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Author, film researcher and member of the Swedish Military History Commission.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Koreans in German WWII Service

How could a Korean end up serving in the German Wehrmacht in Normandy?

"My Way" is the first movie about Koreans in the German Wehrmacht. It might seem like a weird fantasy, but there were actually such cases, the most well documented one being Yang Kyoungjong. Perhaps the time is ripe for films about non-Germans in German uniform?

Recently I saw the Russian movie "Paradox Soldiers" that is partially about Ukrainians in the Waffen-SS. Before that one there was "Frostbite" that touches on the subject of Nordics in the Waffen-SS. Going further back there was "Soldier of Orange" with Rutger Hauer (!) that has some Dutch soldiers of the Waffen-SS in the story. But none of these movies deeply explores the subject of non-Germans in German service. There is hardly anything in them about motives for joining or the reasons for being conscripted. What about "My Way" then? Well, I have not seen it yet, only the above trailer. The film has reached Sweden on DVD, but here it is called "My War". I guess the distributors here thought "My Way" was too Sinatra. I will check it out eventually. Perhaps someone reading this has already seen it?

Considering the many men from Belgium, Estonia, Latvia, Russia (not just Cossacks), Spain etc in German uniform - why has there not yet been made a movie about them, or have I missed something? Note, I mean regular movies, not documentaries.