compared with miners, South Korea has an earlier history of exporting nurses to West Germany. In 1953, the German priest Fabian danm, who preached in South Korea, selected 30 female graduates from a South Korean University and sent them to West German hospitals to specialize in nursing. After obtaining the qualification, they entered the local hospital. In 1960, Dusseldorf Medical University in West Germany faced a serious shortage of nurses. Li zongxiu, a South Korean graduate student studying in the University, volunteered…
. In the 1960s and 1970s, South Korea exported a large number of workers to West Germany, mainly engaged in mining and medical care. According to the statistics of the Korean National Records Institute, from 1963 to 1977, South Korea sent 7936 miners to West Germany and 11057 nurses from 1960 to 1976, which has actually become a special measure for South Korea to earn foreign exchange and alleviate domestic employment, and such labor export is also considered to be a major contributing factor to South Korea’s realization of “Hanjiang Economic Miracle”.
resource complementarity between the two allies
after the ceasefire on the Korean Peninsula in 1953, South Korea established a government led comprehensive economic development plan in order to speed up construction, but this requires funds, talents and technology. At that time, South Korea was heavily dependent on free aid from the United States. Due to the imbalance of balance of payments, the United States sharply reduced free aid to South Korea, forcing the authorities in Seoul (now Seoul) to find a new way out. At that time, South Korea was still based on agriculture, and the demand for labor by enterprises was not strong, resulting in a large number of unemployed people. For example, the medical system regarded by South Koreans as a “decent industry”, and a large number of nurses had nowhere to be resettled. Because it is difficult to find a job, even mining enterprises, which have always been despised by the mainstream society, have received a large number of job applications. Statistics show that in 1959, college students accounted for 24% of South Korean mine employees and 50% of high school students. It is undoubtedly a team of miners with a high level of education. A large number of unemployed people lead to a sense of unrest in Korean society.
on the contrary, West Germany, the “engine of European economy”, is suffering from labor shortage. In 1961, due to the intensification of the cold war, East Germany interrupted sending labor to West Germany. In order to solve the urgent need, the West German government introduced the system of “short-term visiting workers” to seek to introduce overseas labor force. On March 18, West Germany signed a technical assistance agreement with South Korea, which is in the same camp, opening the curtain of bilateral cooperation. On April 14, the president of the Korean coal commune visited the Ruhr mining area of Siemens in West Germany and reached an agreement on employing Korean miners. However, due to Park Chung Hee’s coup on May 16, the agreement once ran aground. In December of the same year, the two countries finally signed the economic and technical assistance agreement. West Germany assisted South Korea in the form of government and commercial loans, including Helping South Korea Train skilled workers, and South Korea sent miners to West Germany to learn mining technology. At that time, the contract referred to these people as “mine technology trainers”, which meant cheap labor. According to the archives of the South Korean labor department, the Park Chung Hee government hopes to earn a lot of dollars by exporting miners and maintain friendly relations with the Western camp, because the United States is very dissatisfied with Park Chung Hee’s dictatorship. Of course, West Germany is very supportive of Park Chung Hee, who is actively anti Communist, and lists South Korea as one of the 32 recipient countries.
highly competitive selection of miners
on May 24, 1962, a West German company in Nuremberg first applied to South Korea for the employment of 500-1000 miners. In August of the following year, the Ministry of health and society of South Korea took the lead in establishing the “selection committee for expatriate miners to West Germany” and began to collect and select miners across the country. They distributed advertisements everywhere to publicize the benefits of working abroad. The government also issued policies to reward labor export and reduce tax-free fees for labor intermediaries. Liu Hansi, one of the first miners to go to West Germany, recalled: “my brother was at school with excellent grades, but my family was really poor… When I saw the advertisement that I could earn US dollars in foreign countries, I went to register the next day.” “At that time, it was very difficult at home. I think I can save the family through my own hard work,” Park Xiangyu, an expatriate miner, recalled
on December 16, 1963, the Korean labor department and the West German coal mining association signed an “intergovernmental agreement on the temporary employment plan of Korean miners”. According to the agreement, the working period of South Korean miners in Germany is three years, and the recruitment conditions are “men aged 20-35 who have one year of underground mining experience and should not have taken leave three years before being sent to West Germany”, with an annual ceiling of 1000 people. At that time, the selection of miners to Germany was very fierce, and only 1% of them were selected. On December 21, the first batch of 121 miners set out. By July 1966, a total of 2521 South Korean miners went to West Germany in seven batches. According to the contract, South Korean miners work five days a week and eight hours a day. The income of aboveground operators was 20.20 marks a day in 1964 and 30-39 marks underground. “We worked in a damp and narrow mine, and many people died when they blew up the mine with explosives,” Liu recalled While West German employees sit in bars and relax, Korean miners only play football in the open space next to their dormitories in their spare time life.
from 1967 to 1969, the cooperation between Korean and German miners was interrupted because the West German government forcibly shut down a number of coal mines in the name of “realizing the unification of coal mine operation and rationalization of management” in order to protect its own resources. In addition, in July 1967, South Korean miners collectively defected to North Korea via East Berlin. South Korea did not resume sending miners until the mining industry in West Germany improved in 1969. From February 1970 to October 1977, South Korea sent 5415 miners to West Germany in 47 batches.
the president was moved to tears
compared with miners, South Korea has an earlier history of exporting nurses to West Germany. In 1953, the German priest Fabian danm, who preached in South Korea, selected 30 female graduates from a South Korean University and sent them to West German hospitals to specialize in nursing. After obtaining the qualification, they entered the local hospital. In 1960, Dusseldorf Medical University in West Germany faced a serious shortage of nurses. Li zongxiu, a South Korean graduate student studying in the University, volunteered to select two graduates from the South Korean nursing school. Their ability was affirmed by the University, and the fame of South Korean nurses spread from then on. In July 1965, Li zongxiu and Li Xiuji (Korean), a pediatrician at the Affiliated Hospital of Mainz University in West Germany, jointly founded the “Korean refugee relief association”, help mediate the employment of Korean nurses in West Germany. The Ministry of health and social affairs of the Republic of Korea supports this. On April 28, 1966, the first batch of 128 nurses recruited by the Korean government arrived in West Germany.
in August 1969, the Korea overseas development commune and the West German hospital association signed the Korea Germany intergovernmental agreement on sending nurses, which stipulated that the working hours of Korean nurses were 46 hours per week (changed to 42 hours per week in 1974). But according to Jiang Meizi, a nurse sent abroad in 1966, they work more than nine hours a day, and their rest time is usually not guaranteed. Based on 1972, the monthly salary of unmarried female nurses dispatched from South Korea is 281.50 mark. Married women without children can receive 355.50 mark, and those with only one child can receive 400 mark.
Korean nurses have had psychological fluctuations due to the legend that they have to undertake the work of cleaning corpses in West German hospitals. Many of the first batch of Korean nurses who went to West Germany in 1966 were smuggled into the United States and Canada, and 231 Korean nurses were smuggled into the third country in 1969. The exodus of a large number of nurses also led to the fact that only 465 nurses and 73 nurse assistants were actually sent to West Germany from 1975 to 1976. Despite the hard work of South Korean nurses, due to the adverse impact of illegal immigration and the preference of women in West Germany, the last batch of 78 South Korean nurses left West Germany in 1978, and the history of South Korean expatriate nurses came to an end.
South Korea has earned a lot of foreign exchange by sending miners and nurses abroad. South Korean miners often send home 80% of their income, which not only provides valuable foreign exchange for China, but also stimulates the enthusiasm of South Korean people to “self-restraint and make progress”, and has become a huge spiritual driving force to create the “Hanjiang Economic Miracle”. According to statistics, from 1965 to 1967, the foreign exchange income of labor services accounted for 1.6%, 1.9% and 1.8% of South Korea’s foreign trade volume respectively. 60% of the miners and nurses sent by South Korea to West Germany choose to stay in West Germany or immigrate to North America, which also has a great impact on the formation of overseas Korean society.
it is worth mentioning that at the end of 1964, South Korean President Park Chung Hee and his wife Lu Yingxiu visited West Germany. They specially went to Ruhr coal mine to visit South Korean miners and nurses, and everyone sang the South Korean National Anthem in unison. Park Zhengxi shed tears. He said to his compatriots present: “miners and nurses, you must be full of pain and loneliness when you come to West Germany for your family, away from your hometown and motherland, but your family and country are proud of you…