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二二八事件The 228 Incident

李筱峰/Professor Li Hsiao-feng
(世新大學教授/Shih Hsin University )

2001-02-28



On the morning of February 28, 1947,
people in Taipei surround the Taipei
Branch of the Monopoly Bureau.

「二二八事件」於台灣光復後不到一年
半之時間發生,源自緝私員與憲警單位
因緝私煙處理失當,始導致二月二十八
日部分台北市民之請願示威,並罷工、
罷市。又因當日發生公署衛兵槍擊請願
民眾事件,紛亂益發不可收拾,乃由請
願懲兇一變而為對抗公署,進而激化為
省籍衝突。此一抗爭與衝突,迅即蔓延
全島,使原本單純的治安事件變質為政
治運動,地方領袖乘機要求全面改革,
部分地區並因接收軍警武器,以致發生
武裝衝突。台灣終戰初期的政治、經濟
、社會、文化的變貌,則是二二八事件
及其往後歷史的伏筆;二二八事件對往
後台灣各方面之影響,既深且鉅。因此
在紀念二二八事件的今天,請到世新大
學李筱峰教授執筆,細數當年二二八事
件的經過與結果,探討此以事件對台灣
人心靈所造成的影響。

The 228 Incident, which occurred less than a year
and a half after Retrocession, started out with
anti-smuggling personnel and military police units,
because anti-tobacco smuggling units dealt with a
case inappropriately, which led to a petition by the
people of Taipei to demonstrate on February 28, and
a strike by industrial workers and storekeepers. And
because on that day government guards shot at the
petitioning crowds, the confusion could not be
contained, and so the petition to punish the murders
turned into a fight against the government, and
went on to become a conflict between the people
of Taiwan and the mainlanders. The resistance and
conflict immediately spread throughout the entire
island, making what was originally just a public
security incident into a political movement.
Local leaders took the opportunity to demand all-out
reform, and because some areas were armed with
military and police weapons, armed conflict ensued.
This transformed the face of Taiwan's politics,
economics, society and culture in the immediate
postwar period, foreshadowing what was to come
after 228. The 228 Incident's subsequent influence
on all of Taiwan has been deep and serious, and
because today is 228 Remembrance Day, we have
invited Professor Li Hsiao-feng of Shih Hsin
University to write an account of the 228 Incident,
and its effects, and to look at the influence it
has had on the psyche of the Taiwanese people.

『祖國』的幻滅

二次大戰結束後,擺脫日本統治的台灣
人民,將希望寄託在海峽對岸的中國,
熱烈迎接這個心目中的『祖國』。沒想
到,真正的中國降臨台灣後,他們才發
現這個中國與心目中的『祖國』相差甚
遠,簡直難以適應。

Illusions of the "fatherland" shattered

After the end of the Second World War, the people
of Taiwan had shaken off the Japanese colonial
government and were hoping that they could put
their hope in China on the other side of the
Taiwan Strait, and they welcomed what they saw as
the "fatherland" with open arms. They never dreamt
that after the real China arrived in Taiwan, they
would discover that this China was very different
from the image of the "fatherland" they had held
in their minds, and it was difficult to adjust.

以『征服者』的心態凌駕台灣

新來的中國政權以『征服者』的心態凌
駕台灣。首先,無視於台灣人早有追求
民主自治的歷史經驗,在台灣設立了無
異於日本總督府的『台灣行政長官公署
』的制度,是集行政、立法、司法、軍
事等大權於一體,無異是日本殖民統治
的延續。在『台灣行政長官公署』的新
殖民體制下,大陸人壟斷權位、牽親引
戚、苟且徇私、外行領導內行、『接收
』變成『劫收』、官場貪污腐化之風,
立刻讓台灣人民開了五十年未開之眼界


Riding roughshod over Taiwan with the mentality of
"conquerors"

The newly-arrived Chinese regime rode roughshod
over Taiwan with the mentality of conquerors.
First, disregarding the fact that the people of
Taiwan had earlier in their history pursued
democratic autonomy, and instead set up a system
of "Taiwan Provincial Governor's Office" no
different from the Japanese governor-general system,
which gathered together the major
authorities - administrative, legislative, judicial
and military - into one body, exactly as if they
were carrying on Japanese colonial rule. In the new
colonial system of the Taiwan Provincial Governor's
Office, the mainlanders monopolized power and
position, and favored their friends and relatives,
put outsiders in specialist positions, and instead
of taking over responsibility for Taiwan, they
plundered it. Officialdom became rife with corruption,
and immediately the Taiwanese people's eyes were
opened to a reality to which they had been blind
for fifty years.

民不聊生

在經濟方面厲行全面壟斷的統治經濟。
標榜『國家社會主義』的行政長官陳儀
,有鑒於日據時代專賣制度成效卓著,
因此不顧本身的政治文化與官場陋習,
一昧沿襲。對樟腦、火柴、酒、菸、度
量衡等物品全部納入專賣。此外尚有許
多民生物資,則由專賣局之外的機構來
厲行統治,無論從交通、運輸、堆棧、
農產品、漁業畜牧、鋼鐵、電力、水泥
、機械製造、石油、工程、造紙、印刷
、紡織、磚瓦、油脂、電工器材、化學
藥品、製鹽等等,無一不在統制之列。
統制經濟如果能公事公辦,亦非不可取
。但是,偏偏在『紅包通神』的官場文
化下,官商勾結,或亦官亦商,使得許
多違禁的進出口品能夠自由進出,官商
從中獲取暴利。這套伴隨著貪污文化的
經濟統制措施,帶給台灣的禍害是至為
明顯不過了。尤以米糧的短缺,造成民
生的痛苦、社會的不安最為顯著。而米
糧的短缺,除了因為應付國共內戰,在
台灣強徵米糧以支援國府軍之外,又因
為官商勾結、囤積米糧、哄抬物價,有
以致之。以台北市零售米價上漲情形來
看,從終戰到二二八事件前,一年四個
月之間,台北市零售米價漲了四百倍。
台灣的財富受到有系統的掠奪,日本人
所留下的兩百三十七家公私企業,六百
多個單位,通通納入『台灣行政長官公
署』所屬各處局所設的二十七家公司來
經營。加以『外行領導內行』,以及人
謀不臧,因此生產力大降,戰後第一年
的生產指數,竟不及戰前的一半,台灣
人享受到比戰前更民不聊生的果實。失
業人口激增,六百多萬人口的台灣,就
有四十萬到八十萬失業人數的紀錄。

Life becomes impossible

A total monopoly on was rigorously enforced on
managing the economy. Governor General Chen Yi,
vaunted "national socialism" in view of the
outstanding results of the Japanese-era monopoly
system, and consequently, despite the KMT's own
political culture and official abuses, began to
follow this practice without exception. Camphor,
matches, alcohol, tobacco, and measuring
instruments were all sucked into the monopoly.
Apart from this, there were still many everyday
necessities which were strictly dominated by
bodies outside of the Alcohol and Tobacco
Monopoly Bureau, no matter whether they were
communications, transport, warehouses,
agricultural products, fisheries and pasturage,
iron and steel, electricity, cement, mechanized
manufacturing, petroleum, engineering, paper
mills, printing, textile industries, bricks and
tiles, oil, electrical equipment, chemicals,
salt industry - every last one of these was
under their control. If the controlled economy
had been practiced according to principle, it
would not necessarily have been undesirable.
But it so happened that under this official
culture where bribes could bring you anything
you wanted, officials and businessmen
collaborated, or else officials were
themselves businessmen, with the result that
many illicit imports and exports were freely
traded, and both officials and businessmen made
vast profits from this. This controlled economic
system was accompanied a culture of corruption,
and the disaster it brought Taiwan was extremely
evident. The rice shortages in particular
created incredible hardship in everyday life,
and social unrest was very clear. But the rice
shortages were due not only to the enforced
support in Taiwan of KMT troops to meet the
needs of the civil war between the KMT and the
CCP in China, but also to official-merchant
collaboration to hoard rice for market
speculation, and artificial price hikes,
which led to rice shortages. Looking at the
inflation in retail rice prices in Taipei City
from the end of the Second World War until just
before the 228 Incident, in 16 months, retail
rice prices in Taipei City shot up 400-fold.
Taiwan's wealth was systematically plundered,
and the 237 privately- and publicly-owned
enterprises left behind by the Japanese, and
over 600 government units, were completely
absorbed into the 27 companies set up and run
by the various offices of the Taiwan Provincial
Governor's Office's. On top of this, the placing
of outsiders into specialist positions, and
incomplete planning led to a huge fall in
productivity, and the production index for the
first year following the end of the war was less
than half of pre-war annual productivity, and
compared to the pre-war period, the Taiwanese
people no longer had enough to live on. The
unemployment figures soared, and of Taiwan's
population of over 6 million, there were a record
400 to 800 thousand out of work.

社會上的動盪與不安

而社會上,盜賊橫行,軍憲紀律敗壞。
許多來自中國大陸的軍人,除偷竊之外
,耍賴、詐欺、恐嚇、調戲、搶劫、殺
人…無所不為,欺民擾民,作威作福,
一派土匪作風,另台灣民眾痛心疾首。
一九四六年,台灣社會已經動盪不安,
軍人開槍滋事,與民眾衝突的案件,屢
見不鮮。因此,國民政府接管台灣第二
年,社會治安嚴重惡化,一年之間刑事
案件增加了二十八倍。

Social upheaval and unrest

Socially, Taiwan was overrun with thieves,
and military police discipline was a corrupt
shambles. Apart from petty pilfering, many
military personnel from mainland China were
also dishonest, deceived and intimidated,
molested women, robbed, killed...they stopped
at nothing, they insulted and harassed people,
abused their power, like a bunch of bandits on
the rampage, and caused deep and bitter
resentment among the ordinary people of Taiwan.
In 1946, Taiwan society was already in upheaval,
and cases of soldiers opening fire, stirring up
trouble and clashing with ordinary people were
nothing out of the ordinary. As a result, in the
second year after the KMT government took over
control of Taiwan, social unrest took a serious
turn for the worse, and in the space of a year,
criminal cases increased 28 fold.

二二八事件的爆發

總之,經過一年半的蹂躪與掠奪,台灣
社會倒退了三、四十年。因此,在所謂
『光復』的一年四個月後,終於爆發了
二二八事件。一九四七年二月二十七日
晚,台北市延平北路發生專賣局查緝員
打傷女菸販並釀成槍擊民眾致死命案,
二十八日台北市民向相關機關抗議未果
,反遭行政長官公署機槍掃射,情勢一
發難收,擴及全島,各地蜂起,全島騷
動。事件的發展循著兩條路線進行,一
為武裝抗爭路線,一為政治交涉路線。
前者指的是出現在各市鎮的武裝民兵,
對憲警機關的攻擊行動﹔後者則是由民
意代表及地方士紳組成的『二二八事件
處理委員會』,與行政長官陳儀交涉善
後處理事宜,進而提出政治改革要求。
在『二二八事件處理委員會』的交涉與
斡旋之下,情況漸趨穩定,然而陳儀對
於『二二八事件處理委員會』提出的政
治改革,表面上虛與委蛇,宣稱民眾如
有任何意見,可經由處理委員會反映,
他會盡量接納改進,但一方面卻打電報
向南京中央政府請兵來台。國府主席蔣
介石聽信在台軍政特務人員一面之詞,
貿然派兵來台。三月八日晚,國府軍隊
奉派抵台,展開鎮壓,釀成屠殺,繼之
以『清鄉』之名,進行全島性捕殺,台
灣社會菁英犧牲殆盡,民眾傷亡慘重,
死亡人數約一萬至兩萬人。

The Eruption of the 228 Incident

In sum, after a year and a half of
devastation and plunder, Taiwan society was
pushed back thirty or forty years. As a
result, 16 months of so-called "Retrocession"
culminated in the eruption of the 228
Incident. On the evening of February 27, 1947,
an agent from the Alcohol and Tobacco Monopoly
Bureau struck and injured a woman illegally
peddling tobacco on Yenping Road in Taipei
City, and this led to another member of the
public being shot and killed. On February 28,
citizens of Taipei protested to the relevant
organizations to no avail, in fact they met
with machine-gun fire from the Governor's
Office. Once the situation had broken out,
it was hard to contain, and it spread across
the island, as people rose up in every place
and rioted all across Taiwan. The development
of the Incident proceeded along two main lines:
one was armed resistance, the other was
political negotiating. The former manifested
itself in the appearance of armed militiamen
in every town and city, carrying out attacks
on police and military bodies; the latter was
the organization of popular representatives
and local gentry into a "February 28 Incident
Settlement Committee" who negotiated with
Governor Chen Yi about dealing with the
problems arising from the Incident, and
also went further to bring up demands for
political reform. With the negotiations and
mediation of the "February 28 Incident
Settlement Committee", the situation gradually
began to stabilize, but Chen Yi paid no more
than lip service to the suggestions of the
Committee concerning political reform. He
announced that if the populace had any
suggestions, they should make them to the
Committee, and he would do his best to
accommodate them, but he also sent a telegram
to the central government in Nanjing asking
for troops to be sent to Taiwan. The KMT
government leader, Chiang Kai-shek, was
receptive to the one-sided statements of
military special agents stationed in
Taiwan and hastily sent troops to Taiwan.
On March 8, the KMT troops arrived in
Taiwan, and began to a quelling which
turned into a massacre, and continued as what
became known as "country sweeping," an
island-wide program of arrest and slaughter.
The elite of Taiwanese society was sacrificed
almost in its entirety, and there were heavy
civilian casualties, with a death toll
somewhere between 10,000 to 20,000.

埋下黑金政治的伏筆

二二八事件帶給台灣的,不只是家破人
亡的悲劇而已,還為台灣往後的政治與
社會種下既深且鉅的影響:一分面,台
灣人的性格受到嚴重的扭曲,過去一直
處於外來殖民統治下的台灣人,顯得更
加卑屈自辱,處處都要表現其不敢違抗
統治者以求安全自保的奴隸性格﹔另一
方面,台灣人民對政治產生恐懼、灰心
、失望。這種對政治的恐懼感與冷漠感
,有利於國民黨的一黨專政,不利於民
主憲政的發展﹔再者,台灣社會領導階
層架空,便利國民黨的統治。許多劫後
餘生的社會菁英不願再與聞政治,地方
政治體質改變,劣幣驅逐良幣,土豪劣
紳、黑道流氓、地方政客,逐漸進入地
方政壇。台灣的黑金政治在二二八事件
之後早已埋下伏筆。

Sowing the seeds of 'black gold' politics

The 228 Incident not only destroyed
Taiwanese families with death and tragedy,
but also had a huge influence on the future
politics and society of Taiwan. On one hand,
the character of the Taiwanese people was
severely distorted: in the past they had
been colonized by foreign rule, but now
they were even more lowly and humiliated
than before, and began to show slave-like
personalities which sought only their own
safety and protection, and didn't dare defy
the rulers. On the other hand, the people
of Taiwan were terrified of, disheartened
by and disappointed in politics. This fear
and lethargy towards politics helped the
KMT's one-party dictatorship, but not the
development of democratic, constitutional
government. Furthermore, Taiwanese society
was now devoid of people with leadership
caliber, which was convenient for KMT
politics. Many of the surviving members
of the social elite were unwilling to get
involved in politics again, the
constitution of local politics changed,
the bad chased out the good, and corrupt
local gentry and criminal elements along
with local politicians gradually began to
dominate the local political world. The
seeds of Taiwan's "black gold" politics
were sown in the aftermath of the 228
Incident.

深切的教訓與啟示

撫今追昔,二二八的歷史應給我們深切
的教訓與啟示:一九四五年的所謂『台
灣光復』是台灣與中國的一次『統一』
。一九四七年的二二八事件,則是這次
『統一』的後遺症。引起這個後遺症的
主要癥結,在於台灣與中國兩個社會的
差距太大,體質不同,彼此適應不良。
這種適應不良,可說是統治文化水準較
落後的一方統治文化水準較高的一方,
所產生的壓制與反抗的循環過程。今天
,大陸上的中華人民共和國無論是政治
制度、社會結構、法律系統、文化內涵
、生活價值、人權指數…,都與台灣迥
然互異,落差極大。台灣若再被『統一
』,真令人擔心二二八事件又要重演!
台灣全體住民能不能從歷史與現實中展
望未來嗎?

Heartfelt education and inspiration

Reflecting on the past in the light of the
present, the history of the 228 Incident
is both deeply educational and inspiring:
the so-called "Taiwan Retrocession" of 1945
was the first "unification" of Taiwan and
China. The 228 Incident of 1947 was the
"sequel" of this "unification." A crucial
factor leading to this reaction lies in
the fact that the difference between
Taiwanese and Chinese society was too great,
and their constitutions too different, and
so they did not adapt well to one another.
This unsuitability could represent the
cyclical process of repression and resistance
produced by the fact that the side with lower
political cultural standards ruled the side
with higher political and cultural standards
higher on the other, so the repression and
resistance produced were part of a cyclical
process. Today, the PRC on the mainland is
too distant from Taiwan, and too far behind
in everything, be it political system, social
structure, legal system, cultural content,
lifestyle values or human rights indices. If
Taiwan is "unified" again, there is a real
concern that the 228 Incident will be replayed!
Can Taiwan's inhabitants predict the future
from the past and present?

Edited by Hsu, Shiou-Iuan/ translated by Elizabeth Hoile
(許琇媛編輯/何麗薩翻譯)
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