While almost everyone knows or has heard about atrocities committed during World War II, especially those done by the Nazis against Jews, some of the war crimes committed, especially in Asia, have not been so widely known. This is what students from a community college in New York are learning as they look for and interview Asians who suffered under the Japanese during that war.
Nine freshmen students from Queensborough Community College of City University of New York are taking up a course on Northeast Asian history. In the 12 week program which ended on January 2, the students learned about the atrocities committed by Japanese Imperial Army, such as sex slavery, forced conscription, torture, and human experimentation by Unit 731 of the Japanese military. As part of the course requirement, they had to interview Asians who experienced such hardships and are now living in the U.S. For some of these students, this is the first time they’ve learned first hand about the victims of war in Asia.
The program was a joint project of the Korean American Voters’ Council and the Holocaust Center. According Kim Ji-min, a Korean history professor in New York’s Columbia University, the courses were patterned after those of the Holocaust center and that they hope to collect the materials from survivor interviews and distribute them to schools. Korean American Voters’ Council senior member Kim Dong-seok hopes that the Korean community and government will take interest in this endeavor to inform Americans about the suffering of Asian countries during the second World War.
[ via The Dong-A Ilbo ]