An Eyewitness Account of the February 28th, 1947 Incident
Allan J. Shackleton
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In late February 1947 the island of Taiwan, a powder keg occupied by the Nationalist Chinese regime in 1945 and badly misgoverned since, erupted in protests and riots. The response from the Nationalists was brutal and overwhelming – a weeks-long massacre in which local leaders and intellectuals were systematically slaughtered. Estimates of the dead range from 10,000 to 30,000. The killings became known as the “228 Massacre”, the “228 Incident”, or simply “228” after the date of the first riots (February 28th).
Allan J. Shackleton was a New Zealand officer with the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration assigned to in Taiwan at the time. His eyewitness account of the massacre is an important piece in understanding modern Taiwan’s founding tragedy. Shackleton tried for years to get it published, but it was deemed too politically sensitive during the Cold War when “Free China” was an ally of the Western world. Finally, after Taiwan’s first democratic presidential election, a Taiwanese-American publisher approached Shackleton’s son to publish the book, and it first appeared in 1998, forty years after it was written.
This new Camphor Press edition has been corrected and is now available in e-book format for the first time.