Holocaust Center at Queens Community college decides to build ‘comfort women’ exhibition room, cooperation with Korean American community in New York. Holocaust Center at QCC invited Korean comfort women and had an opportunity to talk with students before.
Article related to the prior event:
Students who took part in a Queensborough Community College internship program were able to put a face on history this week when the school’s Kupferberg Holocaust Center was paid a visit by one of the surviving Korean comfort women.
During the past school year, students from the Bayside-based college were able to interview the women, who were kidnapped and forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese during World War II, via Skype.
On Thursday evening, Ok Sun Lee, 87, traveled from Korea to the Holocaust center to tell her story. She is one of only 58 living comfort women.
“I was dragged by the Japanese military to a comfort station,” Lee said. “I hate the term ‘comfort woman.’ They abducted us. There was nothing comfortable about it.”
Lee was grabbed in the street by the Japanese in broad daylight during July 1942 and taken to a comfort station, which she said was populated by girls as young as 11 to 14 years.
“It was hell,” she said. “It was not a place for a human being to live in. If the girls did not do what they were told to do, they would beat, stab or shoot us.”
During one incident, a soldier slashed Lee’s arm when she refused his advances and, during another, she was stabbed in the foot after attempting to flee.
But Lee said she was most upset that the Japanese government has still not apologized for the atrocities committed against the comfort women during World War II.
“Japan is still lying and saying they didn’t force us into sexual slavery,” she told attendees through a translator at Queensborough’s event. “Many of the survivors are passing away. The government of Japan is waiting for us to all die. But this would still not be resolved.”
Students who interviewed the comfort women pledged to share the women’s stories with others.
“Every intern who has interviewed a Holocaust survivor or comfort woman made a promise they would never forget them and they’d tell their stories,” said Arthur Flug, executive director of the Kupferberg center.
Alexander Crombez, who interviewed Lee via Skype, said the internship was an unforgettable experience.
“When you are taking a class, it is valuable because it teaches you facts,” he said. “When I spoke to Ok Sun Lee, that was when history came to life. She was taken when she was 15, which is how old my sister is. I have to take what she told me and pass it on to the next generation.”
Wow do you really think that? I think you learned a wrong side of us-you are looking at it the wrong way. I don’t know why we should be fighting like this. Can’t you Japan just admit your faults and be good friends with us? It’ll be good if you guys do, but it doesn’t mean that we’ll let you guys just go on even if you still say those stuff. You think we don’t know any better than you? I think we know the culture more than you-and it’s none of your choice to say that out effort is disgusting or that our first daughter was sent. Lastly I want to ask, why don’t you admit that you guys did it? Why don’t you admit that Dokdo is Korea’s land? Because by now, most of the world knows the truth-and probably even you guys. We know that you are just not admitting it ’cause you know, you admitted it a LONG LONG time ago. We think that it is certainly not right for Japan to go on and doing these hilarious things.
Korean efforts of building comfort women memorials all over the United States are really disgusting and outrageous.
Koreans have had a long tradition of selling the first born daughter into prostitution in order to feed the rest of the family. I wonder if Americans feel sympathy for Koreans and building monuments with such knowledge. As they were sold by their own parents, there are no protests or eyewitness records by their own parents (or any other third party) alleging that their daughter was brought by the Japanese police/military.
Besides, during the Annexation Era, nearly 90% of policemen were Koreans and 80% of local parliament representatives were Koreans. Did those Koreans allow the Japanese police/military to take 200,000 young women to brothels? Are you saying Korean men were so chicken weaklings to see their women were taken by foreign people? At least Japanese men often resorted to fist-fights during the occupation by US Army.
Americans should ask themselves if this blame-shifting and smear campaign of baseless slander by Koreans is a right thing to do.
Considering Korea a country deeply influenced by Confucianism and weighing morality greatly, your statement “Koreans have had a long tradition of selling the first born daughter into prostitution in order to feed the rest of the family. ” look very absurd, if you do not cite any actual source. If you want people to believe your statements you must prove with official sources or documents. What you just wrote seem very biased and ignoring the human morality. Your statement must be supported otherwise please make changes.
Also, Koreans did fight back. However, all the Korean men at that time were frequently jailed, leaving the whole family not secured and supported. Alive comfort women witnessed that Japanese people approached young girls, offering jobs, such as worker in factories, so they can earn money for their family. They were never told the job is “Prostitute”. The young girls were tricked and kidnapped like that.
A lot of Japanese visited House of Sharing in Korea where alive comfort women live and heard their stories. If you have time you should visit there too, so you can see the past event from another perspective.