Former German chancellor to visit sexual slavery victims this week

By Yonhap
  • Published : Sept 10, 2017 - 15:38
  • Updated : Sept 10, 2017 - 15:57

Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder will come to South Korea early this week to meet people forced to endure World War II sexual slavery, an organization representing the victims said Sunday.

Schroeder is due to visit the House of Sharing, a shelter for the surviving victims of the sexual enslavement in Gwangju, Gyeonggi Province, located on the outskirts of Seoul, on Monday, the organization said.

During the war that ended in 1945, as many as 200,000 South Korean women were estimated to have been forced into sexual slavery for Japanese soldiers at front-line brothels. 

An image provided by the EPA of former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder delivering a speech during the federal party conference of the German Social Democratic Party in Dortmund, Germany, on June 25, 2017 (Yonhap)

He will speak with four of the surviving victims, including Lee Yong-soo. There are only 35 surviving victims in South Korea.

The veteran politician, 73, will also pay respects to the memorial monument and visit the history museum set up for the "comfort women," a euphemistic term for the sexual slaves.

He is expected to make a 10 million-won ($8,840) donation to the organization, among other gifts.

"Mr. Schroeder has consistently criticized Japan for not admitting to its guilt of having committed the war crimes," the official from the shelter said. "It will be an honor and great comfort having him at the house for the surviving victims, as well as the organization."

The former German leader from 1998-2005 is also scheduled to deliver a speech at the National Assembly in Seoul on Monday as part of the visit to the country. (Yonhap)