der ehemaligen chinesischen Staatsbeamtin Sayragul Sauytbay - ihr Leben im Überwachungsstaat, ihre Arbeit im Umerziehungslager als Lehrerin der chinesischen Sprache und Staatspropaganda, ihre Inhaftierung und schließlich Flucht. Sie berichtet vom Leben der Kasachen und Uighuren in der Region Xinjiang und der zunehmenden Unterdrückung dieser Volksgruppen in China. Sie beschreibt die unmenschlichen Bedingungen in den Umerziehungslagern, die systematisch Die Kronzeugin ist die unfassbare Geschichte der ehemaligen chinesischen Staatsbeamtin Sayragul Sauytbay - ihr Leben im Überwachungsstaat, ihre Arbeit im Umerziehungslager als Lehrerin der chinesischen Sprache und Staatspropaganda, ihre Inhaftierung und schließlich Flucht. Sie berichtet vom Leben der Kasachen und Uighuren in der Region Xinjiang und der zunehmenden Unterdrückung dieser Volksgruppen in China. Sie beschreibt die unmenschlichen Bedingungen in den Umerziehungslagern, die systematische Ausrottung verschiedener Kulturen und die Pläne der Politik, mehr und mehr Staaten abhängig von China zu machen. Ein wirklich lesenswertes und erschütterndes Buch, was man nur weiterempfehlen kann.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Keyatta

    Wow-this is really happening in our current times, not decades ago. So many moments I was in dismay and it was a tough (emotional) book to get through. What she’s said in the book combined with what we already know about the planned expansion of the CCP is absolutely terrifying. The countries overtaken and indebted by the BRI and the loss of freedom makes one fear for the times ahead. Funny enough, a new Economist issue arrived today, the headline on the front: “Power & Paranoia: The CCP at 100” Wow-this is really happening in our current times, not decades ago. So many moments I was in dismay and it was a tough (emotional) book to get through. What she’s said in the book combined with what we already know about the planned expansion of the CCP is absolutely terrifying. The countries overtaken and indebted by the BRI and the loss of freedom makes one fear for the times ahead. Funny enough, a new Economist issue arrived today, the headline on the front: “Power & Paranoia: The CCP at 100”. An article about population control of Xinjiang mirrored what the book said.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Elise Broughton

    Heartwrenching, scary and perhaps even prophetic. I chose this rating so that maybe more people will become aware of China's, its transgressions, it's ungodliness, its thirst for more money, power and evil. Heartwrenching, scary and perhaps even prophetic. I chose this rating so that maybe more people will become aware of China's, its transgressions, it's ungodliness, its thirst for more money, power and evil.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Hoa Ngữ Tầm Nhìn Việt

    sách quá tuyệt vời ạ, học tiếng Trung Hoa ngữ tầm Nhìn Việt

  15. 4 out of 5

    Karin Tholander

    An interesting shocking story by a very courageous woman.

  16. 4 out of 5

    CK Yau

    deeply bone chilling!! if you're too busy to read, just read this one though... deeply bone chilling!! if you're too busy to read, just read this one though...

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bruce Ciummo

    A great book written by a hero

  18. 4 out of 5

    Veronika

    This women’s testimony on what happens in China today is so important. She has survived this system against all the odds. While reading it I found myself over and over again comparing these camps to the concentration camps during WWII. I am still shocked that this can happen in our times. Thus: One of the most relevant books to read and I recommend to read it if you care about your future and the future of your children. I had to cry in between and won’t say that it is not hard to read but so im This women’s testimony on what happens in China today is so important. She has survived this system against all the odds. While reading it I found myself over and over again comparing these camps to the concentration camps during WWII. I am still shocked that this can happen in our times. Thus: One of the most relevant books to read and I recommend to read it if you care about your future and the future of your children. I had to cry in between and won’t say that it is not hard to read but so important!!! Definitely made me rethink my consumer choices and it also makes me want to work even harder for keeping democracy in Europe.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Christoph Monschein

    mindblowing, shocking, saddening! this true story unveils what happens right now in our times in one region of China... to thousands if not millions of people. it reads like the nazi death camps in Europe...but today. I'm shocked. mindblowing, shocking, saddening! this true story unveils what happens right now in our times in one region of China... to thousands if not millions of people. it reads like the nazi death camps in Europe...but today. I'm shocked.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Scribe Publications

    The Chief Witness is a deeply disturbing insight into the dark heart of the Chinese Communist Party and its reign of terror in Xinjiang. It will rank historically along with the great literary exposes of the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps and the Soviet gulag. Clive Hamilton

  21. 4 out of 5

    Anja Katharina Franziska Ziegler

    Breathtaking, shocking... and so important!!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Baldur Genge

    A must read in today's world A must read in today's world

  23. 5 out of 5

    an

  24. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

  25. 5 out of 5

    Arun Madan

  26. 5 out of 5

    Corvo Kaan

  27. 5 out of 5

    Emma

  28. 4 out of 5

    Michel Bertschy

  29. 4 out of 5

    Csilla

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rahel Gerber

  31. 4 out of 5

    Noah

  32. 4 out of 5

    Irina

  33. 4 out of 5

    Katharina Schilk

  34. 4 out of 5

    Caroline Ha

  35. 5 out of 5

    Johannes

  36. 5 out of 5

    Friederike

  37. 5 out of 5

    Lene

  38. 5 out of 5

    Yeliz

  39. 5 out of 5

    Danes

  40. 4 out of 5

    Timo

  41. 4 out of 5

    Katharina

  42. 5 out of 5

    Marc

  43. 4 out of 5

    Terrienne

  44. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Wortmann

  45. 5 out of 5

    Crocodile

  46. 5 out of 5

    Deniz

  47. 5 out of 5

    Isi

  48. 5 out of 5

    Kathi

  49. 5 out of 5

    Smiling_jane

  50. 4 out of 5

    Livia

  51. 4 out of 5

    Martina

  52. 5 out of 5

    Carine

  53. 4 out of 5

    Christoph Jeschke

  54. 4 out of 5

    Tamara

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