Formosa Betrayed

By George H. Kerr


A courageous American diplomat, Mr. George H. Kerr, who worked at the US Consulate in Taipei at the time of the massacre, observed many atrocities in person. He later on set out to write down his observations and research, which was published in 1965 as "Formosa Betrayed", published by Houghton Mifflin, and republished in 1992 by the Taiwan Publishing Co., Irvine CA. Copies can be ordered by faxing to (714) 863-3141. An online version has also been made available at http://www.formosa.org/betrayed.


After the Japanese surrender in 1945, the Formosans, despite the Cairo Declaration, hoped for a guaranteed neutrality under American or international trusteeship. Instead, they were delivered over to another and more oppressive occupation.

Their prosperous society was invaded by a horde of mainland Chinese, often brutal, ignorant, and greedy -- the dregs of the Nationalist army. The new governor, under orders, bled the island dry, ruthlessly and with dispatch.

Yet still the Formosans hoped. American propaganda, promising freedom to all oppressed peoples, and citing the glorious Revolution of 1776, continued to pour in upon them. In February 1947 unarmed Formosans rose en masse to demand reforms in the administration at Taipei. Chiang Kai-shek's answer was a brutal massacre. Thousands died -- first among them were the leaders who had asked for American help. Washington turned a deaf ear, while the Chinese communists rejoiced.

After Chiang's military collapse and retreat to Formosa the situation became even worse. As American emotional commitment to Chiang became more fervent, Formosan hope for American or United Nations intervention or understanding faded and died.

From inside cover of Mr. George H. Kerr's "Formosa Betrayed."

Copied from Taiwan, Ilha Formosa

The February 28 Holocaust