8/02/2012

Treasure Hill

 Treasure Hill Community

I ride by Treasure Hill (寶藏嚴) on my bike regularly. It's about a twenty-minute jaunt from my place in Wanhua (萬華). Treasure Hill is a community on the banks to the Hsin Tien (新店) River, near Gongguan (公館). You can't reach it by bus and no roads go past as it's situated inside the flood plain, beyond the city gates. That's why lots of people in Taipei are unaware of its existence.

Treasure Hill was created sixty years ago by Chinese refugees, folks who escaped China during the 1940s. Once in Gongguan, they were just supposed to man a machine gun embankment. Since they didn't have anywhere to live, they started to squat on the land behind it, creating Treasure Hill. The squatters allowed some of their buddies from China to move in and soon they had a community. I don't really want to paint that rosy of a picture though. Whenever one encounters a group such as this in Taiwan, one has to ask: "Were any of these people involved in the killing of Taiwanese people during the 2-28 Massacre?" For anyone that doesn't know, the massacre took place in 1947 and facilitated the liquidation of Taiwan's governing and intellectual classes so that the incoming Chinese refugees could obtain a foothold. It was carried out by soldiers who came to Taiwan from China during the 1940s. One is also reminded of Chiang Kai-shek's pay policy in the early years: thirty percent comes from me, seventy percent comes from what you can rummage up or forage from the local population. It stands to reason the original residents, or at least some among them, of Treasure Hill thieved from, bullied and possibly even murdered their hosts here in Taiwan. One could quite similarly extend the discussion to White Terror, as it has been pointed out to me.

Treasure Hill is a collection of small homes, stacked up on top of each other, propped up by and built into the hill behind it. Long after the machine guns had rusted away, Treasure Hill remained. Over the years, it faded from the concept of Taipei to eventually fall off the radar. It was rediscovered in the nineties, with Chen Shui-bien's, then mayor of Taipei, push to evict squatters. I've asked locals about Chen's effort. They will usually side with the squatters, saying something like, "they were poor and had nowhere to go." Even my wife believes this and she has no use for Chiang Kai-shek, the Chinese invasion or the nonsense that has been going on with the Sinification of Taiwan since. I see it a different way. The squatters put up a big fuss and were pretty adamant about not going anywhere. Did they ever say "thank you" to Taipei for being allowed to live rent free for forty years? Taipei wasn't even asking for forty years in back rent, just that they got off the land that didn't belong to them.

To me, the most impressive thing about Treasure Hill is how it looks, especially from the front. The streets are quaint as well. There has been a movement to turn the community into art galleries and places for tourists to go. So now we can stroll around inside and see some pretty mundane art exhibitions packed into small spaces. There are art students and volunteers running about. Around the edges, we see traces of Treasure Hill as it once was: house numbers and a few old people inside windows. There are also signs indicating residents and their real homes (not to be mistaken with the galleries and cafes, so stay out!). When we were were at Treasure Hill last week, the art students and volunteers had a couple of kiddie-based exhibits going, which were lame and very cramped.

Street and ramp of Treasure Hill

  View outside of Treasure Hill, from where I ride my bike. I really enjoy riding through here, especially at night.

28 comments:

FOARP said...

"Whenever one encounters a group such as this in Taiwan, one has to ask: "Were any of these people involved in the killing of Taiwanese people during the 2-28 Massacre?""

Yes, because that's absolutely the first thing I ask when I meet refugees from the mainland in Taiwan. Especially when, at least judging from what you've written here, they may have arrived after 1947.

Patrick Cowsill said...

"judging from what you've written here, they may have arrived after 1947."

No, I haven't written any such thing. I said they arrived here in the 1940s. The first soldiers from China arrived in Keelung in October 1945.

"Yes, because that's absolutely the first thing I ask when I meet refugees from the mainland in Taiwan."

I don't think you do; other people would though, especially in meeting an old timer from China who was actively involved in the military going way back. If you are incurious, as you seem to be hinting here, that's fine. Why do you need to announce it here? I don't get that.

FOARP said...

Does "in the 1940's" allow that they (by which, obviously, I mean the people you are talking about here, not KMT forces in general) arrived after 1947? The obvious answer here is: yes.

As you have stated, they were refugees. It is not even clear here whether they arrived as soldiers or were dragooned in afterwards. Knowing the practices of the KMT during that time, both are possibilites.

FOARP said...

My point is that if they were refugees who left the mainland in 1949 then it's a bit silly to ask whether they were in Taiwan in 1947.

The relvance of whether they were 'dragooned in afterwards' is, again, that judging from what you've written, they arrived as refugees. Most mainland refugees arrived in Taiwan after 1947, and therefore could not have taken part in the massacre.

It therefore looks like you're saying that the first question that should be asked of mainland refugees is whether they took part in a massacre in 1947, when actually they almost certainly weren't in Taiwan then because almost no-one took refuge on Taiwan until the collapse in '48-'49.

So why exactly do you think it is a sensible question to ask, when, at least based on your description, it seems illogical?

Patrick Cowsill said...

They, along with some 1.5 million other people, became refugees in early 1949, when the Chinese Civil War was concluded. A KMT soldier in Taiwan in 1945 would have also found himself a refugee in 1949. Not sure where you're taking this or what kind of point you are making.

"It is not even clear here whether they arrived as soldiers or were dragooned in afterwards."

Sure. I agree. Not relevant though. What is your point? Are you going to say something like, with "dragooned," a soldier or dragooned individual would be excused from any kind of behavior?

Patrick Cowsill said...

"It therefore looks like you're saying that the first question that should be asked of mainland refugees is whether they took part in a massacre in 1947, when actually they almost certainly weren't in Taiwan then because almost no-one took refuge on Taiwan until the collapse in '48-'49.

So why exactly do you think it is a sensible question to ask, when, at least based on your description, it seems illogical?"

1. I know lots of people like this (old KMT vets). It's not a question that should be asked. It's a question I want to ask.

2. No. Chen Yi requested and got loads of troops. Then they got the ball rolling on 2-27. Lots of those troops then went back to China to fight. I was told some of the units died in the Battle of Shanghai. Some stayed in Taiwan. Others returned.

3. Getting back to #1. Again I have to ask you, what is your point? The questions I have are natural. Other people have them as well. The question for me to ask is why are you so troubled? Why are you so obsessed with discrediting my question? Are you honestly obsessed with logic, like you say you are, or is there some other fish you'd like to fry?

4. I will expand just for you: "Were any of these people involved in the killing of Taiwanese people during the 2-28 Massacre?" How about White Terror? Did any of them ever torture or murder a Taiwanese person.

5. It is reported that Chiang Kai-shek paid his men 30 percent of their salaries. The other 70 percent was to come from foraging. Did any of these individuals steal from their hosts in Taiwan?

FOARP said...

My point is that normally when I meet a refugee my first instinct is not to mentally accuse them of crimes against humanity. That does not seem like a natural question to ask.

Again, if they were not soldiers when they arrived in Taiwan in 1949, then likely they weren't soldiers in 1947. Why would you ask if they took part in 2/28?

It might be a reasonable question to ask anyone who was a member of the ROC military in 1947 in Taiwan. But you don't seem to be talking about people who were even in Taiwan or even in the military in 1947 here.

If you want to re-define this as "anything bad that the ROC military did in Taiwan", sure, it is sensible to ask whether anyone in the ROC military in Taiwan during the martial law period acted badly towards the local population. However, conscription was introduced by the ROC in Taiwan in 1947, so you'll obviously also have to redefine the "Whenever one encounters a group such as this in Taiwan" to read "Whenever one encounters an old guy in Taiwan", or something similar.

Patrick Cowsill said...

A lot of people in Taiwan don't see them as refugees, but invaders. Sometimes I call them invaders myself; other times, like today, I go with refugees. I also call them carpetbaggers from time to time. It's the truth. People know who they were. In this post, I needed to call them something, so I went with refugees.

You wouldn't ask them if they took part, rather you would want to, as already stated. The former might seem abrupt and even impolite. "You have to ask" means "wonder." Can't you get that? If not, it's not important.

"But you don't seem to be talking about people who were even in Taiwan or even in the military in 1947 here."

Why on earth not? I haven't established a specific date for the people of Treasure Hill coming to Taiwan. I don't know when they arrived in Taiwan. How could I unless I talked to them, which I did not. I never said I did either. I just made a guess, based on history, of the 1940s.

Conscription was introduced in 1947... Huh? Conscription wasn't introduced by the ROC in Taiwan in 1947. It was introduced by the Japanese in Taiwan in 1942. Many of those men conscripted by Japan were turned right around, when they returned to Taiwan, and marched over to China to fight. The men used for 2-28 came from China; most of them after Chen Yi put in a request for more troops.

The "special investigative police," those who later carried out torture and murder during White Terror consisted of people from China. Taiwanese men were not conscripted into the police, but rather the military. So, you can probably change your "Whenever one encounters a group such as this in Taiwan to read Whenever one encounters an 'old guy' in Taiwan" stuff to "old people that tortured and murdered Taiwanese in the name of the KMT came from China until their kids could take over."

I'd like to recap, because I think you're purposely piling on words here. You were pissed off. Now you're just blurring lines as you like to do, to say that Taiwan is just the same as China:

1. Following WWII, there was not a four-year period when no Chinese people came to Taiwan. In fact, lots came here.
2. 2-28 was carried out by Chinese soldiers from China, not Taiwanese people.
3. White Terror was enforced by a special unit, not Taiwanese drafted into the army.
4. Conscription predates the ROC in Taiwan.
5. Conscription was started by the Japanese.

FOARP said...

Dunno why your bringing up the Japanese conscripting Taiwanese. 1947 was just the earliest date I could find for the ROC conscripting Taiwanese - if they actually took Taiwanese for the armed forces right off the bat in '45 then I'll take the earlier date. Which would mean Taiwanese were part of the ROC army right from the get-go.

Similarly, most of the people involved in the 2/28 killings may have been mainland soldiers, but since you called these people refugees, that would imply they arrived after '47, weren't soldiers, and therefore weren't part of it. If, on reflection, they weren't actually refugees when they arrived, then that might change things (as I made clear), but my questions were sparked by your description of them as such.

"The "special investigative police," those who later carried out torture and murder during White Terror consisted of people from China. Taiwanese men were not conscripted into the police, but rather the military. So, you can probably change your "Whenever one encounters a group such as this in Taiwan to read Whenever one encounters an 'old guy' in Taiwan" stuff to "old people that tortured and murdered Taiwanese in the name of the KMT came from China until their kids could take over.""

Kinda confused what your trying to say here. Do you often meet former members of the special police? Or people one could reasonably suspect of being such (and no, simply the fact that they came over with the rest of the KMT's camp-followers is not good reason)? More to the point, if you're saying the ROC army didn't carry out the White Terror, then why are we discussing the White Terror in the context of these guys?

As for me being pissed off, whilst it's impossible to prove that I am in fact just wasting time in the office, I'd hope that you'd be willing to take my word on it. Same goes for the 'trying to blur lines' stuff - actually I'm just asking why your asking why refugee whose date of arrival in Taiwan you now say that you don't actually know were involved in the 2/28 massacre. Seems a somewhat harsh way of thinking about these guys and I'm trying to see if you've got solid grounds for it.

Patrick Cowsill said...

"1947 was just the earliest date I could find for the ROC conscripting Taiwanese"

Nice, but that isn't what you said. You said: "conscription was introduced by the ROC in Taiwan in 1947." It's like you're trying to weave it so that Taiwanese could also have been involved in 2-28.

"Similarly, most of the people involved in the 2/28 killings may have been mainland soldiers, but since you called these people refugees, that would imply they arrived after '47, weren't soldiers."

I never called them the soldiers that did the killing during 2-28 refugees. I called the people of Treasure Hill community refugees.

"Kinda confused what your trying to say here. Do you often meet former members of the special police?

Oh no, I don't. But it is documented. And I have met people arrested by them or who have had relatives arrested by them. The label I used, "special investigative police," was also used by Peng Ming-min, who was arrested by them. He wrote about it later.

Or people one could reasonably suspect of being such (and no, simply the fact that they came over with the rest of the KMT's camp-followers is not good reason)? More to the point, if you're saying the ROC army didn't carry out the White Terror, then why are we discussing the White Terror in the context of these guys?"

I never said they were in the army. I said I don't know who they are, other that they came from China, didn't pay for their land and manned machine guns in Gongguan. That is why I have questions.

Why would I take you at your word? For example, you say "refugee whose date of arrival in Taiwan you now say that you don't actually know were involved in the 2/28 massacre." I never said that they were involved, so why do you say "now?" I said I would be curious to find out. If I were curious to find out, why would I also know? Where is this "now," coming from? You are piling on words again.

"Seems a somewhat harsh way of thinking about these guys and I'm trying to see if you've got solid grounds for it." Really? I think a) you got pissed off (see first comment) b.) you're trying to say China and Taiwan are the same. Solid grounds? This coming from a guy that is saying conscription started in 1947, Taiwanese soldiers were responsible for White Terror and, at least I think, 2-28.

Herman said...

Hi Patrick,

I admire your sense of justice to stand up for the Taiwan 228 victims. But may I offer a perspective that's different from those of the current DPP supporters?

I may be very wrong about this. But then it may be something worth considering.

In his last post "淡水沙崙海灘 Tamsui Sha-lun Beach", EyeDoc made a reference in the comment section of a man. This Taiwanese man, 林雅湘 (Mr. Lin), witnessed the time and some events around 228.

http://blog.boxun.com/hero/2006/xsj12/89_1.shtml

According to Mr. Lin, one event that took place was this:

臺灣若要獨立,二二八事件時就可以獨立了,那時可惜就缺這麼一步。當時臺灣孩子動員起來也很么壽,臺北市上南下北的旅客,少年仔問:「先生,你好!」對方一回答「你好」就可以判别是外省本省,是外省人木條子抓起來就打。那時已經不分是官是民,是外省人就打,實在是很氣外省人亂來。二二八事件時,臺灣孩子會變得那麼凶,最主要的原因是罷市成功,不賣東西給外省人。現在臺灣若罷市可以成功,不必三天,國民黨就要說「再見」了。

That paragraph said that it was the Taiwanese youths who beat up the Chinese, not the other way around, around the time of 228.

This is my understanding about 228 (I read it from the lonely planet guidebook of Taiwan, 2004).

A woman street vendor was pistol-whipped by (KMT) police in public because she was selling tobacco or cigarettes. The crowd around them got angry by the police brutality and confronted the police. The police fired shot into the crowd and killed one innocent bystander.

Lonely Planet guidebook printed,
"The next morning, crowds protested outside the Taipei branch of the Monopoly Bureau, attacking employees and setting the office on fire. Later that day, crowds gathered at the governor's office demanding justice and political reforms. Military police fired on the crowds, killing dozens of protestors. In a state of emergency, all public buildings were shut down as civilians angrily took to the streets. Soon, news of the event spread throughout the entire island riot erupted island wide...."

This description dovetails Mr. Lin's account nicely in my view.

Here is my perspective. The 228 event took place in 1947, when Chiang Kai-shek was fighting the Chinese Communist army in China. This civil war in China is central to my understanding of KMT's later (after 1949) torturing and killing of Taiwanese during the "white terror".

Once it's understood that the Generalissimo Chiang was devoting his full effort fighting the Communists in 1945-49, then certain understanding must logically follow. In particular, this question. "You are the commander-in-chief. You are fighting an all-out battle with your arch-enemy CCP. In the midst of this civil war, a riot is breaking out in Taiwan, a place you consider to retreat to in the event that you lose the war. What is your decision to handle this riot?"

Will you handle it peacefully, rationally, go finding out the facts and deal with it judicially while you are fighting a war? Or do you take the recommendation of Chen Yi, the then Taiwan governor?

I don't mean to say the KMT didn't do "white terror" afterwards. But I do say that if you listen to DPP or some pro-Taiwan people's accounts of "white terror", please do so with some reservation because it's also just one side telling the story.

Have you consider the possibility that during "white terror", maybe more Chinese than Taiwanese got tortured and thrown into jail? I have some guesses about this possibility.

FOARP said...

"I think a) you got pissed off (see first comment) b.) you're trying to say China and Taiwan are the same. Solid grounds? This coming from a guy that is saying conscription started in 1947, Taiwanese soldiers were responsible for White Terror and, at least I think, 2-28."

Err . . . right. See the above comment by Herman for a real example of someone trying to make out that Taiwanese were partly responsible for 2/28. My comment is just pointing out that simple involvement at some point in time in the ROC military is not reasonable grounds for suspecting involvement in 2/28 or even the White Terror. Instead of answering that, you've decided to play mind-reader by divining (surprise!) the unificationist motives behind my questions. Well I guess you've got me rumbled . . .

EyeDoc said...

I have enjoyed the volleying back and forth of you gentlemen. Permit me to add a bit, at least the historical aspect.

In discussing the 228 and the White Terror, it maybe helpful to see that there were many levels of responsibilities. In 228, it ranged from the street level all the way up to Chiang Kai-Sek. The responsibility of the White Terror rested squarely on the then ruling KMT, again, on multi-levels. The arrests, torture, and execution were conducted by the 警備總部. Trace its history, then you'll know if the Taiwanese were involved. This was at a much more sinister depth than the beating up of the Chinese by the Taiwanese youth. In fact, some Chinese were actually killed during 228. But then, there were also acts of kindness, Taiwanese protecting the Chinese during the riot and vice versa during the purge that followed, all well-documented.

警備總部 was a military unit, also a secret police and security force. It had a long history and a vast network in China. And starting in Dec, 1945, the Taiwan branch headed by Chen Yi, was in charge of the take-over of Taiwan. We do not know if some exiled Taiwanese came back with the unit; although it seemed to have formed an informant network very quickly, most likely basing it on documents left behind by the Japanese Special Police plus some arm-twisting. The involvement of the Taiwanese in the 228 would be those informants who had chosen the KMT side. In other words, there were no Taiwanese military recruits working as members of the 警備總部: (1) the draft law was enacted in Jan, 1942 for the Taiwanese to fight in the Pacific War, the returning veterans would still have been regarded as the enemies of China; and (2) the Nationalist draft law was enacted in Dec, 1949; this time the draftees were to fight the Communist China. The 警備總部 started recruiting university graduates, military and police academy cadets, and directly from the ranks of the military police. This would have occurred long after 1945. A reasonable guess is 15 years (for an "untainted" generation to emerge). These young men and women were from the families of both Taiwanese and post-1949 Chinese refugees. This infusion of new blood had allowed the White Terror, officially started in May, 1949, to kick into high gear. Many who grew up in that era, to this day, do not know that the majority of the victims of the White Terror were Chinese. The better known cases were Taiwanese (e.g., Peng Ming-Min), this is however by default.

During the 228, the 警備總部 was supported by the 21st Army and the 4th Military Police Regiment, totaling about 10,000 men, perhaps more. The 21st army was later annihilated by the Chinese Red Army in Shanghai. The men of the MP regiment appeared in some photos executing 228 prisoners at Ma-chang-ding. The executions during the White Terror was much less conspicuous. A not well-konwn fact was that some bodies with one single shot to the heart ended up in the anatomy classes of the National Defense Military Academy.

The Commander-in-Chief CKS should bear the ultimate responsibility whether he was duped or not. The current gov't is still trying very hard to make amends, but the families are not exactly grateful. The wounds are simply too deep.

EyeDoc said...

Also, it is 寶藏巖 (not 嚴). In Taiwanese, 巖 means temple. The Treasure Temple refers to the Guan-yin temple there. This area was a military command and provisions center during the Japanese rule. It was outfitted with anti-aircraft guns in the mid-40s. As in other parts of Taiwan, this area was taken over by the Nationalist military, off-limits to the civilians until the 60s, when the military moved away and squatters moved in. They were/are retired military personnel arriving after 1949. The "village" is one of the many 眷村s in Taiwan. I serious doubt that any of them were involved in the 228. Also, not too likely is their involvement in the White Terror. The question to ask is if they had worked for the 警備總部. I'd be very surprised if some had and even more surprised if they'd give you a straight answer. Some might even be the victims themselves.

Patrick Cowsill said...

"My comment is just pointing out that simple involvement at some point in time in the ROC military is not reasonable grounds for suspecting involvement in 2/28 or even the White Terror."

Really? I don't think "at some point in time" is being argued here. The dates have been specifically given.

"Instead of answering that, you've decided to play mind-reader by divining (surprise!) the unificationist motives behind my questions."


That you say "surprise!" just points to what I have already said; namely, you, sir, came into this discussion with an ax to grind.

I hope you can come in with an open mind and honest intentions.

Patrick Cowsill said...

"During the 228, the 警備總部 was supported by the 21st Army and the 4th Military Police Regiment, totaling about 10,000 men, perhaps more. The 21st army was later annihilated by the Chinese Red Army in Shanghai."

We talked about this before. I'm interested in the topic. I hope more can be written about this unit too; probably a worthy topic for your blog. I'm also interested in the Lost Soldiers: http://patrick-cowsill.blogspot.tw/2010/03/hsu-chao-jungs-lost-soldiers.html I couldn't find the book in English (I don't think it has been translated into English actually), so I had to slog through it in Chinese.

"The involvement of the Taiwanese in the 228 would be those informants who had chosen the KMT side."

Some suspect the involvement of the "half mountain people," Taiwanese who cleared out in 1895 and who returned in 1945+ looking for easy gains. Individuals from this group are suspected in the creation of the kill sheets for 228.

"The current gov't is still trying very hard to make amends, but the families are not exactly grateful."

Yep. People need to keep plugging away at this.

Patrick Cowsill said...

"Have you consider the possibility that during "white terror", maybe more Chinese than Taiwanese got tortured and thrown into jail? I have some guesses about this possibility."

I read in Elegy of Sweet Potatoes, Stories of Sweet Potatoes, by Tephen Tsai, that they were bringing in Communist spies from China. It seems one of them, Tephen's cellmate, was actually just that. I think some innocent people may have just said "screw you, I am" after being tortured as well, as the best way to voice their contempt before going away to the firing squads.

Herman said...

1) to Foarp: if you find something wrong in what I wrote, you are welcome to point out where and why it's wrong. Mr. Lin, I believe, spoke as a person who's on the anti-Chinese side regarding the 228 event. I speak as a person who highly, highly doubt the truthfulness of many current DPP officials.

2) to Patrick: I believe the crux of the matter is what you and EyeDoc said. "The Commander-in-Chief CKS should bear the ultimate responsibility whether he was duped or not. The current gov't is still trying very hard to make amends, but the families are not exactly grateful. The wounds are simply too deep." To this I have much to respond. But let me get my thoughts together first.

Regarding the White Terror, I must say I was merely guessing at the number of Chinese victims. Your mentioning of Elegy of Sweet Potatoes led me to an EyeDoc's old post, then to http://blog.kaishao.idv.tw/?p=2111
Maybe you have contacted Mr. Tsai Tepen. If so, a post about that will be a good reading for all.

My guess is based on my impression that the White Terror was a time of military curfew. For CKS and KMT were in a state of war against CCP. During this time, paranoia and rumors about communist spies were an avoidable part of KMT life in Taiwan. Wasn't this also the time of McCarthyism? I know two Chinese writers were jailed during that time: 柏楊 and 李敖. Some of 柏楊's book made me laugh in stitches. A superior historian and critic, he was put in jail for having written some "politically incorrect" caption in a comic drawing of Popeye. This was interpreted to refer to CKS. His jail time was about 9-10 years. 李敖 is still alive and kicking. He supported 宋楚瑜 in the 2012 election.

A friend of mine, also a Mr. Tsai, who was a resident of Taichung. He said he personally knew a middle- or high-school teacher put in jail during the White Terror. I need to confirm with Mr. Tsai the next time I see him if his teacher was a Chinese instead of Taiwanese. This teacher was reported by somebody that he was talking something about the Great Wall of China. This was interpreted to be praising the CCP and he was put in jail. The problem was that after he was questioned and found to be innocent of any connection with the Chinese Communist, he couldn't be released because nobody dared to be his guarantor. So he stayed in jail, coincidentally, for about 1 to 1.5 years also, like that in Mr. Tsai Tepen's case.

Here is why I guess more Chinese than Taiwanese were jailed during the White Terror. In my estimate, I leave out those who actually did question KMT's authority because they (either Taiwanese or Chinese) would have constituted only a small population in prison. The majority were innocent of any political action. Of this majority, the Taiwanese would be a small portion since they didn't know much nor cared for things related to China. However, the Chinese refugees would be more likely to talk about China and ran a higher risk of being reported and jailed. The KMT? what would they care whether one is Taiwanese or Chinese? So long as it's a suspect of communist spy, in to jail one goes. I will agree with this: plenty of sickos and bastards in the KMT organizations at that time for sure. But then, that's then and now is now. If someone can calmly do forensics on this history, maybe we can face the issue "the wounds are simply too deep" a little better. Maybe. But whether truth is a good medicine or not, I'll rely on someone who's wise to tell us.

EyeDoc said...

There are numerous posts on the 228 and the WT, one more post would not make any difference, so I'll pass.

As to the ultimate responsibility issue, here is one post with this headline, 二二八屠殺台灣紀念日:罪魁禍首國民黨元兇蔣介石, see:
http://tccmau.com/2012/02/02/%E4%BA%8C%E4%BA%8C%E5%85%AB%E5%B1%A0%E6%AE%BA%E5%8F%B0%E7%81%A3%E7%B4%80%E5%BF%B5%E6%97%A5%EF%BC%9A%E7%BD%AA%E9%AD%81%E7%A6%8D%E9%A6%96%E5%9C%8B%E6%B0%91%E9%BB%A8%E5%85%83%E5%85%87%E8%94%A3%E4%BB%8B/
In the comments section, the second comment contains the story of a wrongly imprisoned Chinese professor. Similar stories abound.

And there are still more than 300 sets of unclaimed remains/ashes of the Chinese spies, see:
http://big5.eastday.com:82/gate/big5/news.eastday.com/c/20110121/u1a5684443.html
In purging the true Communist spies, many others were simply innocent young unmarried men from China. No one spoke on their behalf of course.

The WT had imprisoned many other categories of enemies of the state. Both 李敖 and 柏楊 belonged in the outspoken Chinese intellectuals, whereas the DPP founders were the seditious activists seeking to overthrow the govt. "Current" DPP party officials are just politicians, much like those of the US. The latter hurl often baseless charges at each other, on a daily basis. At least in Taiwan now, you don't get thrown into prison for being politically incorrect.

Truth is a good medicine or not? Hard to say, although without the truth, history can be hijacked through distortion and deliberate revision. 愚民 policy has always been the favorite tool of the oppressors.

Patrick Cowsill said...

"Current" DPP party officials are just politicians, much like those of the US. The latter hurl often baseless charges at each other, on a daily basis."

I ceased to have any respect for them when Chen started targeting out-groups, like Filipino and Thai laborers, as the reason for Taiwan's economic (high unemployment) whoas. Then he went bat-shit about having a grandson (daughter? - can't remember the gender) being born on "foreign" soil. I realize that it was just political posturing, but the chauvinism in his tone made me very uncomfortable.

Before you chime in again FOARP, I think I need to point out the comment you made: "Kinda confused what your trying to say here. Do you often meet former members of the special police?"

It's obnoxious. Are you able to grasp that? Do you talk to people like this face-to-face?

Herman said...

Thanks EyeDoc for the reference. I briefly looked over that post regarding CKS and 228. I'll need some time to digest it. Now it's obvious to me that it's not something easy to talk about.

I talked to my friend Mr. Tsai today. Here's a more accurate version of his experience of WT.

One of Mr. Tsai's elementary school teachers was put in jail during the WT. This was the only case that Mr. Tsai personally knew about. The teacher came to Taiwan from the Fujian province and was considered a waishengren (Chinese mainlander). Mr. Tsai said the teacher talked about a bridge built on the Yangtze river, which he probably heard from a shortwave radio broadcast (forbidden to listen to at the time). He was arrested by police on suspicion of being a communist spy. Although cleared of the suspected charges after being questioned, he remained in prison for over a year because he couldn't find anyone to be his guarantor.

Patrick Cowsill said...

@Herman, do you mean Tephon Tsai? I have wanted to speak to him for some time. I didn't before because I thought he was ill. Could I get his contact info from you or HM again? I love his book and would enjoy making his acquaintance.

pcowsill@gmail.com

Patrick Cowsill said...

BTW, Tephon Tsai was jailed as a result of WT, for having the wrong books in his bookcase. So, I think we have the wrong individual. That's too bad. I wanted to meet him before.

HM gave me his contact info a few years back. Then one of Tephon's relatives contacted me to tell me he was gravely ill. I thought it was inappropriate to bother him with my questions. Please ignore my last post. I just saw the name Tsai and got overly exuberant.

Patrick Cowsill said...

BTW x 2. Tephon Tsai had an early record player in his home. He brought it back to Taiwan from his studies in the US (he won a scholarship after WWII to study in the US). I think the record player was sold by his wife for funds to maintain the family while he was incarcerated. I don't remember anything about a short wave radio. He wasn't a 外省人 either. We are talking about different individuals.

Herman said...

Hi Patrick,

The contact info of the author of Elegy of Sweet Potatoes was shown in the last comment at

http://danshuihistory.blogspot.com/2009/08/faces-from-past.html

My friend Mr. Tsai's first initials are H.T. He definitely didn't get a scholarship to study in U.S. I don't know if his elementary school teacher's last name is Tsai or not. But surely we are talking about two different people here. My friend and his elementary school teacher were living in Taichung. The author of Elegy of Sweet Potatoes was in Tainan, and taught English in high school.

http://blog.kaishao.idv.tw/?p=2111

My friend Mr. Tsai is a 本省人 (Taiwanese). He taught me some "sociology" (honest to God that's his terminology) - he was talking about how some business contracts were leveraged in his neighborhoods in Taiwan. At first I thought he was joking. But with the unfolding of the Lin Yi-shih bribery case reaching Kaoshung, I'm awed. I was enraged by the clueless and insidious witch-hunt of vice president Wu. Now I'm mighty entertained by the news and my friend's description of Taiwan "sociology".

FOARP said...

"Do you talk to people like this face-to-face?"

Yes. Yes I do - ask JB.

"That you say "surprise!" just points to what I have already said; namely, you, sir, came into this discussion with an ax to grind. "

No, instead I'm referring to the very common phenomenon on Taiwan blogs of simply accusing people of arguing from a pro-unification/pro-independence point of view, and then acting as if that was a slam-dunk. The simple fact is that, objectively speaking, it is a bit silly to think that these guys were involved in 2/28 for exactly the reasons that Eyedoc outlines above. Whether or not I am pro-pan-blue or pro-pan-green (answer: no) makes no difference to that.

Patrick Cowsill said...

I don't give a fuck about your politics. In addition, I have not written a single post about whether I support unification or not, on if it is a slam dunk, etc. You have painted my story in your own way and have shown an overly active imagination in doing so. For me, there is not a single "exact" item in your reasoning. I say it is more emotional, right from your original statement:

"Yes, because that's absolutely the first thing I ask when I meet refugees from the mainland in Taiwan. Especially when, at least judging from what you've written here, they may have arrived after 1947." You are being boring now in carrying on.

Patrick Cowsill said...

""Do you talk to people like this face-to-face?"

Yes. Yes I do - ask JB."

LOL. BTW, if you drag people in like this, you are just asking for trouble. Experience tells me that we often view ourselves much differently than our friends do.