Sun, Jun 10, 2018 - Page 3 News List

New oral history unveiled for independence activist

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Cultural researchers yesterday presented new oral history about Taiwanese independence activist Chen Chih-hsiung (陳智雄), who was executed during the White Terror era, while calling for more research on his life.

Chen was born on Feb. 18, 1916, in Pingtung County during the Japanese colonial era, but was executed by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on May 28, 1963, for his promotion of Taiwanese independence.

Chen spoke Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese), Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, English, Indonesian and Malayan and was appointed by the Japanese government to work as a translation officer in Indonesia during World War II, according to a collection of papers published in 2016 by Taiwanese National Congress chairperson Ted Lau (劉重義).

After the war, Chen stayed in Indonesia, where he had a jewelry business, and married an Indonesian woman, Chen Ying-niang (陳英娘), in 1946, the collection said.

At a forum in Taipei yesterday, National Chiao Tung University Department of Humanities and Social Sciences associate professor Tsai Yen-ling (蔡晏霖) shared an interview she conducted with Chen Ying-niang in Indonesia in 2008.

Chen Ying-niang told her that she had had no idea about her ex-husband’s involvement in any political campaigns, and that he had often returned home in the early morning after having played mahjong with friends all night, Tsai said.

When she was pregnant with their first child, he was often away, Tsai said, adding that he had told her to remarry, knowing that their marriage would not continue.

The two met in Jakarta in 1950 after she remarried and Chen Chih-hsiung appeared to not want relations with other people, Tsai said.

Regarding Chen Chih-hsiung aiding Indonesian independence, the complex relations between Indonesia and its maritime occupier, Japan, and the larger international context of the 1940s must be considered, Tsai said.

Chen Chih-hsiung was kidnapped from Japan by KMT agents in the 1950s, US political activist Linda Gail Arrigo said, adding that some might want to sue the Japanese government for illegally extraditing the man.

Wu Ping-chung (吳秉中), graduate student in Taipei National University of the Arts’ Department of Filmmaking, said he plans to produce a 25 minute film that will dramatize the martyr’s life.

This story has been viewed 3121 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top