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  • 5/12/2004

Ho Chi Minh

(May 19,1890 -September 3,1969)
originally Nguyen Sinh Cung; pseudomyms: Van Ba, Nguyen Tat Thanh, Nguyen Ai Quic, Linh, Ly Thuy, Wang, Duong, Nguyen Lai, Nam Son, Tau Chin

He received the nameNguyễn Tất Thành at age 10. Ho embracedCommunism while living abroad inEngland (where he trained as a pastry chef underEscoffier) andFrance from1915 -1923. His father was aConfucian scholar, and Ho himself received a strong Confucian upbringing. In France, in1918, Ho Chi Minh tried to win independence from French colonial rule and was ignored. In1919, he petitioned the powers at theVersailles peace talks for equal rights inIndochina. He soon helped form theCommunist Party and spent much time inMoscow. He later moved toHong Kong, where he founded theVietnamese Communist Party.

After adopting the name Ho Chi Minh, or "He Who Enlightens," he returned to Vietnam in1941 and declared the nation's independence from France. He read a copy of theUnited States Declaration of Independence, replacing the wordEngland withFrance, hoping for US support in his efforts; he got none. He led theViet Minh independence movement in 1941, directed successful military actions against the Japanese occupation forces and later against the French bid to reoccupy the country (1946-1954), and became President of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) in 1954 (he had declared himself President onMarch 2, 1946 but this was not recognised internationally). He signed an agreement with France which recognized Vietnam as an autonomous state in the Indochinese Federation and the French Union onMarch 6, 1946. Ho was a moderate within the Communist Party, and steadily lost influence to militant radicals. He was a leading force in trying to re-unite North Vietnam withSouth Vietnam through invasion during the1960s(Also called the National Liberation Front). Ho led a nearly continuouswar against the French and, later, theAmerican backers ofSouth Vietnam until his death in 1969.

During his presidency, Ho was the center of a largepersonality cult, which increased in force after his death. In1975 the city Saigon (Sàigòn) was renamedHo Chi Minh City, after him. Ho was well-known for his simple lifestyle, moderation and integrity by his supporters, who often affectionately called him "Uncle Ho."

 Selected works:

Procès de la colonisation française, 1925

Thu gui tu nuoc ngoai, 1941

Ve dao duc cach mang, 1958

Selected works, 1960-62 (4 vols.)

Nhat ky trong tu, 1964 - Prison Diary

Di chuc, 1969

Ho Chi Minh: Selected Writings, 1981

Ho Chi Minh on Revolution: Selected Writings, 1920-1966, 1984 (ed. by Bernard Fall)

Ho Chi Minh: Selected Writings, 1994 (3 vols.) http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/hochi.htm

Taken from:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ho_Chi_Minh http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/VNhochiminh.htm
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