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Noble Ghosts, Empty Graves, and Suppressed Traumas

The Heroic Tale of “Taiyuan's Five Hundred Martyrs” in the Chinese Civil War

Dominic Meng-Hsuan Yang

On 19 February 1951, a state-sponsored funeral took place in north Taipei in which a splendid cenotaph to commemorate the “five hundred martyrs of Taiyuan”— heroic individuals who died defending a distant city in northern China against the Chinese Communist encirclement—was revealed. In the four decades that followed, the Nationalist government on Taiwan built a commemorative cult and a pedagogic enterprise centering on these figures. Yet, the martyrs' epic was a complete fiction, one used by Chiang Kai-shek's regime to erase the history of atrocities and mass displacement in the Chinese civil war. Following Taiwan's democratization in the 1990s, the repressed traumas returned in popular narratives; this recovery tore the hidden wounds wide open. By examining the tale of the five hundred martyrs as both history and metaphor, this article illustrates the importance of political forces in both suppressing and shaping traumatic memories in Taiwan.

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John Bodinger de Uriarte, Paula Mota Santos, and Song Yun

-testing works wrote her most memorable book, The Soong Sisters (1941). Mather points out that, although very well received in the West, the work was greatly censored by the Soongs and omitted many wrongdoings conducted by the Chiang Kai-shek government

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Naomi Caffee, Paul Dukes, and Aimar Ventsel

complications with nearby Japan. Chiang Kai-shek's government in Nanking was not directly affected at first, but then the Soviet Union broke off relations. Determined to accept no other solution than a return to the status quo in its dispute with China, the

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Education, Entertainment, and Indoctrination

Educational Film in Interwar China

Kaiyi Li

which the entire audience bowed to the photo of Sun Yat-sen and the party flag. The local leader then read aloud Sun Yat-sen's last words. After a short silence, the teachers read aloud the directives of Chiang Kai-shek. Finally, they gave a lecture