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Maija Devine - Korean War

Maija Rhee Devine and her twin brother were born into a Korean refugee family in Manchuria in 1943. Her parents could not afford to keep her, so gave her to a friend, who then took Maija to Seoul and gave her to a childless couple. That couple raised Maija as their own daughter, but when they had no male children to carry on the Confucian traditions, her father took in a mistress shortly before the war. Maija talks at length about the family's complicated relationship with the mistress, about her experiences during the Korean War, and about her marriage in 1970 to Michael Devine, a Peace Corps volunteer working in Korea at the time.

Interview Links

Feature Excerpt

Chocolate from soldiers

Abstract

Interview Session 01 (Audio)

Related Materials

See also Maija Devine's entire interview in the 'Immigrant Stories' project collection.


Photos

Caption

Maija Rhee as a baby, taken shortly after her adoption in Seoul in 1943.

Where:

Seoul

When:

1943

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Maija, age eight (left), and her cousin, age five, on the right, circa 1951. The two spent the war years in Masan, South Korea.

Where:

Masan, South Korea

When:

1951

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Maija graduated from Sogang College in Seoul in 1965. Here she is pictured in her cap and gown alongside her adoptive father.

Where:

Seoul

When:

1965

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Maija's older biological brother, Soon-back Rhee, in his Korean Navy uniform circa 1952.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1952

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo



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