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Music of ‘Geoje’ POW Camp during the Korean War - Focused on the songs of prisoners -

  • military history
  • 2020, (117), pp.1-46
  • DOI : 10.29212/mh.2020..117.1
  • Publisher : Military History Institute, MND
  • Research Area : Humanities > History
  • Received : October 13, 2020
  • Accepted : December 2, 2020
  • Published : December 15, 2020

Kyungboon Lee 1

1한국학중앙연구원

Accredited

ABSTRACT

There is no war without any POWs and then POW camps are needed. If there is a camp for POWs, there must be always their routines with sports, theater and music etc.. The Geoje POW camp during the Korean War was no exception. However, so far, the music of prisoners in Geoje POW camp has not been researched, though the Geoje POW camp was such a noisy singing camp that it was hardly to see in any other POW camps of previous wars. The Geoje POW camp was noisy with demonstrations, riots and slogans, but the prisoners sang whenever they had the chances to sing. For prisoners, songs can always be easily mobilized anytime, anywhere, making them the simplest and most convenient instruments of expressing their demands, joys, grievances and resistance. Especially for pro-communist prisoners, singing was important as a means of struggle against anti-communist ideology and against the policies of the camp authorities. In this context, it is highly likely that the second volume of "The Songs for the Soldiers" published in November 1951 reflects the intention of the General Political Bureau in Pyeongyang to support the song struggle of pro-communist prisoners at the Geoje POW camp. This paper explored the songs of the prisoners of Geoje POW camp which have not been studied so far. In conclusion, the diverse value of the song in the Geoje POW camp was hard to imagine in other POW camps of previous wars, which can also be seen as a characteristic of the Geoje POW camp, which was born as the first result of the Cold War period.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.