Antisemitism in Korea: Second Follow-Up
Antti's blog article, "Jo Jung-rae on holocaust and the Japanese occupation," notes some rather problematic remarks by the novelist Jo Jung-rae (or Cho Jung rae) in the introduction to Arirang, his 12-volume novel about Korea under Japanese domination:
How many Jews were killed by the Hitler government of Germany during the Second World War? According to the Jews the number was three or four million. So how many of us Koreans were massacred and killed by the Japanese during the 36 years of Japanese colonialism? Is it three million? Or four million? Or is it six million? Unfortunately that estimate has not been made public or official. My estimate is between three and four million.I'm not certain that this rises to the level of blatant antisemitism. I'd need to know more about Jo Jung-rae's views to make a judgement. I'd also want to know about the meaning of the Korean expression that has been translated above as "hypnotized" (and Antti does supply the entire passage in both Korean and English, so perhaps someone could look into this point). Jo Jung-rae, in part, seems to be urging Koreans to follow the example of the Jews in making their suffering and victimization known to the world. What I find problematic, however, lies in the tone, which seems to diminish the Holocaust by insisting that Koreans suffered worse under Japanese colonization. Is this sort of ranking really necessary in order for Koreans to express their treatment by the Japanese under Japan's annexation of Korea?
. . .
The Jews were killed on for three years, but Koreans were killed during a period of more than ten times of that, 36 years. Which people suffered more? Even though we suffered horrors ten times more than the Jews, how is it possible that we still don't know many of us Koreans died?
. . .
When naked Jewish girls were dying in gas chambers, the girls of our people were getting gang raped in Southeast Asian jungles as troop following corps in a similar manner. So how have we become such ignorant masses?
. . .
[W]e have been hypnotized by the Jews who have made numerous novels, movies and TV dramas to tell about their suffering for the whole world.
. . .
Jews have maximized their suffering and while securing their self-esteem, and have used it as a power to develop their future.
Being ignorant of Jo Jung-rae's fuller views, I'll leave my remarks about his statements at that.
However, I do want to draw attention to what Antti describes as "a Korean nazi blog, for which the word 'anti-semitic' is not sufficient." Most of the blog entries are in Korean, but the blog -- which is perhaps titled Nagaduju (or Neophyte?) -- includes some English-language passages from antisemitic writings, so one quickly gets a sense of the blogger's views.
Not that one would need to read much, for a simple glance takes it all in -- the prominently displayed German words "Jud Süss" (more precisely, "Jud Süß," or "The Jew Süss") above the dark-green-tinted, stereotyped image of a Jewish face.
I presume that this image at Nagaduju is modeled on the Nazi film version of Jud Süß, which Wikipedia tells us was "made in 1940 by Veit Harlan under the supervision of Joseph Goebbels," but Nagaduju's use of the stereotyped image appears even more sinister than the stereotyped Jewish face on the Nazi movie poster.
I suspect that this blog Nagaduju is expressing atypical views for a Korean, but given the antisemitic passages in the comic book Far Countries and Close Countries (Monnara Iunnara, 먼나라 이웃나라) by Lee Won-bok (or Rhie Won-bok), this issue deserves fuller investigation.
Labels: Korean Antisemitism