1947: 228 Incident: Ruling Party Massacres its Country’s Population

1947: 228 Incident: Ruling Party Massacres its Country’s Population
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The anniversary of one of the bloodiest incidents in modern history is commemorated on this day in Taiwan. This event is commonly called the 228 Incident, where the number 228 indicates the date February 28, 1947. On that day government forces started a massacre over the rebellious population in which between 10,000 and 30,000 people were killed.

Responsibility for the crime primarily lies with the political party Kuomintang (the name means “Chinese National People’s Party” in Chinese). The party today still rules on Taiwan, but the party leaders, in the meantime, publicly apologized for the crimes committed.

The incident began in the Taiwanese capital of Taipei, when government agents seized contraband cigarettes from a widow. She begged them to return them to her because they were her life savings; at that point one of the agents struck her with a gun. Then the local people surrounded the agents and conflict arose. One of the agents fired at the crowd and accidentally killed a man.

Because of that murder, a real revolt of the population occurred, which, like a chain reaction, spread across Taiwan, where there were a lot of opponents of the repressive regime. The government’s suppression of the uprising resulted in thousands of casualties.

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