Portrail of Gilbert Hauffels, taken from his personal military file. © Armée luxembourgeoise
Registration Nr.:    320968 / V 00929
Birthday:    11.10.1932, Dudelange
Father:    Pierre HAUFFELS
Mother:    Anne GITZINGER
Service entry:    29.05.1951
Contingent:    2nd
Ranks:    Soldat de 2e Classe
                  Soldat de 1re Classe (1952)
                  Caporal (1953)
                  Sergent (1964)
Death:    24.04.2023, Kirchberg, Luxembourg City


Gilbert was conscripted into military service in May 1951, after working for eight months as an apprentice electrician.

During the Korean War, Soldat de 1re Classe Gilbert Hauffels served in the second contingent as an Light Machine Gun (LMG) gunner. In an interview recorded in 2018, Gilbert stated that he was mostly driven by his youthful spirit of adventure as well as ideological determination to oppose communism. Gilbert's diary is one of the best preserved sources portraying the soldier's everyday life in Korea, namely artillery duels with the Chinese and seemingly never-ending fortification work in extreme heat.

Upon his return from Korea, Gilbert initially attempted to further his military career but in 1956, he decided to work for the customs (Douanes). During his deployment, Gilbert developed an interest in the country and its culture which led him to visit South Korea on several occasions. From 1981 to 2015, he was the secretary and until now the president of the Luxembourg Korean Association.

"Ech war déi Zäit zu Bitburg, wou ech agezunn war. Do war deemols nach eng Portioun vun "Du traus der jo net". An mir waren zu 4 an du huet deen een zu deem anere gesot: "Du traus der net" an wéi et herno fäerdeg war, ware mer alle 4 do."

Gilbert about his decision to enlist as a volunteet, 16.12.1990. © RTL Hei Elei Kuck Elei

"Bon camarade, courageux, calme sous le feu. A participé comme tireur FM à 7 patrouilles."

Lieutenant Lutty about Gilbert Hauffels in his military booklet, 4.2.1953. © Armée luxembourgeoise