Albert Kleine was born in 1932 in a small town near Drenthe, Netherlands. When he was a little boy, he did not know anything about Korea and he would ask if it was a country or city. After elementary school, he went to a technical school and then joined the military in May 1950. In 1952, a soldier was home on break and Albert Kleine became interested in his mementos from the war. By May 1953, he was sent to Korea and he was able to see the complete destruction of Seoul. During an attack by thousands of Chinese and North Koreans near the Imjin River, Albert Kleine was terrified as he heard the flutes signaling attack as he ran to his bunker. Due to his time in Korea during the war and his revisit back to Korea, Albert Kleine wants to spend the rest of his life in Korea.
The Pull to Join the Korean War
Albert Kleine joined the military in May 1950 before the Korean War broke out. He became interested in the Korean War in 1952 when he met a soldier who came home from this war and he had an Indian arrow head. In 1953, he went to Korea with 4 friends.
Arriving in Korea
Albert Kleine arrived in Pusan, Korea in 1953. After landing, he went to Seoul and saw fighting along with mass destruction. Many buildings were completely destroyed and he asked himself why he came all this way, but later he realized that it was to liberate South Korea.
Surviving a Chinese and North Korean Attack
Albert Kleine was stationed near the Imjin River during his time in the Korean War. He was very fearful of the flowing river and the sounds it gave off that showed its strength. Later he would realize that the river was nothing compared to the flutes signaling the attack by thousands of Chinese and North Korean troops.
The Cold went Right to Your Soul
Albert Kleine felt that the cold weather was the worst part of fighting in Korea. Even though he was stuck there fighting the Chinese in the terrible weather, he doesn't hate them because they were only told to fight. He wasn't fighting the man, he was fighting the country.
The Kindness of the Korean People
Albert Kleine was brought to tears when talking about his Korean revisit. When he revisited Korea, he was wearing his uniform and the adults along with the children were so kind to him since he was a soldier. In 2016 he went back for a funeral there and he wants to go there to live for the rest of his life because he has seen the evolution of the city.