March 11

1946

President Ho Chi Minh presided over a government conference to discuss ways to announce the preliminary accord between the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and France to the world. At the conference he decided that sending a delegation to China will demonstrate Viet Nam’s goodwill and help garner international support.

On the same day, the President wrote “the appeal after the preliminary accord” in which he said: “People of Viet Nam! Please listen to me, trust me ! because I have sacrificed all my life for the fight against colonialism, for the nation’s independence… Because of trusting me and the government you temporarily delayed the fight for full independence and accepted self-government, kept calm, and waited for the result of official talks in Paris. Now you are boiling with indignation at the French Government’s delay in carrying out the accord. I call on you to keep calm and be ready for the Government’s orders.”

1950

The file photo shows Uncle Ho with USSR Young Pioneers in 1958

President Ho Chi Minh left Beijing for the Viet Bac revolutionary base, ending visits to China and the USSR to solicit support from the two countries for the Vietnamese people’s struggle. The President wrote a poem in Mandarin which was translated into Vietnamese by Phan Van Cac:

Rời Bắc Kinh
Leaving Beijing

Trời Ký Bắc treo vầng trăng rọi
A moon rises in the Beijing sky

Lòng theo trăng vời vợi sáng ngời
The spirit is towards the moonlight

Vầng trăng ai xẻ làm đôi?
Who divides the moon into two parts?

Nửa theo bạn cũ, nửa theo lữ hành
One part follows the old friend, another follows the traveler

1948

On an unspecified day around this time, President Ho Chi Minh sent a letter to Lt Gen Nguyen Binh (The first lieutenant general of the People’s Army. In 1948, he was sent by Ho Chi Minh to the south to unite army forces into a group and then became General Commander –in-Chief of the south) praising soldiers for their victories on the Sai Gon, Da Lat, and Sa Dec fronts and calling on them to follow the rules of the army and Government and put the nation’s interests first to consolidate their unity with people and other soldiers.

He also sent a letter to guerillas in Kim Thanh to thank them for offering him a raincoat seized from French soldiers and encourage them to snatch the enemy’s weapons to fight them. He reminded them: “Guerillas are like fish and people are like water. To achieve victory over enemies, guerillas must have help from the people and to get that help, they must help the people and respect them.”

1948

In a letter to an army medical corps conference, President Ho Chi Minh used the phrase “Thầy thuốc như mẹ hiền” (Doctors must be like generous mothers) that later became an adage for doctors’ virtue and morality.

By Duong Trung Quoc* and co-writers
*The author is a historian and member of the National Assembly

Translated by Dong Nghi

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