Dr. Barbara Hadzima
Trustee, County College of Morris
2012 China Study Tour Participant
I was honored to be selected as a participant in the 2012 Peace and Reconciliation Study Tour to Shanghai, Nanjing, Harbin, Seoul and Hong Kong. The goal of this mission was to expose participants to the various war crimes impacted on Chinese and Korean victims by the Japanese military during WWII. These acts of violence included sexual slavery, bacteriological, biological, and chemical warfares, slave labor and physical brutality. Participants heard oral documentation by survivors of the Nanking Massacre, visited historical sites, met with professors, attorneys, toured museums and responded to lectures.
Presentation of information affected our entire group. We were touched and empathized with the heart wrenching facts of the atrocities. We were able to release some emotion when we were included in the Wednesday Group demonstration in Korea by the Comfort Women. The local television station interviewed us as to our rationale for being involved.
This experience clearly emphasized a sense of injustice, a sense of history in which human values, social justice and spirit were devoid. It provided the knowledge base and understanding of events that occurred in Asia during WWII. This was a holistically planned study tour, complete with translators, guides, experts in their fields and a multitude of support leaders who made sure schedules were maintained.