In late May, ten students in the Asian Internship Program gathered at the offices of Korean American Civic Empowerment (KACE) to interview Korean Comfort Women in South Korea via video. Through an interpreter, Comfort Women Ok Sun Lee, Hee Nam Yoo and Ok Sun Park described the atrocities they suffered by soldiers in the Japanese Imperial Army during WWII.
“Our students—several of whom had never heard of the Comfort Women—were visibly shaken by what they heard,” said Dr. Arthur Flug, Executive Director of the Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center and Archives (KHRCA).
At the ceremony, held on June 12 at the KHRCA, interns from diverse backgrounds and various areas of study told their stories to an audience that included Dongchan Kim, President of KACE. A partnership between the KHRCA and KACE was established in 2011 to ensure that both Queensborough’s students and broader communities will never forget what happened in Korea during WWII. Mr. Kim noted the synergy in approaching the history of WWII in both Europe and Eastern Asia, adding that the program “signifies great progress for human rights throughout the world.”
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Additional guests included Chejin Park of KACE, along with Rabbi David Pollack, representative from Congressmember Grace Meng’s office, who said, “It’s an honor to hear the passion and intelligence of student interns who have brought history to light of day. As a member of the Jewish nation, I empathize and I thank you.”