Victims of the 1952 Luku Incident (鹿窟事件) and their families urged the government to construct a memorial hall in their honor at a gathering on Thursday hosted by the Control Yuan marking the 65th anniversary of the incident.
Control Yuan member Kao Feng-hsien (高鳳仙) said that she proposed administrative compensation and an amendment to the National Security Act (國家安全法) to give those who were sentenced an opportunity to appeal and to establish a Luku Incident memorial hall.
However, the Executive Yuan has yet to give a comprehensive response, Kao said, adding that many of the people involved are already more than 90 years old.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
In October, after a 20-month investigation, Kao and fellow Control Yuan member Yang Mei-ling (楊美鈴) issued the Ministry of National Defense a correction for the Luku Incident.
The government wanted to persecute and was not short of excuses, said Lee Shih-cheng (李石城), who was sentenced to 10 years in prison following the incident.
Lee, 83, said that compensation would mean nothing to him.
However, the value of history lies in education, Lee said, adding that he hopes the government would construct a memorial hall and that the past would not repeat.
“I apologize to everyone on behalf of my father,” said Chen Po-ming (陳柏銘), son of then-Luku base leader Chen Pen-chiang (陳本江), who attended the gathering on Thursday with a photograph of his father.
The leader is the culprit and should have been sentenced to death, but was given the opportunity to redeem himself, Chen Po-ming said.
Meanwhile, the leaders’ followers were found guilty and some were even sentenced to death, Chen Po-ming said, adding that he felt apologetic toward the other victims.
The government at the time wanted to make an example of the incident, Chen Po-ming said.
It also constructed the idea of a leader betraying their followers, Chen Po-ming said, adding that the people who participated in the organization were either farmers or miners.
“Who would know what communism is?” Chen Po-ming said, adding that the victims were wronged.
His grandfather and uncle were both executed, Chen Po-ming said, adding that all the men in the village who were productive were put in prison and only the elderly, women and children were left.
When he was young, his mother never spoke about the incident, Chen Po-ming said, adding that he only slowly understood it after reading former Academia Historica president Chang Yen-hsien’s (張炎憲) book.
The first time he saw his father was in a photograph when he was 30, Chen Po-ming said, adding that he knows that his father studied at Japan’s Waseda University and taught at China’s Peking University.
“All I say is that my father did what he did for his ideals and might have had his own considerations at the time,” Chen Po-ming said.
The 1952 Luku Incident is seen as the largest political event of the nation’s White Terror era.
Brothers Chen Pen-chiang and Chen Tung-ho (陳通和) established a Chinese Communist Party armed base in the Luku (鹿窟) village area of what is now New Taipei City’s Shihding District (石碇).
On Dec. 28, 1952, more than 10,000 soldiers and police officers reportedly blocked off all outbound roads in the area and arrested everyone who lived there with the aim of capturing members of the armed base.
More than 400 people in Shihding, Rueifang (瑞芳) and Sijhih (汐止) were arrested, with more than 200 reportedly tortured and 35 executed.
Among the 200, 12 were not indicted or released for turning themselves in, while 98 were given prison sentences, 19 of whom were underage.
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