Korean War Propaganda – Christmas 1953
Not long ago I was having dinner with my grandparents when my grandfather felt the urge to dig out his old Korean War scrap book and show my mother and I. Apparently this was the first time she had ever seen it so it was a real special occasion. Throughout the book there were official documents about my grandfathers entry to the army, his transportation to Korea, some leave slips, even some menus from some holiday meals.
The thing that stood out to me the most was some propaganda that was dropped on American soldiers in the time leading up to Christmas 1953. Apparently, shortly after these were air dropped to American troops the opposing forces started blasting Christmas music from a ridge not far away. Unfortunately for the DJ’s, loud music from a static location makes an easy target and was soon eliminated with artillery.
Anyway, I thought some people might be interested in the pamphlet so I took some pictures and transcribed it for easy reading (text typed out below the images). If there is interest I can try to take more pictures of his scrap book and other mementos he has from his time in the war and growing up. Let me know in the comments!
We are wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We also have something to talk to you about.
Christmas is a day of peace and happiness. And a day for family reunions.
But this Christmas, for you, there is no peace. You are far away from those you love, in Korea, a country you never heard of three years ago. Your family longs for you across the wide Pacific. Will they ever see you again? Will you ever see them?
You’ve been told you came here to stop “Communist aggression.” But what do your own eyes and head tell you? The Koreans are fighting in their own country. The Chinese are defending their own nearby boarders. Neither of these peoples ever dreamed of invading the United States. It is U.S. troops who have come here with bombs, napalm, germs, and every other weapon of mass murder.
Bombs and guns can’t break the spirit of the Koreans and Chinese because they are guarding their homes. What about you? Is there any reason why you should be here instead of home with your folks? You are risking death or crippling wounds to hold one or two bare Korean mountains. What for?
The heartless men who sent you here have sent American soldiers to Europe. Those soldiers too are told that they must protect different countries from “Red aggression.” But everywhere they go, they hear the people yelling, “Yanks, go home!” This wasn’t the way the GI’s were greeted everywhere in world War II, when they were really fighting against aggressors – the Nazis and Japanese warlords. Then they got flowers. So something is wrong. What is it?
The truth is that American soldiers today are helping oppressors, not fighting them. You know how the Koreans “love” Syngman Rhee! You know how the Chinese “loved” Chiang Kai-shek whom they kicked out in spite of $6 billion worth of U.S. aid. In Japan the U.S. is letting convicted war criminals out of jail and giving them a new army to play with. In Germany, it’s the same. In France, in Italy, they back governments which have sold out their own peoples for dollars, governments which order the police out every time working people strike for a living wage. Isn’t this true? You know it is.
Why are Americans sent abroad to do this kind of dirty work, the exact opposite of every fine thing America ever stood for, in a way that would make Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln turn over in their graves if they knew it? Because the American government has been stolen from the American people by greedy Big Business which cares nothing about your life or anyone else’s but only for its lousy profits. The corporations have made more money since the Koran war than they ever did before, out of arms orders for which the American people are paying through higher taxes, higher prices in every grocery store and the lives of their sons – YOUR lives. That’s why the Brass Hats are throwing monkey wrenches into the talks at Panmunjom which could have succeeded a year ago. That’s why they want more war, everywhere, not peace.
Every people on earth is getting wise to this new kind of business – Murder for Profit. Americans at home are getting wise to it too. Millions are asking for peace and getting fed up with lies. American fathers and mothers have refused medals sent to them after their boys died in Korea. Hundreds of American pilots with decorations for courage in World War II have refused to fly in Korea. Tens of thousands of young men are dodging the draft. This is not because they are cowards. It is not because they aren’t patriotic. It’s because they are beginning to understand that they’ve been fooled.
The patriotic thing is to fight for peace! The patriotic thing is to fight for friendship, not war, between peoples! What harm can peace do to any country, to America? The real traitors, the real criminals, are the few who send troops, thousands of miles away so they can rake in dollars. They think the own America, and for that matter the world. They think they own you. Who gave them the right? What kind of free American citizen are you when they can shove you into uniform, pack you in a boat, and send you to all ends of the earth for no other reason than this?
We, the Chinese People’s Volunteers, are writing you this letter. We came here because, after we cleaned out the dirty grafter Chiang Kai-shek, you stormed into the land of our neighbor and threatened the first chance we ever had to build up our country. We don’t want to fight anyone. We want to build in peace. We are in favor of peaceful coexistence and trade for every people in the world.
Don’t believe the Big Money boys and politicians at home. They are no different than Chiang Kai-shek whom we ran out of China. Don’t do what they want. Do what the people want.
We offer you peace and friendship. America for Americans. Korea for Koreans. China for the Chinese. Why should not we all, Korean soldiers, Chinese soldiers, American soldiers join our efforts for peace? Then we don’t need to be soldiers any more. Then next Christmas, if not this one, can really be merry. Then we can have a really Happy New Year in 1953! Let’s make it so!
The Chinese People’s Volunteers