This video says about itself:
March 4, 2013
This documentary aims to highlight the issue of “Comfort Women” or girls forced into sex slavery by the Japanese Army during World War II as grave violation of human rights that affected AND continues to affect women all across Asia and Europe.
It was aired on March 1st, 2013 on Arirang TV, Korea’s only global network.
Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:
“Comfort women‘s stories are important ”
Added: Thursday 15 Aug 2013, 10:31
Update: Thursday 15 Aug 2013, 10:45
For more than fifty years, Erna could share her secret with just one person. She found that her beloved Daan was entitled to her story, so he could make a balanced choice whether he wanted to marry her. She even imposed a cooling off period of a year on him, in order to prevent a rush decision.
The two lovers met in Malaysia, in the aftermath of World War II. He was sent there as a soldier, she was fleeing the violence in the Dutch East Indies.
Although they only recently got to know each other, she confided to him that the Japanese had abused her as a “comfort woman“. For more than two months soldiers had raped her many times a day. The sexual violence had even led to a pregnancy, and a primitive abortion.
“It’s something that should be known by people,” says Marguerite Hamer, the second person whom Erna told about her secret, half a century later. “It is important that these stories are not lost.”
Hamer was counselor for Dutch comfort women for years and wrote the book ‘Geknakte bloem [bruised flower]’, which was published this week. She estimates that about 250 Dutch women were abused, and a total of 200,000 across Asia.
Hamer can be concise about why the comfort women of that time still are unable to talk about it. “Shame. That is why girls kept it to themselves as much as possible and did not tell anybody anything. They have just been silent for 50 years.”
Daan came to Erna within half a year in the Netherlands and they were married. She knew their happy love life was a miracle. Often marriages of comfort women ended in divorce, or they never found love. “There are also women who had experienced so much misery that they did not trust any man anymore. They were simply left alone.”
Erna hid her pain far away. Even her sons did not know more than that she had been in a Japanese prison camp. At the insistence of Hamer she shared her secret, just before her death, in a letter. “I told her that it is better if you do tell it to your children. Maybe, else, they might find out about it later from someone else. You had better tell it to them yourself.”
Thanks to the close relationship with Erna which Hamer built up, she could convince her to share her story with the world. She allowed it to be included in the book, but under strict conditions: it could be published only after her death, and even then only under a pseudonym. Erna is not her real name.
The stories collected by Hamer are included in the archives of the NIOD. There, they will only be viewed by the public in 2078. “It’s a piece of Dutch history. It is so bad that one should know what happened.”
The history of comfort women: A WWII tragedy we can’t forget: here.
Three U.S. lawmakers have called on Secretary of State John Kerry to press Japan to apologize to mostly Asian women forcibly recruited to provide sex to Japanese soldiers during World War II, according to the office of one of them: here.
- Taiwan Activists Demand Japan Apologize Over Sex Slaves (scmp.com)
- Statue Brings Friction Over WWII Comfort Women To California (npr.org)
- Glendale Memorial Honoring Korean ‘Comfort Women’ Stirs Controversy (losangeles.cbslocal.com)