Ho Chi Minh
Hồ Chí Minh
|Chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Vietnam|
19 February 1951 – 2 September 1969
|Preceded by||Position created|
|Succeeded by||Position abolished|
|First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Vietnam|
1 November 1956 – 10 September 1960
|Preceded by||Trường Chinh|
|Succeeded by||Lê Duẩn|
|1st President of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam|
2 September 1945 – 2 September 1969
|Preceded by||Position established|
Bảo Đại (as Emperor)
|Succeeded by||Tôn Đức Thắng|
|1st Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam|
2 September 1945 – 20 September 1955
|Preceded by||Position established|
Trần Trọng Kim (as Prime Minister of the Empire of Vietnam)
|Succeeded by||Phạm Văn Đồng|
Nguyễn Sinh Cung
19 May 1890
Kim Liên, Nghệ An Province, French Indochina
|Died||2 September 1969 (aged 79)|
Hanoi, North Vietnam
|Political party||French Section of the Workers' International|
French Communist Party
Communist Party of Vietnam
|Relations||Bạch Liên (or Nguyễn Thị Thanh) (Sister)|
Nguyễn Sinh Khiêm (or Nguyễn Tất Đạt) (brother)
(Nguyễn Sinh Nhuận) (brother)
|Parents||Nguyễn Sinh Sắc (father)|
Hoàng Thị Loan (mother)
|Alma mater||Communist University of the Toilers of the East|
Early life[change | change source]
'Hồ Chí Minh', meaning 'Hồ with the will of light', was not his real name. He took that name around the time of the August Revolution in 1945. His real name was Nguyễn Sinh Cung when he was born. At ten, he changed his name to Nguyễn Tất Thành, according to Confucian tradition. He would later use many pseudonyms (false names). Other than 'Hồ Chí Minh', his most famous name was probably Nguyễn Ái Quốc meaning "Nguyễn (by far the most common Vietnamese last name) who loves his country." The Vietnamese people commonly refer to him as Bác Hồ (Uncle Hồ).
Nguyễn studied in Paris from 1919 to 23. In those years, he started following communism, and began to believe that Vietnam- then a French colony-should be independent. During this time he wrote a letter, which was ignored, to United States President Woodrow Wilson, asking for U.S. military aid to help overthrow the French colonial rulers. He joined the French Communist Party, and started visiting Moscow regularly, as a member of the Asian branch of the Comintern.
First Indochina War[change | change source]
Hồ led a revolution against the French rulers of Vietnam from 1945 to 1954. After overthrowing the French, a communist regime supported by the Soviet Union and China was set up in the northern half of the country, with himself leading the country as both president and prime minister. But, an anticommunist government supported by the United States, was set up in the southern half of the country because the United States did not want all of Vietnam to be communist during the Cold War.
|Vietnamese||Hồ Chí Minh|
|Vietnamese birth name|
|Vietnamese||Nguyễn Sinh Cung|
Second Indochina War (Vietnam War)[change | change source]
South Vietnam and America refused to hold an election and unite the two halves into one country because they feared a communisty victory. Hồ then led Vietnam into a military and political struggle to bring the rice fields of South Vietnam under his communist rule. Two decades of war followed that killed millions of Vietnamese. The United States supported South Vietnam with military aid, and the Soviet Union (led by Nikita Krushchev and then Leonid Brezhnev) and the People's Republic of China (led by Mao Zedong) continued to support North Vietnam's war effort.
In the end, North Vietnam won the war several years after Hồ Chí Minh had died.
Death and legacy[change | change source]
In his will he said he wished to be cremated and have his ashes be buried in hills in the north, center, and south of Vietnam. However, his followers embalmed his body and put it in a tomb, the mausoleum, where he is still worshipped today.