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The Formation of Political Prisoners

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The Formation of Political Prisoners

route.category:國家文化記憶庫分類 - 空間、地域與遷徙
contributor:林駿騰
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The Formation of Political Prisoners-the Experience Tour of Historical Sites of Injustice

  •  Philosophy and Goal


 This route focuses on the Western Taipei, where many political institutions and secret agencies are situated, and covers various types of Historical Sites of Injustice. The route design involves important locations where prisoners underwent different trail stages, such as interrogation, torture, imprisonment, detention, and transfer. Through this route, visitors are able to thoroughly learn how the political prisoners were interrogated, sentenced, and incarcerated. By returning back to the historical site and understanding the historical events that took place at the location, visitors get to reflect on how today's society re-understands the meaning of these Historical Sites of Injustice.


  •  Features


The route is designed to be relatively concentrated; hence, the visitors can finish the tour within half a day by walking and using mass transit. Among all the routes, it is the most feasible and promotable one.


The visiting sequence of the Historical Sites of Injustice along the route is arranged according to the different trial stages that prisoners underwent, including interrogation, tortures, imprisonment, detention, and transfer, which is the first highlight of this tour. Furthermore, the route closely follows the urban historical development of Western Taipei, which succeeded the urban planning and city development of the Qing Dynasty and the time under Japanese rule and still had been a vital district where government agencies were concentrated sometime after WWII. Locations involving national command and order such as Taiwan Garrison Command and secret agency headquarters such as Investigation Bureau of the Ministry of the Interior are the sites that are less accessible in the other routes. Having a chance to learn more about the fundamental institutions related to the Historical Sites of Injustice is the second highlight of this tour.  


  •  Itinerary

One-day walking tour

TransportationWalking and MRT

RouteTaipei MRT Ximen Station Exit 6→Walking→Security Department Detention Center of the Security Command (Higashi Honganji Temple)→Walking→Investigation Bureau, Ministry of The Interior→Walking→Taiwan Garrison Command→Walking→MRT Xiaonanmen Station→MRT→MRT Shandao Temple Station→Walking→Taipei Military Prison, Ministry of National Defense →Walking→Huashan Cargo Terminal


Guides or visitors are recommended to use the database of the Historical Sites of Injustice website for reference.


Time
Location
Activity

8:00

Taipei MRT Ximen Station Exit 6

Meeting & Departure

8:05-8:30

Security Department Detention Center of the Security Command (Higashi Honganji Temple)

Introduction & DiscussionThe imprisonment and detention of political prisoners

Address

 No. 36, Xining S. Rd., Wanhua Dist., Taipei City

8:40-9:10

Investigation Bureau, Ministry of The Interior

Introduction & DiscussionIntelligence investigation during the Martial Law Era

Address

 No. 77, Sec. 1, Huanhe S. Rd., Wanhua Dist., Taipei City

9:25-9:50

Taiwan Garrison Command

Introduction & DiscussionFatigue interrogation and torture

Address

No. 172, Boai Rd., Zhongzheng Dist., Taipei City

10:00-10:15

MRT Xiaonanmen Station

Take the MRT to Shandao Temple Station

10:20-10:50

Taipei Military Prison, Ministry of National Defense

Introduction & DiscussionVictims and the conditions of imprisonment

Address

 To the south of Sec. 1, Zhongxiao E. Rd., to the west of Linsen S. Rd., to the north of Qingdao E. Rd., and to the east of Zhenjiang St., Zhongzheng Dist., Taipei City

11:00-11:30

Huashan Cargo Terminal

Introduction & DiscussionThe transfer and reimprisonment of political prisoners in Taiwan

Address

Meihua Vil., Zhongzheng Dist., Taipei City

  • Site Introduction

 Higashi Honganji Temple

Security Department Detention Center of the Security Command (Higashi Honganji Temple) 


 
Detention Center of the Security Command (the later Garrison Command) that located at the former Higashi Honganji Temple was called by the secret agents “the Big Temple” whereas Taiwanese people called it “the Yama Temple” during the Nationalist government period. In the early 1950s, it was described as the “fiery purgatory” for secretly executing prisoners.

Investigation Bureau, Ministry of The Interior

Investigation Bureau, Ministry of The Interior


During the White Terror era, the Investigation Bureau’s business covered political investigation, information collection, counterintelligence and interrogation. It had branches set up all around Taiwan, controlled the Marine Affairs Field Office and operated interrogation houses.

Taiwan Garrison Command 


Taiwan Garrison Command is short for “Taiwan Garrison Command Security Office Detention Center,” a secret police body under the R.O.C. Ministry of National Defense (MND). Taiwan Garrison Command was an institute created by executive orders but without legal grounds. However, the Command had unchallenged, supreme authority and controlled Taiwanese people’s fate during the White Terror and Martial Law periods after WWII.

Taipei Military Prison, Ministry of National Defense

Taipei Military Prison, Ministry of National Defense 


 
The Ministry of National Defense’s Taipei Military Prison was established in 1947. Its previous location was somewhere in the block which was to the south of Sec. 1, Zhongxiao E. Rd., to the west of Linsen S. Rd., to the north of Qingdao E. Rd., and to the east of Zhenjiang StIt was the first military prison in Taiwan after WWII, and was near the Detention Center of the Military Law Office, Taiwan Provincial Security Command (nowadays No. 3, Qingdao E. Rd.), and the Detention Center of the Military Law Bureau, Ministry of National Defense (nowadays No. 1, Qingdao E. Rd.), three of which were remodeled from a Japanese army warehouse.

 Huashan Cargo Terminal 


 
According to extant historical documents, the very first group of political prisoners embarked on their journey on foot in the wee hours of May 15th 1950, from the Detention Center of the Military Law Office, Taiwan Provincial Security Command (nowadays No. 1, Qingdao E. Rd., where the Sheraton Grand Taipei Hotel is) to the Huashan Cargo Terminal. These criminals were paired up by putting handcuffs on their one hand, with the other hand left to hold their personal luggage. Thus, the said station turned out to be a substantial transit hub to transfer political victims.

  • Route & Map

Route & Map


Spot ASecurity Department Detention Center of the Security Command (Higashi Honganji Temple).
Address
No. 36, Xining S. Rd., Wanhua Dist., Taipei City

The old site has been demolished and is now open space.


Spot BInvestigation Bureau, Ministry of The Interior

AdressNo. 77, Sec. 1, Huanhe S. Rd., Wanhua Dist., Taipei City

The old site has been demolished and is now open space.


Spot CTaiwan Garrison Command

AdressNo. 172, Boai Rd., Zhongzheng Dist., Taipei City

Not open to the public and can only be viewed outside.


Spot DMRT Xiaonanmen Station


Spot FMRT Shandao Temple Station


Spot GTaipei Military Prison, Ministry of National Defense

AdressTo the south of Sec. 1, Zhongxiao E. Rd., to the west of Linsen S. Rd., to the north of Qingdao E. Rd., and to the east of Zhenjiang St., Zhongzheng Dist., Taipei City

The old site has been demolished and is now open space.


Spot HHuashan Cargo Terminal

AddressMeihua Vil., Zhongzheng Dist., Taipei City

Not open to the public and can only be viewed outside.


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