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lundi 29 janvier 2007

Biet them ve Ho Chi Minh (letter)


Research by LE VAN TIEN

for NGUOI VIET & THE KY 21 Publishing Co.

Courtesy NGUOI VIET & THE KY 21

Translated by VQ Homepage from the original version in Vietnamese


The following research is by Mr. Le Van Tien, pen name Nhu Phong, a scholar in Saigon who is well known in issues concerning Communism and particularly the Vietnamese Communist regime. He was incarcerated in Communist prison camps after April 30, 1975.

After resettled in the USA , Mr. Tien has continued his researches on the same domain. His latest work is about facts of Ho Chi Minh's true life, with newly found written materials that Mr. Tien searched out from official archives in France. The materials supplement and confirm documents previously revealed by other researchers.




As the founder of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, president Ho Chi Minh has a prominent place in the history of the modern Vietnam. Many international researchers have been writing a lot about this personage but none of the authors would claim such writing sufficient and complete. As of his life and works - beginning with NGUYEN TAT THANH then NGUYEN AI QUOC then HO CHI MINH - there are things only known vaguely and people hope to find them out more accurately among numerous documents kept in archives in countries where he was living and working, in organizations and agencies he was cooperating with. In France, the Great Britain, the former Soviet Union, China, Thailand and even in Vietnam... there were periods when his whereabouts were unclear and furthermore, true or false is indiscernible.

First of all, his date of birth. So far, historians have not determined about Nguyen Tat Thanh's year of birth. In the small book "NHUNG MAU CHUYEN VE DOI HOAT DONG CUA HO CHU TICH" (Stories of President Ho's Active Life), author's name TRAN DAN TIEN, Ho's year of birth is said to be 1890(1). However, in a petition for enrollment in the French Colonial School in Paris, his date of birth is 1892.

Secondly, what was the aspiration of the young man Nguyen Tat Thanh at the time he left Vietnam in 1911? Is it true that this young man was "Leaving to seek for the ways to save his country" as eulogized by his disciples later? Or like most other people, in the past or present time anywhere, he left home to seek for a better life with conditions to attain a social position and to build his career?

Moreover, where did the name Nguyen Ai Quoc come from? It has been known that in the years following World War I, Nguyen Ai Quoc was the common pen name of a group of Vietnamese intellects living in France, who were cooperating with intellects of African origin against colonialism. The two principal writers of the group was Nguyen The Truyen and Phan Van Truong(2). So when was Nguyen Tat Thanh assigned to carry the name - or did he claim it himself?

In the National Archives of France there are many documents about Nguyen Tat Thanh - Nguyen Ai Quoc - Ho Chi Minh. In the Center of Oversea Archives (CAOM) in Aix En Provence there is a box of documents marked "Documents of NGUYEN AI QUOC", code # INDO-HCI-SPCE//1116, which researchers may freely consult and copy. The set of documents consists of thousands of pages of papers divided into many parts. One of the parts is a collection of materials bearing the handwritings of Nguyen Tat Thanh, or Paul Tatthanh. Handwriting examiners used these papers to compare with his later writings signed as Nguyen Ai Quoc.

The following are some documents copied from the originals in French to compare with those written by Tran Dan Tien and other Ho's disciples, about the 1911-1920 period of his life.

To be objective, the researcher of this article does not insert his own comments, only adding foot notes when necessary, so that readers could have more appropriate observations of their own.


In the "Stories of..." Tran Dan Tien wrote (quoted):

President Ho was born in 1890 (p.8)... In 1907, for the first time farmers in Central Vietnam provinces rose to protest heavy tax (p.9)... That was the situation inside and outside Vietnam, when President Ho was still a youth of fifteen years old... That youth had early knowledge and felt painful at the grieves of his compatriots. At that time he already had his will to expel the French colonialists, to liberate his people. He joined clandestine activities, and was assigned the tasks of a liaison boy (p.10).

About his embarkation for France, Tran Dan Tien quoted a man, Mai, as saying in page 12:

About late 1911 or 1912 - I can't remember well - I was working at the dining hall of the officers aboard. Our ship anchored at Saigon dock to load cargo and to receive passengers.

At noon one day, a young man got aboard. After a minute of faltering, he asked for a job. We told him that there was no job, and even if there was one, we didn't have authority to admit him. We were laughing because he looked like a school boy, not a worker as we were...I didn't know why I felt compassion and said: "Follow me, I'll bring you to the ship owner. Probably he would have some job for you."

"What can you do?" the ship owner asked.

"I can do any work!" the young man said.

"Well, I'll hire you to assist the cook. Come back tomorrow morning to begin working."

As to the job so-called chef's assistant - truly a kitchen help hand - Tran Dan Tien wrote in page 13:

Working in the ship kitchen, he had to work every day from 4:00 AM, cleaning the main kitchen then starting the ovens. After that, he would go fetching coal, bring up vegetable, fish, meat and hot water from a hold. Next would be picking vegetable, cleaning pans and rekindling the ovens... He often heard of:

- Ba, bring me water!

- Ba, clear the pans!

- Ba, add more coal here, and there" (end quote)

The ship on which he was given a job to help him go to France was the Amiral Latouche Treville of the Paris-based Compagnie des Chargeurs Reunis with a branch office in The Hague. The ship stopped at The Hague on July 15, 1911 (3).


Two months after his arrival in France, Nguyen Tat Thanh intended to quit working on the ship in order to go schooling. His ambition at the time was already great. The school he want to enroll was the Colonial School of the Ministry of the Colonies, which specialized in training medium and high ranking officials who would be assigned to leading job in the colonies. Nguyen Tat Thanh's application for the school, which was found and published by some scholars not long ago, is also touched upon to suffice the document.

Application for the Colonial School consists of 5 documents:

1. Application letter written in Marseille on September 15, 1911, sent to the President of the French Republic, requesting enrolment as a boarding student of the Colonial School.

2. Application letter written in Marseille on September 15, 1911, sent to the Minister of the Colonies, similar to the above-mentioned.

3. Referring note from Paris on September 27, 1911 of the minister of the Colonies to the Chairman of the Colonial School Council of Administration.

4. Official letter from Paris dated September 27, 1911 of the chairman of the school administration council to the Minister of the Colonies, regardning Nguyen Tat Thanh, which said: Unable to process Nguyen Tat Thanh's application because candidates for courses for the colonies must be selected and sent to the school by the Governor General of Indochina.

5. Official letter from Paris dated October 21, 1911 replying to Nguyen Tat Thanh, which was similar to the reply to the Minister of the Colonies: very sorry not to approve.

Nguyen Tat Thanh's application letters sent to the President of France and to the Ministeer of the Colonies have identical content, hand written in French on one page.

Following are the 5 documents translated from the original version in French.


Document 1. Application letter to the President of France

Marseille, September 15, 1911.

Mr. the President of the Republic,

I have the honor to ask for your favor from your great benevolence so that I would be admitted to the courses of the Colonial School as a boarding student.

I am actually employed at the Compagnie des Chargeurs Reunis (Amiral Treville Latouche) for my living. (4)

I am entirely without income and aspire for learning. I want to become useful to France in front of my compatriots and at the same time to be able to help them take advantage of the profits of education.

I am an origin of Nghe An province in Annam.

While waiting for your reply that I hope will be favorable, Mr. the President, please accept the assurance of my gratitude in anticipation.

Nguyen Tat Thanh

born in Vinh in 1892,

son of Mr. Nguyen Sinh Huy

(associate doctor in literature)

Student of French

quoc ngu (*)

Chinese characters


* Vietnamese written in alphabet)

Document 2. (Application sent to the Minister of the Colonies. Similar to document 1)

Document 3. Referring note from Paris, Sept 27, 1911...

Document 3. Referring note from Paris 1911

Document 4. Official letter from Paris on October 12, 1911...


The Colonial School

Council of Administration


Liberty - Equality - Fraternity

Paris, October 12, 1911

Chairman of the Colonial School

Council of Administration


The Minister of the Ministry of the Colonies

(Personnel Division - Section 1)

Dear Sir,

In the letter dated September 29, 1911 (number 777), you have forwarded to me a letter of the Annamese Nguyen Tat Thanh, applying for the admission in the course for the colonies in the Colonial School.

I have the honor to inform you that this application cannot be processed: according to Article 1 of the decree dated April 10, 1910, students of the courses for the colonies are sent to the school by the Governor General of Indochina.

The letter of the young man NGUYEN TAT THANH is enclosed.

(signed and sealed)

Document 4. Official letter from Paris on October 12, 1911

Document 5. Official letter from Paris on October 21, 1911, of the same contents as document 4

Document 5. Official letter from Paris on October 21, 1911



After his application to be admitted as a boarder of the Colonial School was rejected, Nguyen Tat Thanh went on working on the Amiral Treville Latouche. In the first year living and working in France, he saved money to send to his father, the associate doctor Nguyen Sinh Huy via post office services. Three times he sent money, the total amount unknown, but according to him, his father received only one.

In the following winter, 1912, the ship made a trip to the Americas. When the ship stopped at New York harbor, Nguyen Tat Thanh did not go ashore for recreation but stayed aboard thinking of his parents. It's not known whether he sent money to his family from New York, only that he wrote directly to the highest French official in Annam (Central Vietnam), the "resident superieur" or governor. The letter contained two requests. Firstly, he asked for help with locating his father's address so that he could send money to him monthly. Secondly, he asked the French governor to help his father find a job to earn an income. What he asked for his father was the job as a clerk in some ministry of the royal cabinet in Hue, or a school district inspector, or a teacher of Chinese character in a provincial school.

The three following copies are from the originals found in the file of Nguyen Tat Thanh or Nguyen Ai Quoc's handwritings from the set of documents of CAOM concerning his request help for sending money and finding a job for his father. (For readers' convenience, the following documents are numbered from 6 to 9)

Document 6: Classified letter 877-S dated December 5, 1923 in Saigon of the Public Security Service of Indochina to the director, Directorate of Politics and Public Security, Office of the Governor General of Indochina.

Indochina Police


Public Security Service

Confidential Note No 877-S

Saigon, December 5, 1923.

To: The Director,

Directorate of Politics and

General Public Security,

Office of the Governor General,



In reply to the classified note No 2261-SG dated November 26, 1923,

here addressing to you the attached photocopied letter that was mentioned in my telegram No 125 on the last November 13.

The original was submitted by the Resident Superieur of Annam to the Governor of Cochinchina in dispatching slip No 12 on March 12, 1913. NGUYEN SANH HUY was here during this period. After that he could not be found, and only at the creation of the Public Security Service (5) was he classified as a suspect, found and put under surveillance as usual.

Chief, Public Security Service

(signed and sealed)


Document 7: Confidential dispatching slip No 2394-SG on December 17, 1923.




December 17, 1923


Photocopy of a letter from New York on

December 1 ,1912 addressing the Resident

Superieur of Ananm, signed Paul Tatthanh

(supposedly Nguyen Ai Quoc)

For information.

To compare handwriting if there is such task, with those in the original documents possessed by SR. of C.G.I.



(Signed and sealed)

Document 7: Confidential dispatching slip No 2394-SG on December 17, 1923

DOCUMENT 8: The 2-page hand written letter in French sent from New York on December 12, 1912 by Paul Tat Thanh to the French Resident Superieur of Annam in Hue, translated from the original in French.

New York, December 12, 1912

To: The Resident Superieur of Annam in Hue,

Dear Sir;

I have the honor to respectfully ask you for a favor mentioned below:

Having departed from my country in July last year (1911), I've left behind my father, old and without support. Although I have often written to him, I have received only two replies since. I've sent him two money orders, he replied only once, because that time the money order was confided to you, who remitted it to his own hands. Now I don't know what becomes of my father and where he is.

I want to send him some money monthly, but I don't know how to do. Now that I'm in complete ignorance of his address; and following an occupation as a navigator, I often change my address, if it is not to demand help from you, the obliging protector of the country.

Oh, how burning is my situation, living very far from my parents, having rarely received their news, willing to assist them without being able to.

Urged by filial love, I dare beg you to kindly accord him a job such as Thua Bien (minister's aide) of a Bo (ministry) or a Huan Dao (school district inspector), or Giao Thu (teacher), so that he could earn his living under your lofty benevolence.

I beg you, Monsieur le Resident Superieur, to have pity on me as to let me know my father's actual state and to permit me to send to your residence all of what I would like to send to him.

In the hope that your goodness would not reject the request of a child who, to fulfill his filial duty, has help only from you, and while awaiting you reply, Monsieur le Resident Superieur, please accept my respectful salutations of your filial people and grateful servant.


(Son of Mr. Pho Bang Nguyen Sinh Huy)

General Delivery: 1 Amiral Courbet Street, 1

Le Havre, France.

Note on left margin, page 1: [Call the pho bang Nguyen Sinh Huy to see me].

DOCUMENT 8: The 2-page hand written letter in French sent from New York on December 12, 1912 by Paul Tat Thanh to the French Resident Superieur of Annam in Hue, translated from the original in French.

Document 9. Petition to the League of Nations.

The first autograph with signature of Nguyen Ai Quoc is a document of three hand written pages in French in 1919, under the title "Voeux de l'Annam exprimes sous form de chanson," (The Wishes of Annam expressed in form of a song). Hand written documents signed Nguyen Ai Quoc have been used by examiners to compare and (maybe) determined that they were written by the same hand.


On the occasion of peace, all inhabitants far and near are rejoicing.

With a hope that the Allies, with the sword of justice will cut off all savage actions.

Many times it is proclaimed clearly and precisely that all peoples have their independence.

Formerly, Annam was powerful, now it is placed under the French protectorate. With all its honesty, Annam finds itself necessary to present its complaints

and requests that the great protector nations care about the matter.

Article one: Liberation of Annam citizens who have been convicted because of politic reasons.

Article two: Reform of the laws so that they will be equally applicable to Europeans as to Annamese and suppression of the special tribunals, which caused an injustice to honest people.

Article three: Authorization of larger education system, development of industry, free practice of professions and commerce.

Article four: Authorization of forming associations.

Article five: Authorization of public debates.

Article six: Authorization of movement around the world.

Article seven: Establishment of a constitutional regime so that all state affairs must be under the great power of legislature.

Article eight: Election of representatives who will go to France to represent their people and defend their people's interests.

Those are eight wishes worded differently in form, to be submitted to the League of Nations for consideration.

It is with special hope that France look at this document in her hand with liberality.

It is impossible that France would turn away with deaf ears to millions of people and let them go astray, because France is particularly famous of her incomparable fraternity and humanity.

For a long time, Annam has been living under the protection of the flag of liberty, always holding to their hope. Therefore, Annam asks France for a close consideration. By so doing, France will firstly augment her glory, and secondly defend her just cause.

These are translated into Vietnamese to be sent to the young and the elder as well.

Thanks to the victory that peace has been restored, justice respected and barbarity condemned, and cries of joy have been heard from all people. Because Europeans have enjoyed much, it is unacceptable that Annam remains in enslavement.


Open your eyes to see clearly that Egypt, India, Korea, that previously had been so weak and had made wrong steps towards decadence, now nearly recover their independent conditions owing to the sagacity of their citizens.

Listen, twenty million Annamese! In this situation you must be reflective.

By fraternity, equality and liberty, we have to look at ourselves to compare to others. These are some expressions, short in phrases but long in ideas.

Have you comprehended them, my friends?


Document 9. Petition to the League of Nations

Documents from the VCP only refer to the content of the Eight Wishes without releasing the whole text. Nguyen Ai Quoc's disciples call it a "petition" sent to the League of Nations in the early 1919. Hong Ha, former member of the VCP central committee is well aware of the fate of the petition. The author of the book "Bac Ho O Phap" (Uncle Ho in France) (7) relates the anecdote "Nguoi Khach Buoi Som" (The Early Morning Visitor):

On the spacious and luxurious upstairs room at 24 Mandes Park, the old Mrs. Genevieve Tabouille, a veteran French journalist, said:

- At that time in 1919, the first post-war year and the year of the peace conference. I was working as a clerk for my uncle Jules Cambon, a French ambassador. In an early morning when everybody was still in bed, the door bell rang. I opened the door and saw on the door steps an Asian, or rather a skinny Indochinese. He greeted me and said:

- I have a statement to present to Ambassador Cambon.

I quickly invited him in and showed him to the ambassador's office. I asked the visitor: "Pardon me! May I have a question, who are you?"

"Mademoiselle, I am Nguyen Ai Quoc," he said. "I'm a photographer. I'd like to see Ambassador Cambon."

The young man Nguyen Ai Quoc untied a roll of paper with a red string and said, "I come here because I'd like to hand him a statement of all the Indochinese people."

Among the papers I found a letter to Ambassador Cambon: "Your Excellent Ambassador Cambon, representative of France at the Versailles conference. I'm the representative of the Indochinese people. We are a people in developing stage. We have a knowledge of the civilization of your country..."

Enclosed with the letter was an important demand. Ambassador Cambon was asked to present it to the Versailles peace conference. It demanded the release of all Indochinese political prisoners, the dissolution of special courts, freedom of press, of assembly, of going abroad, of study, etc... Both were in fine hand-writing and skillfully worded.

"You write very well, but my uncle is not up yet; it is still early in the morning," I said to Nguyen Ai Quoc.

"So I would leave them here and please hand them to Ambassador Cambon," he said.

To that I said, "Yes, please. Leave your address, too. If there is any result, I'll let you know.."

When my uncle got up to work, I told him about the Vietnamese visitor. He asked me to read him the petition. I completed the reading and put the letters on the desk. My uncle read it once again and said: "I'll send it to Prime Minister Clemenceaux."

And my uncle sent the papers to Clemenceaux, who along with my uncle and the others, represented France at the Versailles peace conference. Later, my uncle said: "It's a bad chance for Nguyen Ai Quoc. They were discussing about too many countries. Moreover, in the conference they were mangling the colonies and vying with each other for influence over the world, no one cared about the far away countries in the Far East. And Clemenceaux is not a good man, so it is fruitless."

Until signing the "petition," Nguyen Ai Quoc had been only a member of the French Socialist Party for one year. Not until this party held a general congress on December 25, 1920 at Tours City, did Nguyen Ai Quoc become a Communist. The report that Nguyen Ai Quoc presented at the congress has been mentioned in all books and materials about Ho Chi Minh, not because it was the first accusation of the Vietnamese brought against the French colonialism, but because it marked Ho Chi Minh's abandonment of his national-democratic-socialist course to devote himself to Marxist-Leninism then Stalinism and Maoism.

At the Tours congress, the French Socialist Party was disintegrated because of pro-Soviet elements intended to transform the Socialist Party into a Communist Party and merged it completely with the Third-International established by the Soviet Union in 1919. The French Communist Party was founded in the night between December 29 and 30, 1920 from this division. Nguyen Ai Quoc then became a member of the French Communist Party and served in the party cell in Seine till he went to the Soviet Union in June 1923.

According to files in France, during the 18 months living in the Soviet Union, Nguyen Ai Quoc was working in the standing committee office of the Krestintern (International Farmers). In the early 1925, Nguyen Ai Quoc was sent to Guang Zhou, South China to work under Borodine at the USSR Consulate. Nguyen Ai Quoc was nominally an interpreter, but his actual activity was recruiting Vietnamese arriving from Vietnam to work for the USSR. In fact, Nguyen Ai Quoc could only read Chinese characters but unable to speak the Chinese language at that time.

Nguyen Ai Quoc's living and working in Guang Zhou - then with the name of Ly Thuy - from 1925 to 1927 were well known to the French intelligence agency. In a set of Nguyen Ai Quoc documents kept in the CAOM archives, there are testimonies of dozens of people who were working closely with Nguyen Ai Quoc, most of them were the founders of the Thanh Nien Cach Mang Dong Chi Hoi (Association of Youth Revolutionary Comrades) and also the founders of the Indochina Communist Party years later. The testimonies of those leaders who were building the Communist Party with Nguyen Ai Quoc alone consist of thousands of large typed pages full of data. If they are re-arranged and complemented by declassified documentary sources of former Communist countries, people would have knowledge closer to truth regarding thoughts and actions of each personage in each period of the proletarian revolution history in Vietnam. The following are the two brief sections from the testimony of more than 100 pages of LESQUENDIEU (LQD), one of the six persons who founded the TNCMDCH along with Nguyen Ai Quoc in 1925. One section is LQD's self-writing biographical sketch, the other is about TANG TUYET MINH, a Chinese woman who allegedly was Nguyen Ai Quoc's wife while he was living in Guang Zhou.


LESQUENDIEU: Biographical Sketch.

Sources: Document NGUYEN AI QUOC - CAOM - INDO - HCI - SPCE//367 - Series 1116.

- Declaration of LE QUANG DAT of his proper subject. Hanoi, July 13, 1931.

- Written declaration of LESQUENDIEU concerning his life from his release from Canton prison to his arrest, Hanoi, June 13, 1931.

- Information provided by LESQUENDIEU about TUYET MINH, a Chinese woman, NGUYEN AI QUOC's mistress. Hanoi, October 28, 1931.


- True name: LE VAN CHINH



- Born: 190(?) - at Tu Tri village, Xuan Lieu canton, Nam Dan district, Nghe An province.


- Family background: scholar - district governor; as a young child, taught Chinese characters by father and grandfather; adult age, learning quoc ngu and French.

- Activities:

* 1924, with help from Canton Chief Oanh, Phan Boi Chau's son-in-law, fled Vietnam via Vinh and Thakhet, Lakhon (Laos) in June 1924 and was brought to Guang Zhou. Learning Chinese.

* 1925, admitted after entry exam. to China Whampoa Military Academy. Met Ly Thuy (Nguyen Ai Quoc). Being one of the six men, along with Nguyen Ai Quoc, founded the Viet Nam Thanh Nien Cach Mang Dong Chi Hoi. The other five: LAM DUC THU, HO TUNG MAU, HONG SON (Le Van Phan), LE HONG PHONG, TRUONG VAN LEN. Introduced by Ly Thuy, becoming a Chinese Communist party member.

* 1926, graduated at Whampoa, assigned as the academy instructor officer, rank captain. Promoted to major, in charge of inspection. Sponsoring a group of seven men from Vietnam who crossed the border at Dong Hung, including Tran Phu. Sponsoring more than 20 cadres from Vietnam, among them Duong Hac Dinh, Phi Van, Pham Van Dong.

* January 1929. Arrested and imprisoned by Kuomingtang government in Guang zhou because of working for the China Communist Party. Released on August 15, 1929. Working in the Special Cell of the Annam Communist Party in Hong Kong-Guang Zhou.

* November 1929. Transferred to Shanghai to be a representative of the Special Cell beside the Orient Section of the Communist International. December 1929: by directives of the Orient Section, returning to Hong Kong to meet Nguyen Ai Quoc.

* February 1930 in Hong Kong, along with Nguyen Ai Quoc, Truong Van Lenh, Ho Tung Mau, settling the conflict between different Communist groups in Vietnam, founding the Indochina Communist Party. Again meeting Ly Quy, real name Tran Phu, who just returned from Moscow.

* Since April 1930, working in Shanghai, representing Nguyen Ai Quoc at the Orient Section. In charge of arranging trips to the Soviet Union and back for Vietnamese party cadres.

* Arrested on June 6, 1931 at home on Quang Dang Lo Street in the British Concession of Shanghai, then sent back to Hanoi.


Relations between Tang Tuyet Minh and Nguyen Ai Quoc (1925-27 under the name Ly Thuy) was reported in the testimony of Lesquendieu alias Le Quang Dat at the French Security Service in Hanoi on October 26, in two typed pages in French.

Subject: About Tang Tuyet Minh, a Chinese woman, the mistress of Nguyen Ai Quoc.

Facts disclosed by Lesquendieu.

Hanoi, October 28, 1931.

Tang Tuyet Minh is a Chinese of Guang dong, daughter of a rich merchant who has 3 wives, 12 children, two daughters and a son among them earned their Ph.D. degrees in the United States. All the three died after returning to China.

Tuyet Minh attended a midwife course at the same time with Luong Hue Quan, the wife of Lam Duc Thu. Graduated a midwife but she has never worked as one.

When her father died, her mother who was his third wife, her younger sister, her younger brother and herself were evicted from her father's home by his other two wives.

I don't know what has happened to her siblings from then on. However, in 1925, Tuyet Minh was living in poverty with her mother in Dong Son area, Gwang dong. It was at the time when Lam Duc Thu introduced her to Nguyen Ai Quoc whom she had to marry only because she was needy.

It was not Nguyen Ai Quoc who initiated Tuyet Minh into Communism. At the time, he only spoke little Chinese. He brought her into contact with members of the Women Liberation League , which was an organization of the China Communist Party.

Those members taught her Communism. She became a member of the league but with the least enthusiasm.

As Nguyen Ai Quoc's wife, she was living with him at Borodine's home, Dai Dong Street (number forgotten) near Nhan Hung Cai, across the street from the office of the "Guang dong Province Party Committee" (1)

In 1927, Nguyen Ai Quoc took to flight, Tuyet Minh returned to Dong Son area to live with her mother in poverty.

Despite of narrow circumstances, she never lived again with Nguyen Ai Quoc when he reappeared at the late 1929.(2) They met once by chance. She had never loved him whom she thought too old to her and she got married to only because she was too poor.

I think she must have had another husband now. Otherwise she is unable to provide for herself as she has a 70-year-old mother to support. At least she has to work as a midwife.

She has a half-brother (of the same father), who is a rich merchant in Hong Kong and able to help her, but she did not visit him for a long time as she was not getting along with his wife.

Physiology: About 27 years old. Small stature. Frail. Light complexion. Black hair in a bob, half combed backward, half in bangs. Round face. Narrow mouth. Straight nose. Lively black eyes. Agile.


(1) Of the Kuomintang.

(2) Nguyen Ai Quoc himself told me so.

Notes of the SCR (Intelligence service): On the contrary, agent Pinot said that the mistress of Nguyen Ai Quoc did go to see him in Hong Kong and was living in Van Chay area before Nguyen Ai Quoc got arrested.

True copy.



(1) Tran Dan Tien. Stories of President Ho's Active Life. Noted in the book: draft completed in Spring 1948. Van Hoc Publisher - Foreign Publishing Co., Hanoi, 1989. Printed after the 8th edition of Van Hoc Publisher, Hanoi 1972.

According to many reliable sources, the 143-page book was written by Ho Chi Minh himself but signed as Tran Dan Tien.

* After Hoang Van Chi: After born he was named Nguyen Van Cung, but later was called Coong. The name was changed to Nguyen Tat Thanh when he was 10 years old.

* After Hoai Thanh and Thanh Tinh: the name was Nguyen Sinh Cung in his childhood.

* Nguyen Tat Thanh' father. In records in France, all have the name of Nguyen Tat Thanh's father as Nguyen Sinh Huy. According to Hoang Van Chi, the father was Nguyen Sinh Sac, attending the Hoi Examination (intermediate degree between primary exam after about 10 year of study and the Dinh Examination exam at the King's Court, the highest degree) in 1901. Passed with Pho Bang title (subdoctoral title); worked in the Ministry of Rites as Thua Bien (a minister's aide), then appointed Tri Huyen (district governor) of Binh Khe district, Binh Dinh province. Removed from this position, reasons differ in various documents and none has been corroborated. As to time of his death and his burial, please see notes 5 and 6.

* As to the 1901 Hoi examination, according to "Quoc Trieu Dang Khoa Luc" (records of the graduates in the current dynasty) compiled by Cao Xuan Duc: Nguyen Sinh Sac, later changed to Nguyen Sinh Huy. According to "Cac Nha Khoa Bang Viet Nam" (The scholars of Vietnam) compiled by Ngo Duc Tho, Nguyen Thuy Nga, Nguyen Huu Mui, Van Hoc Publisher, Hanoi, 1993: Nguyen Sinh Huy, old name Nguyen Sinh Sac, passed the Giap Ngo (Year of the Horse, 1894) Examination as Cu Nhan (Bachelor degree); passed the exam in Tan Suu (Year of the Buffalo), King Thanh Thai 13th year (1901), as Pho Bang.

* As to the date when Nguyen Tat Thanh joined the crew of the Amiral Treville Latouche for France, according to B. Falls: Summer 1912. According to J. Lacouture: He changed to Ba himself. According to the ship's log, it arrived at Le Havre on July 15, 1911.

(2) Nguyen Ai Quoc. "Le Proces de la Colonisation Francaise" - Premiere Serie - Moeurs Coloniales. Librairie du Travail. Paris, 1923. Preface de Nguyen The Truyen. Note at the end of the book: To be published, 1/ Le Proces... Second volume by Nguyen The Truyen. 2/ Le Proces... Third volume, by Nguyen Ai Quoc with a traditional play, short stories and memoirs. 3/ The Xich Quy Rebellion, novel by Nguyen The Truyen . etc...

Some beginning paragraphs of Nguyen The Truyen's preface:

In 1923, the French colonialism has been the topic of a resounding case.

Scandals in Togo and Cameroun enraged indigenous people who were compelled to live under the French trusteeship, so much that the League of Nations had to order an investigation.

The case we would like to sue today covers all French colonial territories... Protests and complaints by the 59 million slaves in the colonies will be carefully collected to be presented in a series of books.

We begin with the presentation of an Annamese: Nguyen Ai Quoc.

Another issue: The League of Nations with humanitarian stand-points is not our concerns, but we mainly wish to present the case to the Tribunal of History. By materials - numerous, various, substantial and "lively" - that we have introduced, the humankind in the future that we wish to be better, happier, would be able to judge the crusade against colonialism with its proper values.

(3) Under the French colonialist regime, a Vietnamese must have the ID Card with photograph and fingerprints issued by the federal police to travel between Tonkin, Annam and Cochinchina. Visa of entry for people from the colonies into France required very complicate process, not as simple as Tran Dan Tien's account. Even the story of a stranger getting on a ship at the Quay of Nha Rong without permission is something very difficult to take place.

Mr. Nguyen The Truyen said in Hanoi in 1949 and Saigon in 1960 that after Nguyen Sinh Huy was dismissed from the district governor office due to his wrongdoing, his son Nguyen Tat Thanh had to drop out from school and was fostered by a French Catholic priest. The priest had once been in charge of a parish in Phan Rang or Phan Thiet where Nguyen Tat Thanh helped with teaching catechism to children. According to Nguyen The Truyen, Nguyen Tat Thanh's handwriting was beautiful, similar to writing exercise style of the Church, and that it was this priest who helped find a job for his foster son so that he could get aboard the ship for France. This could be corroborated if there would be opportunities to examine the records of Nha Trang Diocese.

(4) subsistance; misspelled "substance"

(5) Daniel Hemery. "Revolutionaires Vietnamiens et Pouvoir Colonial en Indochine." Bib. Socialist, Paris, 1975. Footnote, p. 175: Surete Generale, a special division of the Indochinese Police Dept. created by a decree of the French Governor General on May 23, 1915, reorganized by a decree of Albert Sarraut, the governor general, on Jun 18, 1917. Confidential note #877-S on December 5, 1923 mentioned above indicate that:

1/. Nguyen Sinh Huy was classified as a suspected activist against the French power in Indochina after the Surete Generale was established in 1915 and therefore he was located and put under house arrest at designated residence.

2/. He had relations with anti-France activists, before or after he was dismissed from Binh Khe District governor


(6) Daniel Hemery, according to Ho Ta Khanh, Nguyen Sinh Huy died at an unknown date that must be after 1928. Nguyen Sinh Huy was living in Saigon in the early 1926 as a traditional medical man. It seemed that he was among those who had frequently visited Phan Chu Trinh before Mr. Phan passed away in Saigon in 1926. Nguyen Sanh Huy died in Cao Lanh and was buried in the land of a landlord, Mr. Nguyen Van Phong. Because of this burial, local authorities arrested him and he was sentenced 20 years of hard labor for anti-France activities. D. Hemery, ibid.

(7) Hong Ha. "Bac Ho o Phap." (Uncle Ho in France) 2nd edition,, revised, 93 pages. Van hoc Publisher, Hanoi, 1990. Hong Ha was a member of the Vietnam Communist Party Central Committee, former editor-in-chief of Nhan Dan daily, former chief of Foreign Affairs Section of the central committee.

(8) Hong Ha. Ibid, pp. 27-30. According to Hong Ha, Genevieve Tabouille commended Nguyen Ai Quoc, "You write very well." There could be many ways to praise the writing of a person, particularly in his presence. Researchers could compare the style in "Voeux de l'Annam" with that of Nguyen The Truyen when Truyen wrote the preface of "Le Proces de la Colonisation Francaise" also with author's name as Nguyen Ai Quoc. The contrast between documents in French signed by Nguyen Ai Quoc from 1919 to 1923 - such as the articles in Le Paria newspaper - could be leading to more specific understanding about this pen name.

Le Van Tien
November 1998.

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