While 228 Massacre memorial events occurred around the island of Taiwan on February 28 for the sixty-seventh anniversary of the Formosan uprising against the Republic of China occupation government, ROC maps of the killing fields circulated on the internet in the social networks.
For nearly four decades the Chinese Nationalist Kuomintang covered up the murder of tens of thousands with a harsh martial law that sent many Taiwanese to their deaths or prison. Now the ROC maps of the carnage can be found on Facebook and various websites.
The maps are part of a report to Chiang Kai-shek on progress in crushing the rebellion, a spontaneous uprising over Chinese brutality against the Formosan residents of the Japanese territory.
George Kerr, a U.S. Navy civil affairs officer stationed in Taipei, was eyewitness to the slaughter. Kerr wrote about the horror in his book Formosa Betrayed.
Kerr wrote, “Ships from the mainland lay in the harbor. Local military units ashore, by prearranged signal, began to clear the streets near the docks. Indiscriminate gunfire was directed at no particular objects or groups.”
“With these troops came suitable equipment, most of it of American origin. This was China now, but a hasty paint job did not hide the clearly marked original lettering on the vehicle,”
Kerr himself had to dodge Chinese bullets as the troops fanned out from the docks. “Nationalist Army trucks rolled slowly along the road before our house, and from them a hail of machine gun fire was directed at random into the darkness, ripping through windows and walls and ricocheting in the black alleyways.”
Kerr sent dispatch after dispatch to his superiors begging for American intervention, help that never came. The Cold War was on and President Harry Truman turned his back on the people of Taiwan in order to prop up the failing regime of Chiang Kai-shek. Under international law the United States was the principal occupying power over the island.
The next morning after the Kuomintang invasion Kerr made his way to the Mackaye Mission Hospital and joined other foreigners seeking shelter from the bloodshed:
“From an upper window we watched Nationalist soldiers in action in the alleys across the way. We saw Formosans bayoneted in the street without provocation. A man was robbed before our eyes—and then cut down and run through. Another ran into the street in pursuit of soldiers dragging a girl away from his house and we saw him, too, cut down.”
Kerr wrote, “This sickening spectacle was only the smallest sample of the slaughter then taking place throughout the city, only what could be seen from one window on the upper floor of one rather isolated house. The city was full of troops.”
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