- White Terror
In general, the term White Terror refers to acts of violence carried out by
reactionary(usually monarchist or conservative) groups as part of a counter-revolution. In particular, during the 20th century, in several countries the term "White Terror" was applied to acts of violence against real or suspected socialists and communists.
White Terrortook place in 1794, during the turbulent times surrounding the French Revolution. It was organized by reactionary "Chouan" royalist forces in the aftermath of the Reign of Terror, and was targeted at the radical Jacobins and anyone suspected of supporting them. [John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, First Baron Acton, "Lectures on the French Revolution", edited by John Neville Figgis, C.R., Litt.D. and Reginald Vere Laurence, M.A. (London: Macmillan and Co., Limited, 1910). [http://oll.libertyfund.org/Texts/Acton0003/FrenchRevolution/HTMLs/0001_Pt04_Part4.html#acton.22 Chapter XXII: After the Terror.] Accessed online 23 March 2007.] Throughout France, both real and suspected Jacobins were attacked and often murdered. Fact|date=February 2007 Just like during the Reign of Terror, trials were held with little regard for due process. In other cases, gangs of youths who had aristocratic connections roamed the streets beating known Jacobins. Fact|date=February 2007 These "bands of Jesus" dragged suspected terrorists from prisons and murdered them much as alleged royalists had been murdered during the September Massacresof 1792. Fact|date=February 2007
Again, in 1815, following the return of King Louis XVIII of France to power, people suspected of having ties with the governments of the French Revolution or of Napoleon suffered arrest and execution. Marshall Brune was killed in
Avignon, and General J.P. Ramelwas assassinated in Toulouse. These actions struck fear in the population, dissuading Jacobin and Bonapartist electors (48,000 on 72,000 total permitted by the census suffrage) to vote for the ultras. Of 402 members, the first Chamber of the Restoration was composed of 350 ultra-royalists; the king himself thus named it the " Chambre introuvable" ("the Unobtainable Chamber"). The Chamber voted oppressive laws, sentencing to death Marshall Ney and Colonel Labédoyère, while 250 people were given prison sentences and some others exiled ( Joseph Fouché, Lazare Carnot, Cambacérès).
Anti-communist White Terrors
Russian White Terror
Bolshevik Revolutionof October 1917, Anti-Communistgrouped themselves loosely into the 'White Movement'. The color whitewas adopted as the symbol of the movement because it had been the traditional color of the Russian monarchy (the Russian Tsarwas often called the "White Tsar"). In 1918, the White Movement started the Russian Civil Waragainst the newly created Russian SFSR. Both sides carried out acts of violence against dissidents and suspected enemy agents within the territory they controlled. The mass arrests and summary executions carried out by the White Movement became known as the "White Terror".
By analogy, the term "White Terror" came to be used to refer to many different campaigns of violence carried out by various kinds of
Anti-Communistforces against real or suspected Communist sympathizers, in different places and periods of the 20th century.
Hungarian White Terror
One of the first such White Terrors outside Russia was the Hungarian White Terror, the retaliation carried out by irregular and semi-regular detachments (most of them formally belonged to
Miklós Horthy's "National Army") in Hungaryin 1919-1920, after the fall of the Hungarian Soviet Republic, against Communists, Socialists, and Jews. Horthy's personal moral culpability and responsibility for the White Terror is a matter of dispute among historians: some argue that Horthy did not command these atrocities—indeed, in words, he may have prohibited them. Still others argue, perhaps as convincingly, that Horthy orchestrated these attacks in an attempt to galvanise power.
German White Terror
In the aftermath of the
First World War, Germany tottered on the brink of chaos. Attempting to prevent a takeover by the Marxist Spartacist League, Germany's Socialist regime, which had taken power after the fall of the Monarchy, formed militias out of demobilized WWI veterans. The Freikorps, as they were called, were meant as a replacement for the Kaiser's Army, which had evaporated overnight due to desertion. The Freikorps succeeded in defeating the Spartacist League on the streets of Berlin and later invaded and annexed the Marxist Bavarian Soviet Republic. A large number of people fell victim to the Freikorps, including Spartacist leaders Rosa Luxemburgand Karl Liebknecht, who were hunted down and murdered after the botched Spartacist Revolt of 1920.
Finnish White Terror
Finnish Civil Warof 1918, the victorious White troops of Carl Gustaf Mannerheimshot thousands of Finnish leftwingers and put thousands of others, by no means only Communists, in internment camps. Diseases, hunger and numerous further executions after treasonconvictions were widely regarded as terror on the remaining leftwingers, whether Social Democrats, Communistsor merely trade unionfunctionaries. The executions only ended after official protests from Great Britainand the United States.
Bulgarian White Terror
The White Terror in Bulgaria occurred during the
right-winggovernment of Aleksandar Tsankov(1923-1926). The Bulgarian Communist Partywas repressed and martial lawwas declared. In 1925, after the Sofiabomb attack aimed to assassinate Tsar Boris III, the Communist Party was outlawed and persecution escalated, with many notable figures who had expressed Communist beliefs—for example, writer Geo Milev—being repressed, put on trial or even killed.
Chinese White Terror
"White Terror" (zh-cp|c=白色恐怖|p=Báisè Kǒngbù) in relation to modern Chinese history is associated with the
Kuomintangunder Chiang Kai-shek.
April 12 Incident
April 12 Incidenttook place during the Chinese Civil War. It was an attempted suppression of Communists, leftists, labour union members and Communist sympathisers by Chiang Kai-shek's Kuomintangregime. Beginning in April 1927, the White Terror spread through many major Chinese cities, most notably Shanghai.
Also known as Chiang's "Bloody Double Cross", this White Terror saw his armies turn against their former Communist allies. Death squads patrolled the cities, on order to shoot anyone suspected of Communist leanings.
The formal name for the "Bloody Double Cross" is the Shanghai massacre. The Communist Party regime of the
People's Republic of Chinarefers to it as the "April 12 Counterrevolutionary Coup".
The "White Terror" continued throughout the Chinese civil war, and also resulted in the assassination of a number of prominent Communists, leftists and democrats such as
Taiwanese White Terror
Rooted in the anti-Communist White Terror on the Chinese Mainland and the
228 Incidentor the 228 massacreon Taiwanin 1947, the "White Terror" describes the suppression of political dissidents and public discussion of the 228 Incident under the martial lawperiod from May 19 1949to July 15 1987.
During the White Terror, around 140,000 Chinese, mostly Taiwanese, were imprisoned or executed for their real or perceived opposition to the
Kuomintang(KMT) government led by Chiang Kai-shek, according to a recent report by the Executive Yuanof Taiwan. Most of those prosecuted were labeled by the Kuomintang as "bandit spies" (匪諜), meaning spies for Chinese communists, and punished as such. Among the White Terror's victims were indeed many Taiwanese and mainland Chinese Communist agitators, but with time the White Terror permitted countless abuses. The "White Terror" left many native Taiwanese with a deep-seated bitterness towards the Kuomintang, Chiang Kai-shek, and sometimes the Chinese. It should be noted that a large number of the White Terror's victims were mainland Chinese who usually owed their evacuation to the island to the KMT, and often having come unaccompanied to Taiwan were considered more disposable than local Taiwanese. Many of the mainland Chinese who survived the White Terror in Taiwan, like Bo Yangand Li Aomoved on promote Taiwan's democratization and the reform of the Kuomintang. Comparatively little attention has been paid to the mainland Chinese victims of the White Terror since most did not have family members on the island and no political capital can be exploited from their deaths.
Fear of discussing the White Terror and the 228 Incident gradually decreased with the lifting of martial law in 1987, culminating in the establishment of an official public memorial and an apology by President
Lee Teng-huiin 1995.
panish White Terror
During and after the civil war in Spain the
Nationalistside murdered an estimated 200,000 people.
Greek White Terror
During 1945-1946, right-wing gangs killed about 1,190 pro-communist and left-wing civilians, and tortured many others. Entire villages that helped the partisans were attacked by those right-wing gangs.
White Terror in Ethiopia
In February 1977, the
EPRPinitiated terrorist attacks - known as the White Terror - against Derg members and their supporters. This violence immediately claimed at least eight Dergmembers, plus numerous Dergsupporters, and soon provoked a government counteraction - the Red Terror (Ethiopia).
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