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Home The News News Three books document 228 Massacre

Three books document 228 Massacre

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Liao Kuo-yang, center, the son of a 228 Incident victim, wipes away his tears as Chang Yang-hao, left, also a son of a victim, and Academia Historica President Chen Yi-shen look on at a book launch ceremony in Taipei yesterday.
Photo: CNA

The Memorial Foundation of 228 yesterday launched three books documenting different aspects of the 228 Incident to mark the 73rd anniversary of the massacre.

The 228 Incident refers to a crackdown launched by the then-Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) regime against civilian demonstrators following an incident in Taipei on Feb. 27, 1947.

About 18,000 to 28,000 people, many of them members of the intellectual elite, were killed during the subsequent government crackdown, which lasted into early May 1947.

The event also marked the beginning of the White Terror era that saw thousands of people arrested, imprisoned or executed.

The Puzzle of the 228 Incident (拼圖二 二 八), The Oral History of the Battle of Wuniulan (南投二 二 八口述歷史訪談錄) and Beyond 1947: A Non-daily Memoranda (1947之後:二 二 八 (非)日常備忘錄) were launched to cast light on the massacre from different perspectives.

The Puzzle of the 228 Incident, by Academia Historica President Chen Yi-shen (陳儀深), is a compilation of major research findings and theses pertaining to the Incident.

The Oral History of the Battle of Wuniulan is a collection of 27 interviews with eyewitnesses and descendants of victims, conducted by Lin Wei-sheng (林偉盛) and several other people. It focuses on the battle between revolutionaries and KMT troops in Wuniulan, today’s Ailan (愛蘭) in Nantou County, shortly after the massacre.

Speaking at a launch event at the National 228 Memorial Museum, Lin said he encountered difficulties when conducting the interviews, as many survivors and witnesses were still afraid to talk even 73 years after the massacre.

Some of the interviewees also spoke at the ceremony.

Liao Kuo-yang (廖國揚) said that he was born after his father was killed in the Battle of Wuniulan, and his uncle was named as his father in his birth certificate for fear of reprisals from the government.

Chang Yang-hao (張洋豪), another interviewee who also lost his father in the battle, said that he saw bodies piled up in the town square after clashes.

Beyond 1947: A Non-daily Memoranda is comprised of eight articles written by a team of history researchers to give a contemporary perspective on the incident, drawing on material from the national archives, oral history and academic research.

The books were published in Mandarin.

Chairman of the memorial foundation Hsueh Hua-yuan (薛化元) said at the event that the search for truth behind the incident would deepen the values of democracy and human rights in Taiwan, and give its people spiritual strength to deal with external threats.

The foundation would continue to collect and release the names of possible victims of the incident and hopes to achieve information breakthroughs with the aid of new technology, he said.

Source: Taipei Times - 2020/02/24

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