Ho Chi Minh (the man, not the city)

Ho Chi Minh mausoleum by simmogem, on Flickr
Ho Chi Minh mausoleum by simmogem, on Flickr

In Hanoi rests the body of Vietnamese revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh in a large mausoleum in the centre of Ba Dinh Square.Uncle Ho, as he is affectionally regarded by supporters, led the revolution against the colonial french and governed the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) from 1945 to 1969.

You can view Ho Chi Minhs embalmed body (which we did) under heavy gaurd from the Army.  Along side the mausoleum are the grouds of the presidential palace, the home where Ho Chi Minh worked and lived and a garage containing cars giften to Ho Chi Minh by the Soviet Union.

I am not going to comment on the war, the revolution led by Ho Chi Minh or communist politics.  It’s also a bit difficult to research the matter as much of the western mainstream internet litreature refers to the Vietnamese view of Ho Chi Minh as part of a Communist Party propaganda drive meant to idolise the figure and thus  maintain support for the party. They cite the Government’s supression of information about Ho Chi Minhs romantic life as proof of this. And yet would they say the same about western leaders glorified by their nation, leaders who led wars against other countries (rather than a reclaimation of their own) resulting in hundreds and thousands of deaths?

Hoang our guide said that Ho Chi Minh was his hero. Hundreds of Vietnamese visit the mausoleum to pay their respects every day. In 1987 UNESCO recommended to members states that they “join in the commemoration of the centenary of the birth of President Ho Chi Minh by organizing various events as a tribute to his memory”, considering “the important and many-sided contribution of President Ho Chi Minh in the fields of culture, education and the arts” who “devoted his whole life to the national liberation of the Vietnamese people, contributing to the common struggle of peoples for peace, national independence, democracy and social progress.”


Just saying.


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