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Solidarity Message: The statue of peace must remain!

by Gabriela Germany

Statement by the Filipino Women's Organisation Gabriela Germany on the threatened removal of the Trostfrauen statue in Berlin-Moabit

We in 'Gabriela Germany' and 'International Womens Alliance' extend our solidarity in amplifying the voices of AG "Trostfrauen“- Solidarity for Comfort Women, Korea Verband - and we state that the Statue of Peace in Moabit, Berlin must stay.

The Statue of Peace commemorates the more than 200,000 girls and women from 14 countries who were sexually enslaved as “comfort women” by the Japanese military during the World War 2 in the entire Asia-Pacific region.

The women in the Philippines, spearheaded by the comfort women organisation 'Lila Pilipina' have suffered many state repressions. Including that a copy of the same statue as in Moabit, dedicated to former „comfort women“ - was removed on April 2018, only a few months after its inauguration. This unjust removal order was a sign that the Philippine government itself kowtows to the order and political pressures of the Japanese government to forbid installations of such statues.

The plan to remove the memorial of peace by the German government indicates the insensibility to the continued sexualized violence perpetrated against girls and women during wars and peacetime. This is a chapter of history during the Second World War, a war of aggression that so hardly affected the Asia-Pacific that could not be erased. The peace memorial is a symbol against war crimes, sexual abuses and atrocities committed by the Japanese against women.

Again, we stand firm and strong that the statue and all that it symbolizes should remain. Removing this statue of remembrance is like violation of the rights, abuse and repression of women twice over, as even our right to remember and honor are brazenly disrespected and forcibly denied. We challenge the German Government to stand with the 'AG Trostfrauen' and all other women that advocate the same call, lest we will never forget the significance of such statues in reminding us to never repeat the horrors wars of aggression bring.



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