14 THE QUEENS COURIER • AUGUST 6, 2015 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT www.queenscourier.com ‘Comfort woman’ survivor speaks on sexual slavery at Queensborough College BY ALINA SURIEL firstname.lastname@example.org @alinangelica A Korean woman who survived sexual slavery as a “comfort woman” during World War II spoke about her experiences on July 30 at the Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center of Queensborough Community College in Bayside. “Comfort women” is the name given to women and girls forced into sexual slavery on military bases by Japanese armed forces before and during the war. Most of the women were kidnapped from occupied territories such as Korea, China and the Philippines, but many were from southeast Asia as well. While there is no defi nitive tally of how many women were enslaved, estimates range from 20,000 to upwards of 100,000. Yong Soo Lee was kidnapped from her family farm at age 15 in the early 1940s. She spoke about her innocence at the time of the ordeal, having only experienced a sheltered rural life. “I was taken away when I was young,” Lee said. “I had no idea what was going on in the outside world. I didn’t even know what the world was.” She was fi rst held on a naval ship with several other women, and then taken to a military outpost in Taiwan to be abused by kamikaze pilots before their suicidal assignments. She endured horrifi c experiences which included being repeatedly beaten, tortured with electrical shocks, and held in a collapsing building during a bomb attack, during which she suffered a miscarriage. She was captive at the base until the end of the war. Lee stayed silent about her experiences until hearing about other comfort women coming forward in 1991. She currently lives in Korea, and serves as an activist working to end sexual violence against women around the world. “At fi rst I started out as a victim,” Lee said. “I was really sad and I cried a lot in the beginning, but I don’t cry anymore and I do not keep resentment in my heart anymore. The Holocaust Center has been working with local Korean-American partner organizations to record Lee’s story as part of an ongoing series of events on the topic. It’s currently trying to fundraise for several more initiatives including a permanent monument to comfort women at the Holocaust Center and a traveling exhibit to be shown at other venues. Dr. Dan Leshem, director of the Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Yong Soo Lee was held as a sexual slave by the Japanese military in WWII, and is now an activist fi ghting violence against women. Center and Archives, commended Lee for her bravery in telling such a personal story about the pain infl icted on her. Lee has said that she will try to live until the age of 200 if that is how long it will take to end sexual violence THE COURIER/Photo by Alina Suriel against women. “She’s just a remarkable woman and I have been so moved by getting to know her even in such a short time, by her passion and her dedication,” Leshem said. NORTH SHORE ANIMAL LEAGUE AMERICA ADOPT A PET AnimalLeague.org • 516.883.7575 • Port Washington, NY Photo by Ellen Dunn North Shore Animal League America Has Over 300 Unique Mixed breed & Purebred, Puppies, Kittens, Dogs and Cats! Open Daily for Adoptions SUN - THURS 10AM - 9PM FRI - SAT 10AM - 10PM FOLLOW US ON 25 Davis Ave Adoptions The Boys & Girls Club of Metro Queens Will be accepting bids for their Child Adult Food Care Program. Sealed bids will be received at the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Queens office at 110-04 Atlantic Avenue, South Richmond Hill, NY 11419 August 3rd to August 21st 2015 until 12pm for meal catering service at The Boys & Girls Club of Metro Queens site. Specifications for _450 suppers may only be obtained by contacting Jesenia Dela Rosa at the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Queens, from 9AM-4PM at 718-441-6050 ext. 206 or jalcantara@metroqueens. All work will be conducted in strict accordance with bid specifications. Bids will be opened and read on August 21, 2015 at 2pm.
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