Queensborough Community College students involved in the Asian Internship Program had the opportunity to interview Korean Comfort Women — females who were kidnapped and forced into a prostitution corps created by the Japanese Empire during World War II — via video.
Many of the students were moved by the womens’ stories and on July 11, those same students will have the opportunity to meet some of the women for the first time, face to face.
“Our students — several of whom had never heard of the Korean Comfort Women — were visibly shaken by what they learned during these interviews,” said Dr. Arthur Flug, the executive director of the Kupferberg Holocaust Center and Archives. “The reactions are the same for our Holocaust survivor student interns who study the history of the Holocaust, interview survivors and then share their stories with others, ensuring that when the last survivor is gone their stories shall not be forgotten.”
Estimates vary as to how many women were a part of the prostitution ring, with numbers ranging from 20,000 to 410,000.
A partnership between the KHRCA and Korean American Civic Empowerment was established in 2011 to ensure that both Queensborough’s students and broader communities will never forget what happened in Korea during WWII. The initiative serves as a potent educational method for preserving the memories of survivors and teaching about the impact of unbridled prejudice.
The event, open to the public, will begin at 7 p.m. at the Kuperferberg Holocaust Resource Center and Archive near the entrance of QCC located at 222-05 56 Ave. in Bayside.