A New English Grammar was required reading for English study, and was a best-seller for decades.
Born in 1929 in Tsoying, Kaohsiung, and arrested on 31 July 1951, Ke Chi-hua was sent for “reform and re-education” to the Green Island New Life Correction Center’s Eighth Squadron. Released in April 1953, he was arrested a second time on 4 October 1961, and in August 1963 was sentenced to twelve years and locked up in Taiyuan Prison and Oasis Villa. Finishing his sentence, he should have been released in 1973, but was kept in prison for another three years. Only on 19 June 1976 did he win release. Waiting in vain for his release. Ke Chi-hua’s wife, Ke Tsai Ah-li, went to Green Island together with her mother-in-law to find out why her husband could not go back home. Outside Oasis Villa in the rain, the two women stood resolute, and after a life-and-death session of negotiations with the authorities, were allowed to stand a hundred meters outside his prison cell and wave greetings to Ke. Continue reading
Chen Chin’s diary ran from 17 January 1953 to 25 November 1954, providing a digest of important daily happenings. This is the only prison diary like it, for, what with the supervisory personnel doing unannounced sweeps of the prison cells and what with prisoners having been resentenced in sedition cases for having written something, nobody dared write one. (provided by Chen Chin, reproduced by Taiwan Art-in Design Company)
The commonplace Silvery Messer schmidia is soft yet keeps its shape, so the inmates often used it to fabricate diving goggles. Because the shape of the face is unique to each individual, the shape of each pair of goggles had to be made to fit. Quite a few pairs were made by a number of New Lifers, who were able to find materials ready to hand and could painstakingly fashion them, whereupon they could find the chance to surreptitiously go diving to catch fish and shells. (produced by Auyang Wen,reproduced by Taiwan Art-in Design Company)
In the early days of the New Life Correction Center, there were only the three squadron buildings built by a construction company that had come from Kaohsiung. Prisoners who came later were put to work cutting wood in the mountains and breaking up reef rocks by the shore. Using reef rock blocks, they built the Kenan “Roughing It” Shed. (sketch by Chen Meng-ho) Continue reading
Purchasing chits printed by the New Life Correction Center in 1954. (provided by Yang cheng-wu) Continue reading
Foreign dignitaries visiting the camp stand beside the Liuma Gulley reservoir. A weir was constructed at the Liuma Gulley to bring water into the reservoir, which was generally used as a bathing pool for the inmates, but also served as a pool for swimming competitions during athletic meets. (photo by Chen Meng-ho, 1956)