Ethiopia Addis Ababa (2)

>> My name is Derstin Germadell. When I went to Korea, I was [INAUDIBLE] but now [INAUDIBLE] at this time. I went to Korea because of the United Nations. Our government is believing [INAUDIBLE] collective, and by that time, the Koreans run by North Korea. So at that time, we are in the United Nations. So at that time, our governments were voluntary to send troops to fight with the United Nations. At that time, I was Battle Commander, and it's his first time for us to go to foreign country. At that time, we didn't know Korean areas or the ways or anything like that, but the first time our government, they gave us some orientation about the North Korean, and then, of course, we went by ship, and they went to Busan first time. At that time, we met the president of Sint Maarten. We saw General Cobedacabre that time, the continent commander. Then at that time, we didn't know, so they brief us how to leave the area, also starting to train ourselves. The weapons is new to us, the Americans' weapons, and they would stay there in Busan for 3 months training, and now some areas where that has happened, and then after that, we went to the front line. At that time, the Americans, because we are from Africa, only we would be there. So the Americans, they asked us, "Where are you from? Where are you coming? Are you a British colony?" "No," we said, we were not a colony. [INAUDIBLE] so ... "How do you speak?" [INAUDIBLE] speak in English." We say, "Of course, we are in the school." "We all speak English." We said, "Of course, we are in this school," and we learned English. Especially our officers, they are trained in the academy, of course. So everybody knows, it's not a problem for us, the language. So we start up to front line, and then at that time, they don't believe us because they are afraid if the Koreans, North Koreans or Chinese break the line, they came from behind. So they sent us first but accompanied by a platoon, a floater attached to the company of Americans. Then at that time, the first time I went to the one company attached to the Americans at the front line, and then the company commander gave us a mission to go forward and to see, at that time, there is no [INAUDIBLE] front line. The mission that he gave us to do, to bring president or so to destroy enemy bunkers. "So this mission will be you starting tomorrow morning," and then he also attached, was one, [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] six, seven people with us, Americans, and then in the morning, I started to go to that area, especially [INAUDIBLE] we know how to read the map, the area, the hill, the river, everything we could read already. So he told me to go this place and try to bring president. So I went, but some time after I start in the morning, there is clouds. I can't see 10 meters even, and then I report to company commander. He said, "Stop, stay there. I'll inform you when the clouds go. You can go to your mission." After 1/2 an hour, the cloud is off. Then I went. I told him, "I can see now." So it was about 2, 3 kilometers from the company areas. I went to the front, and then I stayed there, and then I observed by my ... >> Binocular. >> And so there is an enemy bunker in front I can see. Unfortunately, one Chinese soldier came out from the bunker, and he tried to go to the river. There is some river, and I now have an opportunity to take him easily. So I turned to my squadron commander [INAUDIBLE] FR, and he took slips just with him, and he went down, and then the soldiers, he tried to take the water from the river, and then they captured him, take back, and then I reported to the company commander, and he said, "Please send him immediately," and then I came back to this area, and then he gave me orders again. "Now try to destroy the bunker." "Yes, I can see the bunker." It's about a 100 meters, something like that, from my place. So I have set of 75 millimeters. Also we put out machines and then shoot them. I report I did all these things, and they told me that, "Is it possible to go to that area and bring some peoples if you can?" "Yes, I can." He changed his mind again. "Please can you hold them there? I will give you artillery to bombard the area over there." So, "Yes," I told him I'd ring him up, and then he understand, and he knows where I am under the [INAUDIBLE] three round. So I destroyed the area, and then he say, "Come back. That's enough. So I tried to go back, and as we started walking up again back, it's about 400 meters, something like that, the enemies, they realize that we are there, and, from left and right, they started shooting. Anyhow, this jungle area, as we went back safely without anything or any prisoners at that time, but unfortunately, on the front line before me in some areas, they took one prisoner. So they promised us to send someone for vacation and something like that, but unfortunately somebody was before me. So I lost my chance at that time. So after 3 or 4 days with the company there, and then I went back to my unit. This is the first time I did my tour. Now this time, the Americans, they saw us, that we are very good soldiers, and that we are brave. So we starting with company size in the front line, and then from the front line, we start to go with the company, fighting on the frontline zone. So we did that so they'd believe in us, [INAUDIBLE] everything with them. So we went with the battalion first on the front line and then, starting with the company, fighting in some areas. So we did a lot of ... We win a lot, and then we [INAUDIBLE]. >> Mm-hmm. I read that you never lost a battle. You had about 263 combats but never lost a battle. >> No. >> That's amazing. >> That's so amazing. >> That's really amazing, and that ... >> No prisoners, no even ... >> Dead, dead. >> ... dead men. >> I know. >> Yeah. >> That's amazing. >> Yeah, because always after fighting, we controlled our people and where they are. Of course, sometimes, we are in the bush and something. So we'd find them and take them back, yeah. >> Mm. So later, after the Korean War, you stayed in the military, and you eventually retired as a general, right? And you fought in Congo, and after, you saw other conflicts, but what do you think is the significance of the Korean War in terms of Ethiopia's military actions? >> You see, there is a different unity there, especially French units in some areas, and then sometimes, there are lots of their soldiers and so on. Then we go to the front line, of course, in that area. As of that time, of course, the Americans, as I told you, we are moving on us, and so we are a diverse battalion, [INAUDIBLE] battalion, and then sometimes after we stay there on the front line, we go back to rest. So at that time, we meet a lot of [INAUDIBLE] from another continent. Is that not answer for you? >> Ah, no, no, no, no. So Ethiopians, do they know about the Korean War? Are they proud of the Korean War, Ethiopians in general? >> Are they proud of it? That's ... >> Ethiopians, do they know about Korean War? >> Yeah. >> They do? >> Yeah, they know, for example that our officers [INAUDIBLE] before 10 years after, 20 years, and now some of them coming together and so on, and we had a lot of experience at that time, and then, for example, you see, the Korean people, they are really with us. They are good to us, I can say. At that time, as my wife told you, when we went to Korea, the area and the people is very, very, very low and very poor. If you knew [INAUDIBLE] at that time, but now, I was there 3 years ago, and so the area was bombed, and now woods ... Everything is ... Only at that time, but now the place is industry. Where we are fighting, it's been [INAUDIBLE]. It's amazing to see these people. So even we learned enough from them, from Korean people. We know we saw, at that time, what they are, but now, they are completely changed. They can teach us how to be a good people and do good things. >> Well, I want to let you know that the rise of Korea from the ashes of war, it is actually thanks to your contributions. I read that Ethiopians were, again, one of the best fighters, and that the enemy saw blacks for the first time, and they thought you were superhuman because you had a reputation for being so brave and best soldiers, and I thought that was very funny. Can you explain to us a little bit about your medal? >> Now, for example ... [ Chatter ] >> See, the one thing now, what the Koreans is doing for us, really, in the hospital, free ... We are in the hospital, everything. We are not paying. You see? No. Now when I go, two times operation in a Korean hospital. Yeah, I'm not paying, nothing. Medicine is free. Operation, everything is free for us besides this ... They are giving us pocket money every month, [INAUDIBLE] >> Whoa. >> You see? Now they are not forgetting us. Still if we ask them to do something for us, they do it. They never buck. They always say, "Please ask us what you want. You give us our blood, your blood, your life for our country. Now we are in this place. We are here now. So we can help you. You are our brothers because our blood is together now." You see, one Korean ... They always went out on the front line. They bring us hot food and something like that, padding, because no person is reaching there. So after he gave us this food, and, you, see, before he go back, the enemy shoots a weapon, of course, and then in the ridge, one of the ridges, they can't see them. Then this Korean hit by this, by some artillery, another artillery, and then our soldiers, they went and take him. Again, they fire. Both of them, they died, just like that. So we are blood. Even in the blood, we are together with the Korean people. So even they are good for us. Of course, we do our best to them also. Yeah. >> Well, again, I'm very grateful, and that's why I'm here, and I call all Korean War veterans my grandpas because I say if you weren't there fighting, I wouldn't be here right now. >> You are proud of them still now. >> And my friends and family and supporters in America and all over the world say they want me to express gratitude on their behalf. So thank you very much, thank you. >> So you are saying when you are asking to receive, thank you very much. Again I say, please tell our bravery to your people. >> Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. >> Thank you.