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Letters from Taiwan’s White Terror victims are released

The month before he was executed, in April 1952, Guo Ching wrote letters to his mother, wife and children to say goodbye.

The letters had only 140 miles to travel, but they would take 60 years to be delivered.

When his daughter finally received her father’s farewell after a protracted negotiation with Taiwan’s government, she was in her 60s, twice his age when he died.

“I kept crying, because I could now read what my father had written,” said the daughter, Guo Su-jen. “If I’d never seen his writing, I would have no sense of him as a living person. His writing makes him alive again. Without it, he would live only in my imagination, how I picture him.”

The letters were among 177 uncovered in the past decade that were written by victims of the political repression known as the White Terror. From 1947 to 1987, tens of thousands of Taiwanese were imprisoned and at least 1,000 were executed, most in the early 1950s, after being accused of spying for Communist China.

Read entire article at NYT