Primo Levi, Camp Power, and Terror Capitalism: A Conversation with Darren BylerOctober 13, 2021
Those who were placed under a form of house arrest likewise talked about how they were forced to perform their submission to the Civil Affairs Ministry workers who monitored them. One former detainee who was assigned to work as a cook and cleaner in a Civil Affairs unit [社区] said the two Han women who monitored him expected him to come to every flag-raising ceremony and sing Red songs on command. He said he learned to always keep a smile on his face and say, ‘Okay! Okay!’ [行!行!] to everything they asked. He said it felt like he was their pet. Among the former detainees I interviewed, none of them felt able to ask about compensation for their work. In general, they were made to feel that they should just be grateful that they were no longer locked in camp cells. And, in some cases, they were told quite explicitly that they could be detained again at a moment’s notice.