In Memoriam Tillman Durdin

San Diego, 7 July 1998

Tillman Durdin, a longtime foreign correspondent for the New York Times, passed away in San Diego on Tuesday, 7 July 1998. Together with his wife Peggy, Mr. Durdin was one of the few Western reporters to write about the February 28th Massacre in Taiwan in 1947.

After the end of World War II, the Allies allowed Chiang Kai-shek's troops to occupy Taiwan, where they started a reign of repression and corruption. The 28 February 1947 arrest of a woman selling cigarettes without a license was the spark which led to large-scale public protests. In the aftermath, Chiang's troops murdered between 20.000 and 28.000 Taiwanese, many of them political leaders, intellectuals, doctors, and lawyers.

Tillman Durdin's account in the New York Times, and Peggy Durdin's articles in The Nation give a gripping account of the events of what came to be known as the "February 28th Incident", the start of 40 years of Martial Law in Taiwan.

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