[KS] Re: Koreans in the GDR

Charles Rd K Armstrong cra10 at columbia.edu
Fri Jun 25 21:09:35 EDT 1999

Dear all,

The so-called "Soviet-Koreans" have been a topic of discussion for some
time, mostly in connection to their role in the Soviet occupation of North
Korea and the formation of the DPRK. The best work I know of on the topic
is by the Russian scholar Andrei Lankov, who i believe now teaches at
Australia national university. His book "Severnaya Korea: vchera i
segodnya" came out in 1995 and was translated into Korean couple of years
ago. But I'm not aware of anything on Koreans in the Soviet army in
general, including the western front. There should be a lot of material
available in the Russian archives for anyone who wanted to do research on
the subject. 

						Charles Armstrong

 On Fri, 25 Jun 1999, Yong-ho Choe wrote:

> For those who may be interested in a similar topic, I remember listening to National Public Radio (NPR) some months ago interviewing an American historian Stephen Ambrose, who said, if my memory is correct, that a number of ethnic Koreans had participated as a part of the Red Army in the war against the Nazi Germany.  Perhaps, there may be some who may want to pursue this issue.
> At 03:10 AM 6/24/1999 -1000, you wrote:
> >Dear Dr. Armstrong,
> >
> >there are at least two books I would like to recommend on the issue of the
> >GDR-DPRK relationship:
> >
> >- Chon, Tuk Chu: Die Beziehungen zwischen der DDR und der Koreanischen
> >Demokratischen Volksrepublik (1947-1978) (The relationship between the GDR
> >and the DPRK), Muenchen 1982 (in German)
> >
> >- Kim, Kie-Taek and Andis Kaulins (eds.): The Foreign Policies and the
> >Foreign Trade of the German Democratic Republic and the Korean Democratic
> >People's Republic, Kiel 1979
> >
> >I agree that the GDR surely was not the only East block country to host
> >North Koreans after the outbreak of the Korean War, even though I don't
> >have exact numbers. In my book I have focussed mainly on the aid - in
> >roubles - for and in North Korea, but maybe with a little deduction... For
> >example: In cable No. 300 (May 31, 1956) the GDR ambassador to North Korea
> >informed Foreign Minister Fischer of a meeting in Moscow to co-ordinate the
> >aid for Korea. According to this, the total amount for 1956 was settled as
> >1 billion roubles. The USSR had to pay 500 million, China from 250 to 300
> >million, and GDR, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Rumania and Bulgaria had to pay
> >the remaining 200-300 million roubles. The ambassador expected a request
> >from Kim Il Sòng for 100 millions to be paid by the GDR. 
> >
> >My impression from thousands of pages in the archives was that the question
> >of aid to North Korea was dealt with rather formalistically at the top
> >levels. If you look at the numbers above, the total sum has been divided
> >between the countries according to their importance and/or economical power
> >(btw, China later 'voluntarily' added 200 millions in order to be on equal
> >footing with the Soviet Union). This leads me to the assumption that the
> >number of North Korean orphans etc. must have beeen negotiated as well,
> >probably with the same result: All countries had to accept their share, the
> >numbers variying according to the above mentioned criteria. Please note,
> >that this is just a guess. And I should emphasize that we definitely must
> >make a difference between the rather cold and formalistic approach of many
> >bureaucrats (top level) and the warm and close relationship between the
> >orphans and their German hosts (micro level). I have met many people here
> >in Germany who told me about cruying heavy tears for weeks after their
> >'North Korean children' returned home, not to speak about those who left
> >Germany to build up a destroyed and completely unknown country thousands of
> >miles away from their homes, without caring too much about politcs.
> >
> >Have you contacted Prof. Karoly Fendler in Hungary? He as a former diplomat
> >has deep and excellent knowledge on the whole issue. Prof. Fendler is
> >member of the AKSE, his adress must be contained somewhere in the AKSE
> >newsletter (which I just can't find; could anybody help?).
> >
> >Best,
> >
> >Rudiger
> >
> >
> >***********************
> >Ruediger FRANK
> >Humboldt-University Berlin
> >Korea Institute
> >Fon: +49-30-55 99 878
> >Fax: +49-30-2093-6666
> >e-mail: ruediger.frank at rz.hu-berlin.de
> >Web: http://www2.rz.hu-berlin.de/korea
> >***********************
> >
> Yong-ho Choe, Professor
> Department of History
> University of Hawaii at Manoa
> Honolulu, HI  96822
> Tel: 808 956-6762
> Fax: 808 956-9600
> E-mail: choeyh at hawaii.edu


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