土曜日, 2月 28, 2004

February 28, 1947

Never forget.

Death estimates for the 228 Massacre in Taiwan range from 15,000 to 30,000. An entire generation of Taiwanese intellectuals and leaders died in the hands of Nationalist soldiers.

My grandfather used to tell us about the time he and his brother went up north--to the port of Keelung. They had business in town....but as the train pulled into the station, they heard reports of gunfire. Grandfather knew how to recognize danger (he had studied in Japan during World War II). He and his brother stayed on the train, got off at a later stop, and then walked all three days back home.

They were lucky. Later, they learned that Nationalist soldiers had been watching the train stations and hostels for free-roaming young men. If you weren't at your job or with your family, you were a possible rebel. Many of these 'rebels' disappeared.

Though it's been fifty-seven years, though I've never known anyone who has lost someone to the massacre, I still feel anger and sorrow on this day. It forms part of who we are, why we're Taiwanese. 228 showed Taiwan that she was not Chinese--not to the government in Nanjing, not to the Governor in Taipei, and certainly not to the soldiers who delighted in their own brutality.

**For a Western eyewitness account: Formosa Betrayed by George H. Kerr**