Recently there has been a great deal of controversy about the Korean comfort-women statue located at Glendale Central Park and its message about man’s inhumanity to man. Some people say Glendale should not get involved in international politics; some say otherwise.
I find it appalling that the people who have filed a lawsuit against the city have said that “many comfort women acted willingly as prostitutes and the military was not directly involved in any coercion.” These are the same tactics that the Turkish lobbyists use to deny the Armenian Genocide by claiming the Armenians were siding with the Russians during World War I.
Can one just imagine if one’s wife, sister or girlfriend offered their body to a military officer? The real question is why, if at all, these Korean women offered their virginity? Did they offer it for survival?
Recently, I read in the Los Angeles Times of Alice Herz-Sommer, the oldest living Holocaust survivor, who died at age 111. Sommer lost her husband and family members to the Nazis of Germany. In her biography she said “practice the Chopin etudes,” a voice told her as her mother was carted away. “They will save you.” Because of her special talent at the piano, she entertained her Nazi guards in order to survive the gas chambers.
Like Sommer, the comfort women did what they did in order to survive.
The Korean comfort-women statue is a small way to remember man’s inhumanity to man.