Biography of Ho Chi Minh

Living in a country under the yoke of French colonialists, in his childhood and youth, he witnessed the suffering of his compatriots and the movement against the aggressors.

He developed a strong will to expel the colonialists, secure the country’s independence, and bring about freedom and happiness for the people.

With immense love for the people, in 1911, he left the fatherland to go to the West to find the way of national liberation.

President Ho Chi Minh (1890 - 1969)

From 1912 to 1917, Nguyen Tat Thanh came to many countries in Asia, Europe, the Americas and Africa and lived among the working class. He sympathized profoundly with the misery of them and the peoples in the colonies as well as their sacred aspiration. He realized early that the struggle for national liberation of the Vietnamese people was a part of the common struggle of the world people. He actively worked under the aim to unite the people in order to fight for freedom and independence.

At the end of 1917, he left Britain to return to France to continue activities for the movement of the overseas Vietnamese and French workers.

In 1919, under the name of Nguyen Ai Quoc, and on behalf of patriotic Vietnamese nationals in France, he sent to the Versailles Conference a petition for the freedom of the Vietnamese people that would also be the freedom of the colonised peoples.

Under the influence of the October Revolution in 1917 and after reading Lenin’s Theses on the Nation and Colonia Questions, in December 1920, Nguyen Ai Quoc participated in the 18th Congress of the French Socialist Party, voted for the Party to join the Third International of the Communist International, and became one of the founders of the French Communist Party. From a patriot to a communist, he affirmed that the revolutionary road of national liberation in the next period was through Marxism-Leninism and the teachings of the great October Revolution.

In 1921, with some patriots from the French Colonies, Nguyen Ai Quoc founded the Union Inter-colonial of France. In April 1922, the Union published “Le- Paria” to unite, organize and guide the movement of national liberation in the colonies. Many of his articles were included in the famous pamphlet “French colonization on Trial” published in 1925. This is research on the nature of colonialism which woke up and encouraged colonized peoples to rise up to liberate themselves. In June 1923, Nguyen Ai Quoc came to the Soviet Union from France. He worked in the Communist International. In October 1923, at the First Congress of the Peasants’ International, Nguyen Ai Quoc was elected to the Executive Committee of the Peasants’ International. He was the only representative of the colonized peasants designated in the Presidium of the Executive Committee. He participated in the Fifth Congress of the Communist International, the Fourth Congress of the Youth Communist International, and the Congress of the Red Trade Union International. He persevered in protecting and creatively developing the ideas of Lenin on nation and colony issues, and directed the concerns of the Communist International to the movement of national liberation. Nguyen Ai Quoc was appointed the standing member of the Oriental Section and was directly in charge of the Board for the South.

In November 1924, Nguyen Ai Quoc came to Guangzhou, China to select a number of young Vietnamese young patriots living there to open a Political Cadres Training School. His lectures were compiled into the book “Duong Kach menh”    (The Revolutionary Path) - an important theoretical document and idea basis for the revolutionary direction of Vietnam. In 1925, he established the Vietnam Association of Revolutionary Young Comrades, published the weekly Thanh Nien (Youth) journal- the first revolutionary journal of Vietnam, with the aim to disseminate Marxism-Leninism in Vietnam and made preparations for founding the Communist Party of Vietnam.

In May 1927, Nguyen Ai Quoc left Guangzhou for Moscow, the Berlin, and to Brussels (Belgium) to take part in the open meeting of the Anti-imperialist War Conference. After that, he went to Italy, and from there he prepared to return to Asia.

From July 1928 to November 1929, he operated in the movement mobilizing overseas Vietnamese patriots in Siam (Thailand) and continued to prepare for the establishment of the Communist Party of Vietnam.

In spring 1930, he convened a conference for the founding of the Party in Kowloon near, Hong Kong Island. The Conference passed the Outline Programme, Outline Strategy and the Outline Statute of the Communist Party of Vietnam (in October 1930 renamed the Indochinese Communist Party). This Party had been the vanguard of the Vietnamese working class and people, assuming the leadership of the revolution for Vietnamese national liberation. Just after its founding, the Communist Party of Vietnam led a revolutionary high tide (1930-1931), its highest peak being the Nghe Tinh Soviet, the first dress rehearsal of the August Revolution of 1945.

In June 1931, Nguyen Ai Quoc was illegally arrested by the British imperialists in Hong Kong. This was an arduous and glorious time in the active life of   Nguyen Ai Quoc. In spring 1933, he was set free.

From 1934 to 1938, he studied at the Institute of Research on National and Colonia Problems in Moscow. Persevering with the way defined for Vietnamese revolution, he continued to watch and assume guidance of the domestic revolutionary movement.

In October 1938, from the Soviet Union he went to China to get in touch with the Party’s organization and find a way home.

On 28 January, 1941, he returned to the homeland after more than thirty years of activity abroad. He was deeply moved by the scene of his beloved country when passing the border.

In May 1941, he convened the 8th Plenum of the Party Central Committee, to decide the national salvation line in the new period, establish the Vietnam Doc Lap Dong Minh (Viet Minh) (Vietnam Independence League) set up the liberation armed force, and build the revolutionary base area.

In August 1942, taking the name of Ho Chi Minh, representing the Vietnam Independence League and the Vietnam Branch of the International Anti- aggression Association, he came to China to search for an international alliance coordinating anti- fascist actions on the Indochina battlefield. But he was arrested by the   Chiang Kai - shek authorities and jailed in Kwangsi prisons. During 13 months of imprisonment, he wrote the work Nguc Trung Nhat Ky (Prison Diary) consisting of 134 poems in Chinese. In September 1943, he was set free.

In September 1944, Ho Chi Minh returned to the base area in Cao Bang. In December 1944, he gave instruction to create the Propaganda Brigade for the Liberation of Vietnam, the predecessor of the Vietnamese People s Army.

The Second World War was drawing to an end with the victory of the Soviet Union and the Allies. In May 1945, Ho Chi Minh went from Cao Bang to Tan Trao (Tuyen Quang). On his proposal, the Party National Conference and the National Congress were held at Tan Trao and decided to launch the general uprising. The National Congress appointed the Vietnam National Committee for Liberation (that is the Provisional Government) with Ho Chi Minh as President.

In August 1945, he led the people to rise up in a general insurrection to seize power in the whole country. In September, 1945 at the historical Ba Dinh Square, Ho Chi Minh solemnly read the Declaration of Independence, proclaiming the birth of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, and he became the first President.

Soon after that, French colonialists provoked the war, exposing their scheme to invade Vietnam once again. Facing the extremely grave danger of invasion, President Ho Chi Minh appealed to the whole country to wage a resistance war to defend the independence and freedom of the Fatherland with the spirit: “We would rather sacrifice everything than lose our independence and be enslaved”. He initiated the Patriotic Emulation and with the Party Central Committee led the Vietnam people in carrying out the long resistance war of the entire people and in every field, mainly relying on themselves, step by step, towards victory.

In January 1951, the Second National Congress of the Party unanimously elected Ho Chi Minh as Chairman of the Vietnam Workers’ Party. Under the leadership of the Party’s Central Committee and President Ho Chi Minh, the sacred resistance war of the Vietnamese people was a great success, culminating gloriously in the historical victory at Dien Bien Phu (1954) which completely liberated the North of Vietnam.

From 1954, he and the Central Committee of the Vietnam Workers’ Party led the people in the socialist construction of the North, struggle for liberation of the South and reunification of the country.

In September 1960, at the Third National Congress of the Party, he stated: “This is a Congress for socialist construction in the North and for the peaceful reunification of the country” At this Congress, he was re-elected Chairman of the Party’s Central Committee.

In 1964, US imperialists started their war of destruction by air force against the North Ho Chi Minh said: “The war may last five, ten, twenty or more years, Hanoi, Hai Phong and other cities and enterprises may been destroyed; but the Vietnamese people will not be intimidated! Nothing is more precious than independence and freedom. Once victorious, our people will rebuild our country and make it even more prosperous and beautiful”.

From 1965 to 1969, together with the Party Central Committee, President Ho Chi Minh continued to lead the Vietnamese people to carry out the revolutionary cause under wartime conditions, to construct and protect the North, and struggle to liberate the South for country’s reunification.

Before passing away President Ho Chi Minh left the Vietnamese people with the historical Testament. He wrote: “My ultimate wish is that our entire Party and people, by closely joining their efforts, will build a peaceful, reunified, independent, democratic and prosperous Vietnam, and make a worthy contribution to the world revolution”.

Carrying out Ho Chi Minh’s Testament our united people have won over the destruction war by B.52 bombers of the US imperialists, forced the US government to sign the Paris Agreement on January 27, 1973, ending the aggressive war, and withdraw all their troops and satellites from the South.

In Spring 1975, with the historic Ho Chi Minh Campaign, the Vietnamese people fulfilled total liberation of the South, reunification of the country, and realized the sacred wish of President Ho Chi Minh.

President Ho Chi Minh was a great leader of the Vietnamese people. He had creatively applied and developed Marxism- Leninism for the specific conditions of Vietnam, and founded the Vietnam National United Front, Vietnam People’s Armed Forces and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (now the Socialist Republic of Vietnam). He always combined closely the revolution of Vietnam with the common struggle of the world people for peace, national independence, democracy and social progress. He was a virtuous example of industry, thrift, honesty, and righteousness, with a public- spirited, selfless, extremely modest and plain character.

In 1987, President Ho Chi Minh was revered as a national liberation hero and a world cultural celebrity by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Nowadays, during the process of renovation and integration of the country into the world, Ho Chi Minh Thought is great spiritual property of our Party and nation, and it will forever enlighten the way of struggle of the Vietnamese people for the target of a prosperous people, powerful country, and an equitable, democratic, civilized society./.


According to Ho Chi Minh Museum


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