Kwangju 1980 und heute

2013: 33 Jahre nach dem Kwangju-Massaker

Kwangju, 18. Mai 1980

Die Ereignisse vom 17.-27. Mai 1980 in der Stadt Kwangju werden als "uprising", Aufstand bezeichnet. Die Bezeichnungen haben immer wieder gewechselt, je nach der politischen Haltung des Sprechendes. Die Menschen in Kwangju reden eindeutig von "uprising". Der Besucher auf dem alten Friedhof findet gleich am Eingang eine große Tafel mit Namen von 65 Personen, darunter ein Kind von 5 Jahren, die seit den Tagen des Massakers verschunden sind. Auch 33 Jahre nach dem Massaker durch die Elitetruppen des damaligen Generals und späteren Präsidenten CHUN gibt es keine vollständige Aufklärung. Im Frühjahr 2013 wurde ein wichtiges Dokument, ein Augenzeugenbericht, gefunden, das Licht auf die Situation wirft. Wir haben die Erlaubnis zum Abdruck erhalten. (Die Redaktion)

May 23, 1980, PM 18:00

Dear Mr. Foreign Correspondent,

I beg you to read my rough sentences on the present crisis in Kwang-ju City. I am afraid you foreign reporters did miss the key scenes of the tragedy in our city. Are you reporting on us so vividly as on the situation such as in EL Salvador, Uganda, etc?

I am a female citizen of Kwang-ju City. Graduating from the S.N.U several years ago, I have been lecturing English at an institute these years. With this career, I am determined to run the risk that the martial law authorities may identify and arrest me. But please regard my safety.

First of all, I' d like to stress that none of my family have ever been harmed by the late President Park' s regime and his successor' s. Thus, believe in the truth and objectivity of my words , please. I am convinced you cannot help but believe me if it were for the so-called telepathy, the interworking of human hearts, although 1 cannot offer no material evidence here. Please believe in this letter to the letter!

The brutal deeds of the air paratroopers during May 18th, 19th, 20th were far greater than the authorities enumerate only to deny. On the morning of 19th, my father (professor) witnessed some of them to throw the wounded down to death from a two-story roof top in Chung-jang Street. At about same time, near Jo-hung Bank, my mother witnessed that a young demonstrator was battered on the head with the bat, with his cerebral tissue exposed. And these were the rather mild cases among their cruel actions. 1 wonder if any one had the courage to take the picture of the cruel scenes, as the atmosphere was so deathly. As they were so inhumanly brutal during the three days. We know no other way to interpret their deeds except that they had been on purpose brain-washed for a considerable time and starved for a few days, given only alcohol beverage and hallucinating medicine. 1 guess that the comments of elders, "There were no such cruelties as these even during the war in 1950." stirred the public sentiment deeply. We believe that the 'vampire units' (the paratroopers are now passing as the title) hid or burned away a lot of the dead bodies they killed.


The decisive momentum of the present take-over of the city by the student and citizen force was triggered by the car attacks, on the part of the united career drivers, who became furious at their four comrades ' being killed because they were charged with transporting the student demonstrators.

My eyes had been able to witness some resistance near the Provincial Hall on the night of 20th and the following days, as my residence is near the City Central Police Station. Around at 13:00 on the 21st, another blind firing began, which was so indiscriminating that a child abed 10 was shot to death (I witnessed it in the alley to the Police Station) and a cook of the Hotel Kum-nam was killed at his work.

I participated in the rally of Citizen Convention in Provincial Plaza until 19:10 yesterday, 22nd. I was shocked by the unalloyed purity of the student leaders. I am proud of the prime incarnations of freedom and democracy. The general leader Kim urged us citizens to try to suspect even himself as a spy from North Korea, not to listen to American, Japanese broadcasting, and to talk only what we saw, not just what we heard of. The students say that we should never fight in favor of a special person, Kim Dae-jung; the items of their demand to the authorities don't include one letter concerning him.

The main force of the resistance have been fully rational throughout for instance, the City Central Police Station escaped attacks at least three times amid the extreme excitements, thanks to the near-by residents' persuasion; When MBC Broadcasting Station caught fire due to the unidentified process, the students strove to extinguish it, my sister witnessed it.

Now we citizens of Kwang-ju feel so proud, but at the same time, we feel isolated so awfully; the righteous students look so lonely when the darkness begins to creep. This is mostly because the mass-com reporting abroad has been so weak and superficial, far from our expectation; radio reporting from Seoul only make us aghast because of the falsity and insincerity. I guarantee that if it were not for the abhorrent, through censorship, our resistance would have already borne fruit. Our situation is uncomparably worse than in 4.19 Revolution in 1960. I hardly remember any public resistance for survival and freedom which should meet this unfavorable situation, we must and are detecting the fifth columns from North Korea at this crucial moment. We feel so shorthanded and isolated.

General Chun Doo-Whan is quite different from the late President Park. Many of Koreans wept for Park in spite of his faults but as to Chun we will be relieved at his throw down like the Ugandans relieved from Amin: he may be a sort of vampire or at least possessors of abnormal character if not, how he can order such "vampire units"? we know that now the only way for Chun to save his life is either to refuge abroad or to intensify iron-fisting government, daring to massacre the citizens in and around Kwang-Ju area.

ls it unreasonable that it we analyze that the commander of U.S – Korea combined Forces is eventually responsible for our tragedy, since as you know, he has the ultimate right of commanding in this Republic? lf the unstable peace and order is regained in this area, the whole citizens will lead a life with fury and anger, with sense of disgrace and guilt to the dead, so long as they are under Chun 's control. Then the R.O.K most faithful ally of the U.S.A., may begin to collapse. Such a outlook is so horrible.

Particularly I ask Time and News week to offer pages as many as possible; as the two magazines have many Korean readers that people will catch the size of our tragedy by the crossed out space by the censorship. We are so needy in making our tragedy and present crisis known.

We know our freedom is up to ourselves. But we pray S.O S. one thousand times for our fighting youths. Many students from Seoul and other regions, trying to break through the military forces which are besieging Kwang-Ju area, are reportedly being shot continuously. And we don't forget that the dying military soldiers are also our brethren . What a tragedy being done by a few traitors.

Thank you, Mr. Reporter. Good luck.