tv Reel America Rebirth of Seoul - 1953 CSPAN February 11, 2018 4:00pm-4:27pm EST
valley, one of the most modern cities in the orient. in the summer of 1950, it enjoys a democratic form of government and an orderly existence. -- for someve days, the communist radio has been urging the unification of all coria. now, on the 25th of june, with true communist logic, north korean forces go on the defensive by urging a sudden unexpected invasion of south korea. million and have citizens are not prepared to can a world -- prepared half a world away, the united states immediately requests on emergency meeting of the united nations security council. the aggressors failed to heed the council's of feel, forces
are being ordered to assist south korea. by a vote of 7-1, the security southl votes to supply korea whatever is needed to turn back the attack. 15 other nations meet. the free world takes its first unified action and halting the tide of communist armed aggression. two days following the initial attack, communist troops are on the outskirts of seoul. by every available means, the populace flees the capital. the civilian struggle every road and pat.
>> less than 11 days after the start of the counteroffensive, seoul was restored to its rightful occupants. seoul's moreans, than a home, it is a symbol. the communist troops have lived off the land, sacking, pillaging the city. in the refugee's, what remains can be rebuilt. life can be resumed where it was so harshly interrupted. for the communist leaders who gambled when the odds were overwhelming in their favor, the reversal achieved is intolerable.
an army composed of chinese people's volunteers is rolled south to salvage victory from the ashes of defeat. for the men who font their way to the manchurian border at great cost, the massive offensive launched by the chinese communist comes as a cruel shock. the scores of mountains and valleys returned easily to the enemy as the allied forces make their withdraw. greatestce of the hardships, examples of bravery and fortitude are many. the escape of the united nations units from the reservoir ranks with the finest maneuvers in military annals.
the allied troops fight south l andpyongyang to seou beyond. l becomes the scene of a mass exodus. those have rebuilt the city see their work destroyed. the number of refugees is smaller the second time. the number of those who will return is smaller still. march the chinese conquerors supervised by the russian comrades. 's fall is greeted probably throughout the communist world. a new type of barbarism awaits the servicemen captured during the offensive. accompanied by brainwashing and crude torture.
many will not survive the forced winter marches to the prison compounds nor seoul. by breaking contact with the enemy and withdrawing to the south, the u.n. command forces the communist stew extend their supply lines more than 300 miles. less than a month after the chinese invasion, the united nations returns to the offensive from the defense line 30 miles below the korean capital.
>> although the communists have twice gained the advantage through sneak attacks, time and world opinion on that side of the united nations command. from the free world, a steady stream of arms and men have poured in the south korea. the new u.n. tribe is power packed. [missiles launching] >> now seoul changes hands. even boris -- even before the city is liberated plans have been made for rehabilitating the capital and its population. american soldiers, members of
the united nations teams and the koreans themselves as the story of the rebirth of seoul as they witnessed it. ♪ >> we moved into seoul on the 13th of march, 1951. as the commander, i was the patrol in engineer detachment detecting mines. except in the fringes there were no people to be seen. in downtown seoul, opposition had fallen off almost completely. we found practically no one at all in the center of the city. the city was a dead city. because this was the second time we took seoul back from the communists, we were prepared for what we expected to find. you never get used to it though. all in all, the city had no water, no transportation, no electricity or power. the chinese occupation forces took most of the overhead wire. kids are the ones who always
suffer most. they never know what is going on or why. how do you explain to them after they have just seen their whole family get killed? >> seoul was in very bad shape as far as food was concerned. there just wasn't any. the communist who profess to be representative of the working people, the farmers, seem to take advantage of them. they lived off the land taking their food, not giving them medical treatment. ♪ >> everyone came back as soon as they could. a lot of them, right out of caves.
our first job was to get water for civilians and our troops. >> during the occupation by the chinese, there were many fires in the city. this caused a great deal of damage to the city. in order to get water into the islands, we had to get the water works going. in addition to that the cemetery needs of seoul needs to be met. it looked like it would take six months to get water back into the city. we were far wrong. with much hard work and preparation, between the american army, the korean government, within 30 days we were able to produce enough water to reduce it by all units in the city until the day after we were able to restore 50% of the water supply to seoul. >> on the third day, after our entry into the city, they started to move truckloads of rice into the city for distribution to the people. for the average korean, it was worth his life to find even a handful of rice. civilians managed to come home
so it was our job to feed them before they starved. trucks with food rolled into the city day and night, fighting against time. for an american like me who is used to eating pretty well, it toes a little while understand that these people can survive on just a few handfuls of price a day. but that is all it is, survival. we could not make up for a couple of years of war overnight for these people. but we made a good start. rice was just the beginning of a long-term of relief distribution. we followed up as fast as possible with clothing, milk and other food. the korean farmer we came across is the backbone of korea. despite the devastation, the
number of moves he had to make with his family, which he had to or be killed, the farmers were back in their fields even before the fighting was over. these farmers are doing a lot to help the needs of feeding the people who live in the city. >> next to feeding the people of seoul, caring for their health was the next problem. all must be inoculated. this was important to stop disease from spreading. it would have been dangerous for an epidemic to start under the conditions as they were. the inoculations were most successful because no epidemics broke out in seoul. when i and my staff were assigned to the hospital in seoul, i was terrified. there were patients, children, men, women. it was massive humanity suffering.
much tuberculosis and many surgical cases. de went to work in as we worke we trained more doctors and nurses in what we needed. most of the dangerous cases where burn cases from bombs and gunshot cases. the bomb cases were the first problem. medical supplies, most especially, plasma. we receive supplies and plasma and other things urgently needed. i and my staff and all the doctors and nurses in the city work morning tonight. i can say now i'm very happy and proud after the success we had in saving semi-lives -- in savings so many lives. >> to keep seoul alive, highways,ilding the rebuilding the bridges, no field
our policy is to help the koreans help themselves. first of all to get heavy equipment into the city, we had to put the railroads back to work. trolley transportation got a high priority. the chinese use the tracks to place mines alongside them so the mind detectives -- so the mi ne detectives cannot pick up the mines. in some cases these mines exploded. in other cases, tracks were hit by fragments of shell fire. a great deal of track had to be replaced. now we replaced just about all the existing trolley lines. oul hasy large city, se downtown, industrial, and residential sections. the trolleys are a big help in bringing workers from their homes to the dozens and dozens of construction jobs and factories that are being rebuilt. these are not yet back to normal -- things are not yet back to normal but they are well underway.
figure seoul is one of the cleanest cities in the orient. right from the start, the people started to work, rebuilding their homes and hospitals, and other buildings with the same kind of determination they showed from the first time. even without modern construction equipment, new buildings started to mushroom up almost overnight. war,g the years before the seoul developed into a good-sized industrial city. the various bombs in the city completely destroyed the power plants. we had to restore the power plants. toy technicians went to work repair what was salvaged and missing parts came from japan. now power was going out fast. it is the job of the civil
assistance commission to encourage industry back into operation as quickly as possible. we assist these people in the reconstruction of their plants and in supplying them with the necessary material. that is the crude material which can be used for manufacturing purposes. raw materials are the priority in production. in this particular factory, about half of the cotton comes from the united states. as well is turning out needed eoul'sts, rehabilitating s industry means more jobs for the city's population. >> with our colleges and universities seoul is the educational capital of korea. as a people we koreans by high value on education. rebuilding and extending the school system is one of our chief aims.
where we found no school buildings where the schools were born to or bombed we had -- where the schools were burned or bombed, we had outdoor classes as not to interrupt education any more than is necessary. in the republic of korea, it is a policy that everyone goes to school. every child over six is entitled to full primary schooling. we can now only take three quarters of these children. poverty prevents some parents from sending their children. we are educating more children every day. >> some children, the orphans, these children are found sometimes in the streets. other times that people's doors who have no children. we have over 200 children at this orphanage alone. the poor little things have been many days without food or bathing. some die on our hands. other times we get them through
all right and it gives us great joy to see them happy again. earlier it was difficult for us to nourish these children, but now with the help of the have muchfficers, we pleasure of giving the children anything they want. we have only to ask for it and we get it. if we need anything at all, we have only to ask and the children get all the vitamins and anything that they need. we are making the best effort to make the children good citizens, but there are many of them who need support and we do all we can. with thousands of orphans seoul alone, there are thousands and thousands in all korea.
with god's help we will help them to be happy children. and one day, good citizens. >> with the same unity and forcefulness with which it meant the challenge -- with with it met the challenge of communist oppression, the free world responded to the needs of the korean people. food arrives from australia and cambodia, belgian and cuba, new zealand and the philippines, from pakistan and thailand, from mexico and greece, clothing comes from japan, peru and uruguay. from great britain, nicaragua and turkey come medical supplies. from india and norway, israel and sweden, denmark and germany, iceland and france, and from the united states alone, totaling nearly half $1 billion is received in aide. a list of public and private organizations, churches and
veterans groups, private citizens and charities, which have come to the aid of these victims of war is equally large. to have done less, to have failed the korean people in this, their second hour of need, would have been to allow defeat by neglect where defeat by aggression was so determinedly denied. today from the sea on the yellow as, steadyse se streams of urgently needed supplies pour into seoul and other korean villages and cities. the fertilizer and excitement may needed to restore the lands of fertility. the faster full rehabilitation is achieved, the sooner the republic of korea would become a strong, vigorous ally.
seoul has regained much of us stature among the national capitals of the world. this city is living testimony to what international cooperation or peaceful goals may accomplish. where a few short years ago tanks rumbled, trolleys now pass calmly through the streets. the snipers whence hit, the housewives calmly do their shopping. the rebirth of seoul is one of mankind's truly great achievements. yet the task of reviving korea completely, or even seoul alone is still far short of completion. more than one million homeless people remain. nearly 100,000 orphans must be careful. a livable future must be provided for them. in the months since the first communist attack, the children of korea have suffered much more than the rightful share of
several lifetimes. all have met disaster as participants, not as spectators. yet, their faith has conquered despair. there hope for their future remains strong, if only to guarantee that their prayers for a life free of sudden death and worlds effortee in korea will stand forever as noble ones. >> the big picture is a weekly television report to the nation on the activities of the army at home and overseas. presented by the u.s. army in cooperation with this station.
you can be an important part of "the big picture." with theroudly serve best equipped, best trained, blessed fighting team in the world -- best fighting team in the world today, the united states army. 30 nations participated in the 30th winter olympics held in swat valley, california -- in the eighth winter olympics held in squaw valley california. it documents the construction of facilities at the largely undeveloped location in the tahoe national forest and efforts by the forest service to prevent avalanches and maintain safety for the athletes. the 25 minute film also includes highlights of the winter games. >