Mon, Feb 26, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Museum's exhibition shows valuable documents, records of 228 Incident

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

In commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the 228 Incident, the Taipei 228 Memorial Museum is holding an exhibition through April 25 on valuable historical documents and records that shed light on the tragic chapter in the nation's history.

Thousands of 228-related historical documents and records collected by the late US academic George Kerr and Sun Ya-guang (孫亞光), a former Investigation Bureau staffer who donated his collection to the museum in 2004, will be available for viewing.

Kerr's collection

While the documents donated by Sun include Taiwanese media coverage of the incident and official responses to the tragedy, Kerr's collection -- which ranges from personal letters and notes to English coverage of the event by the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and other international newspapers -- allows viewers to understand the international community's response to the incident.

Hsieh Ying-tseng (謝英從), director of Taipei 228 Memorial Museum, said that while many other organizations collected Chinese-language news coverage of the 228 Incident, his museum was the only one to have collected coverage in English-language newspapers.

Compared with coverage in Chinese-language papers, the international press provided more details on the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government's attacks on civilians and the number of casualties that occurred during the incident, Hsieh said.

Valuable picture

Kerr's collection also includes a valuable picture taken near the Taipei Railway Station, which documented a street protest during the incident, he added.

Kerr was a naval attache at the US embassy in China and was serving as a staff officer and in Taipei when the incident occurred.

At the opening ceremony of the exhibition and concurrent celebration of the 10th anniversary of the museum, Taipei City Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Lee Yong-ping (李永萍) said the department would continue its efforts to educate Taiwanese about the era.

The department's goal is to transform the suffering associated with the incident into a source of strength, Lee said.

Bloody crackdown

The 228 Incident refers to the KMT's bloody crackdown on demonstrators under Chiang Kai-shek's administration in 1947 after a woman was beaten for selling black-market cigarettes in Taipei City on the night of Feb. 27.

The beating sparked nationwide disorder and the slaughter of tens of thousands of Taiwanese at the hands of KMT troops.

The department and the museum are also holding a two-day international forum today and tomorrow at Academia Sinica to discuss the incident from historical, cultural and ethnic viewpoints.

For more information, visit the museum's web site at http://228.culture.gov.tw.

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