Archives par mot-clé : guerre

Nathalie Huynh Chau Nguyen, Vietnam’s Forgotten Soldiers

[ndlr] Avis de la parution prochaine d’un ouvrage sur la mémoire des soldats sud-vietnamiens (ARVN) réfugiés en Australie. Aboutissement d’un projet de recherche de longue haleine mené par Nathalie Huynh Chau Nguyen (Monash University) pour constituer une histoire orale de ces vétérans à la bibliothèque nationale d’Australie.

Nathalie Nguyen says the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War brings painful memories for former South Vietnamese soldiers. But in Australia, veterans are keeping their stories alive – and slowly changing perceptions of the war.


I wanted to explore the stories of Vietnamese veterans in Australia because they are the forgotten soldiers of the Vietnam War.

More than 250,000 South Vietnamese soldiers were killed in the 1955 -1975 war however their histories have been largely silenced in the wider story of the war, and erased in postwar Vietnam.

General mobilization was decreed in South Vietnam in 1968, and nearly every male over the age of twenty had some form of military experience. South Vietnam suffered terrible casualties during the war: In one year alone, in 1972, 39,587 South Vietnamese soldiers were killed in action while 109,960 were wounded. South Vietnam had a population of approximately 18 million. It was a country scarred by war.

Many veterans experienced years of internment after the war and many escaped their country as refugees.

Lire la suite / Read more : Australia Plus – ABC International

Voir aussi :

Stein Tønnesson: Vo Nguyen Giap in Memoriam – People’s War and Peace

Hommages © VOV 2013
© VOV 2013


Vo Nguyen Giap in Memoriam:

People’s War and Peace

Opening speech at the 3rd annual conference

 of Uppsala University’s East Asian Peace program,

 Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam,

 Hanoi, 18th October 2013 [1]

Stein Tønnesson

Peace Research Institute Oslo

and East Asian Peace program, Uppsala University


The rise and fall of People’s War is a central theme in twentieth century history. People’s War is a strategy allowing an army with inferior weapons but solid popular support and a substantial hinterland to win its wars against enemies with more and better arms. People’s War strategy emphasizes resilience rather than rapidity, the size of its armed forces rather than their efficiency, and People’s Warriors are psychologically prepared to accept and absorb huge losses of life. The doctrine of People’s War has a dual origin in the Napoleonic Wars, in both the tactics of Napoleon himself and in that of his adversaries. The French revolutionary army that came under the dominance of Napoleon Bonaparte practised the “levée en masse,” with armies of a size never seen before, and with enormous loss of human life in battle. When advancing into Spain, Germany and Russia, the French at first evoked enthusiastic support among oppressed peoples who sought liberation from their tyrants, but soon the new masters provoked resentment and resistance of an intensely emotional kind. Spanish, German and Russian nationalisms were born. The Spanish had inferior weapons but resorted to what they called “small war” (guerrilla), with no big battles but many scattered attacks carried out by fighters who did not use uniform but hid among the population during the day and attacked at night. The result was the kind of French reprisals that have been depicted so vividly by the Spanish painter Goya. Such reprisals, of course, invigorated local anger and willingness to fight. Guerrilla tactics also played an essential role when the Russians defeated the French invasion in 1812: A popular Russian army used small guerrilla groups to defend the nation and its tsar by repeatedly attacking the flanks of the formerly revolutionary army, which Napoleon had transformed into an imperial army of conquest.

Napoléon Bonaparte, Premier Consul, franchissant les Alpes au col du Grand-Saint-Bernard par David (1800)

Guerrilla tactics and mobilization of huge armies were combined in the 20th century strategy of People’s War. Its main theoretician, Mao Zedong, said it should move through three stages: first guerrilla, then stalemate, and finally a general offensive. It is important to notice that guerrilla tactics dominates only at the first stage. At the second and third stage of a People’s War, guerrillas are just auxiliary forces, helping the main armies, whose main body is a huge infantry. When a People’s Army is ready to launch an offensive against a solidly entrenched and better armed enemy, then it may resort to “human wave” tactics to crowd out its opponents. Line after line of attackers will succomb before the force of the enemy’s superior firepower but in the end overwhelm him all the same if only there are enough soldiers willing to die. Among the most well-known theoreticians and practitioners of People’s War in the twentieth century were Lawrence of Arabia, Leon Trotsky, Marshal Tito, Mao Zedong, Vo Nguyen Giap, Truong Chinh, Che Guevara … and the Indonesian strategist Abdul Haris Nasution. It is noteworthy that People’s War doctrine has not just been used by leftist movements but also by national armies fighting against local communist rebels. Two examples of this are in Indonesia and Burma. The main military strategist in Indonesia was General Nasution, who survived the communist revolt in 1965 by escaping from his house when it came under attack, and remained influential throughout the long reign of General Suharto. Nasution always reminded Suharto that he was not a leader in his own right but was brought to power by a People’s Army, to which he owed loyalty. The Burmese army, the Tatmadaw, was also seen by its commander and later President, Ne Win, as a People’s Army. In Burma one People’s Army fought another People’s Army until the communist one was defeated in an internal rebellion in 1989.

Mao_GuerrillaWarfareFuture military historians are likely to see Mao Zedong and Vo Nguyen Giap as the two most successful practitioners of twentieth century People’s War. Mao’s Red Army survived its Long March 1932-34, established new headquarters in Yenan in northern China, used the anti-Japanese resistance 1937-45 to build solid strength among the peasants in the country-side, overran the forces of Chiang Kai-shek during 1946-50, formed the People’s Republic of China with a People’s Liberation Army (PLA), and forced the American forces in Korea to retreat back to the 38th parallel in 1950. In the 1960s, however, the People’s Liberation Army went into a period of decline, did not perform well in its war with the Soviet Union in 1969, and a few years after Mao’s death, in 1979, it failed to teach Vietnam a lesson. This led to reforms that moved China away from People’s War doctrine. The People’s Liberation Army was transformed into a smaller army who should be able to fight successful battles under modern conditions, with more precise firepower and fewer losses.

The Vietnamese army that turned the Chinese lesson into a counter-lesson in 1979 was the same army that, according to official Vietnamese history, had been founded 35 years before in the border region to China by a 33 year old history professor: Vo Nguyen Giap. He is called the Anh Ca (elder brother) of the Army because he was instructed by Ho Chi Minh to form an Armed Propaganda Brigade in December 1944, one of the forerunners of the People’s Army of Vietnam, together with armed groups led by the ethnic minority leader Chu Van Tan, the guerrilla leader Nguyen Binh and others.

Like so many other of Vietnam’s great leaders Vo Nguyen Giap came from central Vietnam and in the 1920s went to secondary school – a French lycée – in the old imperial city of Hue. He learned French history and was fascinated by Napoleon, read all he could find about his military campaigns. At the same time, already as a teenager, Vo Nguyen Giap became an anti-colonial activist, was expelled from his lycée, and was in 1930 convicted to two years in prison after having collected money in support of the Yen Bay uprising. However, his intelligence seems to have impressed his interrogators so much that they arranged for him to be released ahead of time on 18 November 1931, perhaps in the hope that he would become more pro-French. His early release, and the fact that he later received a scholarship to study in Hanoi, so he could complete his baccalauréat and even graduate from legal studies at the University of Hanoi in 1937, created suspicion among other left wing militants, notably the Trotskyites, who thought he had become a French agent. He would get ample chance to prove such suspicions wrong. In the 1930s he was part of a team that studied the economy and living conditions in the countryside under the leadership of a French geography professor, Pierre Gourou.[2] Together with Truong Chinh, the later Secretary General of the Indochinese Communist Party, Vo Nguyen Giap wrote a book on the basis of these studies in 1937-38, called “The peasant question”. The gist of his and Truong Chinh’s thinking was that a revolution was needed in the countryside to liberate the villages from traditional superstition and replace village elders with young leaders ready for change. While undertaking his peasant studies Giap also taught history at the Thang Long school in Hanoi.

DaiTuong_VoNguyenGiapIn May 1940, after a new French government had cancelled the liberties allowed in the colonies under the French Popular Front government, which was led by the socialist Léon Blum, Giap expected to be arrested once again and therefore left Hanoi together with his comrade Pham Van Dong to join up with communist organizers in the border region to China. This was just as Hitler launched his assault on France. By the time Giap and Pham Van Dong established their presence in the Chinese province of Yunnan, the French army was defeated and Philippe Pétain signed an armistice with Hitler, who allowed the aging Marshal to hold on to half of France and all of its colonies. It was at this time, when it could be seen that a favourable occasion might arise for national liberation, that Giap met the main Vietnamese communist leader of his time: Nguyen Ai Quoc. Quoc was twenty-one years older than Giap, had lived in exile since 1911, been a prominent member of the international communist movement since the founding of the French Communist Party in 1920, had taken part in the founding of communist parties in Thailand and Malaya, had served a prison sentence in British Hong Kong, survived Stalin’s purges in the Soviet Union, and had now come down from Russia through China. He assumed the leadership of a new national liberation front, the Viet Nam Doc Lap Dong Minh (Viet Minh for short) and also took up a new name for himself: Ho Chi Minh. Giap, before joining up with Ho Chi Minh, had left his wife and little daughter behind in Hanoi. Nguyen Thi Quang Thai was the younger sister of a legendary female communist of the first generation, Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, who had been close to Nguyen Ai Quoc in the early 1930s and was executed by the French in 1941 for her role in a 1940 uprising. Giap’s wife Quang Thai was also soon arrested, and Giap learned in 1943 that she had died in a French prison. He was thus no doubt reminded that when he was still just a boy, the French had also killed his father.

The role assigned to Giap in Vietnam’s northern border region was to recruit young fighters from among the local ethnic minorities and train them in guerrilla and other military tactics. When I first had a chance to interview Giap in 1991, we discussed this formative period of his career, and at one point he was annoyed by my ignorance. There was an essential book I had not read. Then he realized that the book had been published only in Vietnamese and that I could not even read Vietnamese. He stared at me in the way of a school master and scolded me in his absolutely flawless French for not having bothered to learn such an easy language. When he was my age, he explained, he had learnt four minority languages and even written poems in one of them while building up Vietnam’s Army of National Liberation: “Are you married?” he asked me. I immediately understood what he was driving at. He was going to suggest that I learn Vietnamese on a pillow. So I interrupted him: “Yes, I am married and I’m so happily married that I shall not even think of asking for a divorce in order to learn the six tones of your language. When hearing this, he laughed heartily and apologized for intruding into my personal life.

Việt Nam Tuyên truyền Giải phóng Quân (22/12/1944)
Việt Nam Tuyên truyền Giải phóng Quân (22/12/1944)

22 December 1944. Since this was the day Giap formed the first Armed Propaganda Brigade for the Viet Minh it was decided at some point that this was the foundation of the People’s Army of Vietnam. It is therefore celebrated every year as Army day. The strategic aim of the Viet Minh leaders in 1944-45 was to use its various armed groups in a general offensive against the Japanese and French forces in Indochina in conjunction with an Allied invasion, which could come either from the sea or China or both. Japan had compelled French Indochina in 1941 to allow its army to establish local bases. They were used as stepping stones for the Japanese invasion of Southeast Asia in early 1942. By late 1944 it was easy to foresee that the French Indochinese forces would turn against Japan and join the allied cause once the expected invasion began. Petain was gone, and Charles de Gaulle had in August 1944 established a new French government in Paris. The Viet Minh would now have to compete with the French for the favour of the Allies and seek to establish a position of strength that could be used to liberate Vietnam not just from Japan but also from French colonialism. As happens often in history, what happened next was different from what everyone had thought. Japan also anticipated an Allied invasion and therefore launched a coup against the French and disarmed them on 9 March 1945, although no Allied invasion happened. This had two contradictory effects on Giap and the Viet Minh. Firstly, the sudden disappearance of the French administration removed both the army and the police that had oppressed the people. The Japanese had no capacity to take over the running of the country. Hence an opportunity was opened for rapidly expanding the Viet Minh movement throughout the Red River delta and also further beyond. Another similar movement, the Vanguard Youth, spread out in southern Vietnam. These movements were greatly reinforced by communists and other leftists who were now released from French jails. When Japan surrendered on 15 August, city-based activists were thus able to utilize the power vacuum and seize power in a rapid and almost nonviolent revolution. Secondly, the disappearance of the French colonial regime made Giap’s armed forces temporarily irrelevant. They were far away from the main action. Giap and other leaders had been assembled at a remote place called Tan Trao, with no means of communication with the people who seized power in the cities. Giap led his troops into a small and unnecessary confrontation with a Japanese force at Thai Nguyen but his brigades could actually march unhindered all the way to Hanoi. When they arrived in the capital to form the nucleus of a new national army, all the main cities in Vietnam were already in the hands of the Viet Minh, which was dominated by communists who had either survived clandestinely under the combined “Franco-Japanese yoke” or recently got out of jail. Vo Nguyen Giap and Ho Chi Minh were actually on the side-lines when the August Revolution happened.

Giap’s main task after the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam on 2 September 1945, was to build a national army under infinitely more favourable conditions than before. Yet he faced serious difficulties. He had to avoid battle with a huge Chinese army, which entered Vietnam from the north in compliance with a decision by the Allies that China would occupy northern Indochina to disarm the Japanese there, while Britain would occupy the southern half. Giap also had to prepare his forces for resisting a French return. The French made a quick comeback in the south, with British help, but did not land in the north until 6 March 1946. This was a trying moment in Giap’s life. His forces were ready to resist the French invaders but it was essential to avoid a two-front struggle against the French and Chinese at the same time. Since China had just made an agreement with France allowing it to return to northern Indochina, Giap and Ho Chi Minh decided to be inspired by Lenin’s 1918 agreement with Germany at Brest Litovsk and sign an agreement with France, allowing it to re-establish garrisons in the main cities of northern Vietnam against a promise to let Vietnam become a “free state”. The term “independent” was not used. Giap took upon himself the task of explaining to a mass meeting in Hanoi the need for a “Brest Litovsk” with the French being allowed to return.


In the next period, Giap made a short and unsuccessful stint as negotiator, serving as deputy head and de facto leader of a Vietnamese delegation to negotiate with France at Dalat in the central highlands. No agreement was reached. Although this was mainly because of French recalcitrance, Giap was not as impressive as a diplomat as he was as a teacher and commander, so a more natural division of labour developed in the Viet Minh leadership afterwards, with Giap concentrating on military and police matters while Pham Van Dong, Hoang Huu Nam – and Ho Chi Minh himself – took care of diplomacy. The French would soon see Giap as a hardliner, and kept looking for ways to create dissension among the Vietnamese leaders so Giap could be marginalized. After unsuccessful Franco-Vietnamese negotiations in France during the Summer of 1946 the bilateral relationship quickly deteriorated, and Giap’s main task became to prepare for a coming People’s War. It would be a drawn-out war, a war for the survival of his forces. That there would soon be full-scale war became more than likely when the French bombed and seized control of the port city Haiphong on 23 November. In this period, autumn 1946, Giap made some cynical statements that have since been associated with his name and been repeated even in some of the obituaries in the international press. In December 1946 Giap met a representative of the US State Department, Abbot Low Moffat, who was deeply impressed by Ho Chi Minh but not by Giap. Moffat thought Giap had a disconcerting “deadpan” face and acted like an archetypical communist cadre. When Moffat asked him about all the suffering that would ensue if war were allowed to break out between Vietnam and France, Giap just spoke of the need for “sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice”. “We may not win a war against France,” Giap conceded, “but neither will France”. And in the end France would give up. Ho Chi Minh used to say that it would be a war between a tiger and an elephant or between grasshoppers and elephants but Ho said this just allegorically. He did say directly that millions of people would have to die. Giap called a spade a spade and said it would not matter if thousands or millions died. All the sacrifice needed to ensure national liberation was worth it. These were chilling words. Bao Ninh’s novel The Sorrows of War carries the opposite message: Perhaps it was not worth all the suffering. Giap saw a need to convince his interlocutors that Vietnam would hold out no matter what; if he expressed any element of sorrow, fear or worry, then it might seem that he was not fully determined to fight until victory. Perhaps he was too honest or direct to express himself in less cynical terms. At any rate his statements from late 1946, not just to Moffat but to others as well, are discomforting. I sometimes seek comfort in the memory of having attended at some point in the early 1990s a commemorative event for war veterans in the Museum of Revolution here in Hanoi. As a foreign guest I was offered a seat next to Giap. He was not treated as the most important man in the room, but sat in the audience together with the rest of us, on the second row of chairs if I remember correctly. The kind of respect that the little man next to me showed for the war veterans in the room thoroughly impressed me. I was especially impressed when two psychologically deranged former soldiers insisted to take over the podium from the designated speaker in order to read out some extremely long poems. Giap just sat there patiently listening to their ramblings.

Sometimes I also think of the fact that my friend and colleague Duong Trung Quoc, one of the historians who worked with Giap on his memoirs in the 1990s, never met his own father. He was killed in late December 1946, in the battle that Giap had initiated.

Tonnesson_Vietnam-1946Giap and I have quarrelled both orally and verbally over what happened in Hanoi on 19 December 1946, the day the all-out war with France began. He claimed that a conscious decision was made to launch an attack as a way of taking the initiative and demonstrating a will to fight. If any mistake were made, he asserted, it was “that we waited too long.” He let militias and some small parts of his army join the fighting in the city, while withdrawing the rest of his troops to safety. In my view, he was lured into a trap on 19 December by the local French authorities who feared that a new French government under the socialist Leon Blum would engage in new talks with Ho Chi Minh. The local French wanted war. They wished to place Blum before a fait accompli but could not take the initiative themselves for fear of being repudiated. They thus wanted Giap to act first. I think he made a tremendous tactical mistake in launching his attack at the very moment when a new French government might repudiate the aggressive actions undertaken by its local representatives, who had been appointed by General de Gaulle. I think the outbreak of war was avoidable – at least at that point of time. Giap always maintained that the outbreak of war was inevitable.

From 1946 to 1954, Giap fought a classic People’s War in the paradigmatic Maoist fashion, where the first phase 1947-49 was mainly about keeping his forces intact while engaging in small scale guerrilla tactics. The French called it “la sale guerre” (the dirty war). Then, when the Chinese People’s Liberation Army arrived at the other side of the border in 1950, Giap sent his officers to China for training and got Chinese military advisors and weapons. This allowed him to launch his first conventional battle at Cao Bang near the Chinese border in October 1950, and to win a decisive victory. The French had to evacuate the border region. This led to over-confidence on Giap’s side, and to several costly defeats when the French had reorganized their forces and put them under a new decisive commander-in-chief.

Giap and his colleagues learned from these mistakes before launching a great campaign in late 1953 to surround and destroy a newly established French fortress at Dien Bien Phu, way up in the northwestern highlands near Laos. The battle of Dien Bien Phu is so well known that I will mostly bypass it here. It marked the apex of Giap’s military career and rendered him famous world wide. Dien Bien Phu was one of the epic battles of the twentieth century, and one of those where an Asian force won against a Western one: Tsushima 1905, Pearl Harbor 1941, Singapore 1942, Dien Bien Phu 1954. This was the third stage of People’s War, the general offensive. It depended on a massive mobilization of porters, on troops being willing to sacrifice themselves in attacks against heavily fortified positions, and on massive Chinese assistance. Yet the outcome was not a given. The attackers were sometimes close to a physical and psychological breaking point, and the greatest contribution Giap made to victory was probably his decision to call off the final onslaught at a time when it had been decided but when victory was not yet certain, and continue to build strength for some more time before closing in on the French bastions. When the last one fell on 7 May 1954, the stage was set for Pham Van Dong’s negotiations in Geneva, leading to the temporary division of Vietnam into North and South Vietnam, the subsequent departure of the French and the coming of American advisors in the South.

La couverture du Time sur l'Offensive de Pâques en 1972 © Time
La couverture du Time sur l’Offensive de Pâques en 1972 © Time

Vo Nguyen Giap remained minister of defence but had lost some of his power. As Ho Chi Minh became older, and Secretary General Le Duan built up his discrete and uncharismatic power, a new generation of less colourful military officers took control of the army. General Nguyen Chi Thanh, not Giap, was the main brain behind the Tet offensive in 1968, which may have resulted from a miscalculation on the part of Hanoi. There had always been tension within the international communist movement between proponents of city-based revolution and rural-based People’s War. The Russian Revolution began as a city-based revolt and then became a civil war with armies moving against each other along the main axes of communication. The urban tactics failed in Guangzhou 1927 when Chiang Kai-shek clamped down on the communists. When Mao rose to power afterwards, he applied a consistent strategy of People’s War, with armies converging around the cities so they would fall in the end as ripe fruits. The Tet offensive was launched inside the main cities of Saigon and Hue, probably in a hope of unleashing a popular uprising. Militarily the Tet offensive was a defeat, and its tremendous impact on US public opinion can hardly have been foreseen in Hanoi, although many would pretend this later. After the Tet offensive, Giap’s influence increased again for a short while, and he remained Minister of Defence until 1980, but he never regained the kind of control he had held during the French war. When the Ho Chi Minh offensive was launched in 1975, two years after the withdrawal of American forces in fulfillment of the January 1973 Paris agreement, the campaign was carried out by a new commander, General Van Tien Dung, in close cooperation with Le Duc Tho. The offensive was undertaken in the classic conventional – and Maoist – fashion, with armies surrounding and cutting off the cities. No urban uprising happened or was expected to happen. The main factor ensuring rapid victory was the demoralization of the South Vietnamese army, the fact that the United States did not return to help it, and that President Nguyen Van Thieu ceded power inthe end to General Duong Van Minh (“Big Minh”), who decided to surrender instead of allowing Saigon to be destroyed. The role of Big Minh was touched upon in a statement made by former prime minister Vo Van Kiet a couple of years ago. In this statement, Kiet, who had played a key role in the war in the south, expressed his appreciation of Big Minh’s surrender, which had made 30 April 1975 so much less bloody than it would otherwise have been.

During an essential part of of the period when the heroic Giap was Minister of Defence in Hanoi, his counterpart in Washington was Robert S. McNamara, one of the twentieth century’s most tragic personalities. McNamara was not, of course, a military man. American secretaries of defence are always civilians. Yet McNamara was someone used to command. The best period of his professional life was when he directed and reformed the Ford Motor Company using modern, scientific management techniques. His tragedy began when he was persuaded by John F. Kennedy to become one of his “best and brightest” and revolutionize the Pentagon with scientific management techniques. McNamara’s war was not a People’s War but a Computer’s War, built on rational choice theory. Victory in war should be won the same way you make a winning product for the market. The basic idea was that any adversary will have a breaking point as far as number of casualties is concerned, no matter what kind of cause the enemy is fighting for. If a sufficient number of Vietnamese soldiers were killed, then North Vietnam and the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam would come to a breaking point where they would be willing to negotiate on American or South Vietnamese terms. This never happened, of course. When it did not, when the casualty figures just continued to increase beyond any reasonable breaking point and the enemy still continued to fight and even escalated the fighting, McNamara started to have doubts. He was a deeply moral Presbyterian, someone with a deep longing to do good, and he suffered terribly from his Vietnam failure. In the end he resigned as Secretary of Defence but dit not tell the American public why. He was too loyal to President Lyndon B. Johnson to go public with his doubts. Instead he tried to compensate for his personal failure by taking up an obvious do-good job as President of the World Bank. As such he insisted on a huge increase in loans to developing countries. He wanted to get massive amounts of people out of poverty by kickstarting economic growth. Thus he inadvertently contributed to the long debt crisis in Africa and Latin America, which stifled development for a couple of decades and was only really overcome in the 2000s, when Chinese demand led to higher prices for African raw materials.

McNamara et Vo Nguyen Giap en 1995
Première rencontre entre McNamara et Vo Nguyen Giap le 9 novembre 1995 à Hanoi © AFP

In his old age, McNamara became an anti-war activist, and spent much of his collossal energy on digging into his own past mistakes. In his quest for redemption he made two pilgrimages to Vietnam and published two books about how badly he and America had been mistaken. During his first trip to Vietnam in 1995 he had a brief meeting with Giap, who confirmed that there had been only one attempt to shoot at US ships with torpedoes in the “Tonkin Gulf incident” in early August 1964. The alleged second attack, which prompted President Lyndon B. Johnson to seek the Tonkin Gulf Resolution (the closest that the USA came to a declaration of war), never actually took place. When McNamara learned this news from Giap, he faxed his publisher back in the United States with instructions to make a last-minute change to his first self-flagellating book In Retrospect. When McNamara came back to Vietnam in 1997 with a whole team of political scientists and historians to work on his second book, he was extremely eager to once more meet his old nemesis Vo Nguyen Giap. He wanted it at first to be a private meeting but this did not work out. Perhaps Giap preferred it otherwise. Perhaps the Vietnamese Communist Party did not want Giap and McNamara to meet under four eyes. For myself and quite a few others, it was wonderful that the two former enemies were unable to meet privately since this allowed us to be present.

It was 23 June 1997 in a hot and humid Hanoi. Robert McNamara had been mastering a four day conference in the luxurious Hotel Metropole to discuss mutual misunderstandings and missed opportunities between Washington and Hanoi during 1961-69. Only a few hours were now left till McNamara’s plane was due to take off from Noi Bai airport. But first he expected to be received by General Giap. The meeting would take place in the former French “Résidence supérieure” where the revolutionaries had seized control in the first phase of the August Revolution on 19 August 1945, and which for more than a year in 1945-46 had served as office for President Ho Chi Minh but been captured by heavily armed French assaillants in the night of 19-20 December 1946. After Dien Bien Phu and the Geneva accords of 1954 Giap’s forces had returned there to stay. In the 1960s and early 1970s the building had been evacuated during each of the American bombing campaigns but it was never actually hit. To Giap, the colonial style facade and interior of the building, nicely renovated in 1993, were as familiar as could be. He had received innumerable foreign dignitaries in that building as the Government Guest House of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

Now, two years after the publication of his first book, and following an acrimonious discussion in the USA about the sincerity and limitations of the former defence secretary’s belated self-criticism, McNamara was preparing for a frank and open-minded discussion with the small but lucid Asian General. However, their encounter would prove to be a piece of theater, leaving the two men at an even greater mental distance than before. Two men with most of a war and over three million dead men and women between them. Two calculating brains with so many choices to regret or be proud of. They had so much in common, and yet their minds got no chance to actually meet.

We were some fifty people in the room, mostly Vietnamese and Americans, lining the walls, eagerly waiting to know if the two men would allow us to stay during their talk. Then there was a rush at the door. General Giap walked slowly through the room in his impeccable uniform amidst a moving circle of blitzing cameras. He smiled a perpetual smile and sat down in the host’s chair, to the right of his guest’s empty chair.

Where was McNamara? The host, according to custom, is supposed to come in last. But in this case it had been agreed that the guest would enter last, and the host would first make sure that no journalists were present. McNamara’s dream was to have a free, non-scripted discussion undisturbed by hostile media. His greatest hope was that Giap would reciprocate and offer some regrets for his past actions, for his own mistakes during the war, for his failure to negotiate and end the war much earlier so lives could have been spared. If Giap could also express his regrets, then the two could seek redemption together. God would forgive Giap just as he had forgiven McNamara. The problem with this approach, of course, was that Giap had fought the war in his own country against a foreign invader while McNamara had sent his soldiers to die in a country at the opposite side of the great Pacific. Giap of course had no regrets that he had won the war.

We stood there waiting for McNamara to arrive, with Giap sitting quietly in his chair. Someone expressed excuses on McNamara’s behalf; he must have been delayed. But then the tall, old, athletic man strode in, taking vigorously command of the room. In just a few giant steps he had advanced through the whole of the room, then leant his long body down over the small General in a show of secretarial might and said he would like to introduce his team.

A short embarrassing scene ensued. McNamara was gently shown his chair. But before sitting down he turned around to look at all of us from his standing position. Then he discovered to his obvious disappointment that the journalists and cameras were still there, in violation of the agreement he had obtained. He then insisted that all journalists must leave the room before the dialogue could begin. Amidst begrudgings most of the cameras were carried outside, and the doors were shut, but the rest of us remained inside. One person who was obviously a journalist also remained, a young woman in a mini skirt with neatly sewn three-dimensional flowers along the hem. McNamara could not avoid seeing her and asked that she be removed. She protested that she had General Giap’s permission to stay but McNamara had his way. On her way out she shouted insults to the former Secretary of Defence. The doors closed behind her. The rest of us were still inside. We sighed.

There was a brief pause while the two men competed for control, each with the help of an interpreter. Giap had an official one from Hanoi. McNamara had brought an overseas Vietnamese from home. Both did a remarkable job. McNamara again wanted to introduce his team, a move with a potential from transforming the scenario from a meeting of two men to a hearing where Giap would be questioned by a group of international experts. Giap interfered to say he wanted to make a brief statement. He spoke quietly while retaining the same steady smile. McNamara gave up his plan to introduce his team but interrupted Giap to state his desire that the conversation must last at least one hour. “Yes,” said Giap: “One hour will be enough.”

Le général Giap (gauche) et l’ancien secrétaire à la Défense des États-Unis, Robert Mc Namara, lors d’une rencontre à Hanoi en marge d’un séminaire vietnamo-américain en juin 1997 © Trân Tuân/VNA/CVN

During the first part of Giap’s brief statement, McNamara took frantic notes but when the statement turned out to not be brief at all, his hands stopped scribbling and instead formed fists in preparation for making interruptions each time Giap was forced to draw his breath. To no avail. Giap seemed to breath while talking and did not even look at the impatient American. He stared out in the room at the rest of us and spoke softly but emphatically about the escalation of the US war from Kennedy to Johnson and about the Vietnamese determination to resist. McNamara waited and waited and waited but in the end he could no longer hold down his impatience. First he demonstratively took off his watch and put it on the table. When this failed to produce any effect he tried to use his fist and mouth instead. Giap had just stated: “Since I am a soldier, please let me be frank,” when McNamara seized a chance to break in: “Yes, please be frank. And then I would like to interrupt you and move to another subject.”

Giap could not be moved. He continued his statement with the same soft voice, like an old teacher ignoring a young oversized schoolboy who has not yet learned good manners. Giap never actually looked at McNamara. He spoke out in space, let the interpreter translate, spoke again, allowed the translation, spoke… in a kind of rhythmic hymn that could last eternally. From the moment he had uttered his first words he was in full control of the scene. McNamara did not rise from his chair and Giap could talk as long as he wanted. McNamara and his team would listen, try to interrupt from time to time, exchange glances but remain seated. Giap sang for almost an hour, about US strengths and weaknesses during the war, about correct decisions made in Hanoi, and mainly about the will of the people to resist:  “The Vietnamese people fought and had to fight. If necessary we would have fought a hundred years. Because of our determination we achieved our national independence a hundred years early.” And “we fought on our own account. There were no foreign voluntary troops, even though there were 500,000 foreign troops in South Vietnam.” There were, he conceded, some friends who said the Vietnamese could not win against the United States. He could not name those friends. But he himself was always convinced that the Vietnamese people could win. The United States made a strategic error when it intervened in Vietnam, leading to the greatest military defeat in US history. The winners of the war were the Vietnamese people and also all the progressive peace-loving people in the world, including the progressive peace-loving people in the United States who opposed the war.

At one point McNamara managed to insert another question. He wanted to know which of all US decisions that caused the most worry in Hanoi. The word “worry” does not exist in the Vietnamese vocabulary, said Giap. He was then asked what caused the most “fear” but replied that the word “fear” also does not exist in Vietnamese. After each of these interruptions the General continued his monologue:

“Nothing is as precious as freedom and independence. The victory of the Vietnamese people was not just a physical victory. It was also the first time a small country could break the myth of great power domination. Nowadays, however, under different geopolitical and cultural conditions, there is nothing that stands in the way of improving Vietnamese-American relations. Normalization is in our mutual interest, particularly in view of Vietnam’s geopolitical position and cultural importance. I believe a better relationship between Vietnam and the United States will contribute to peace and stability in the region. The Vietnamese people sincerely wants to cooperate with the American people.”

Finally Giap allowed a few questions from the US team, letting each inspire a new monologue. Most of the Americans had now reached a stage of resignation. They seemed somewhat in awe of the little General who on this day was winning another battle: “General, you are certainly winning the war of words today,” McNamara exclaimed. “I now see why you have become a legend in your time. You are secure in your legend,” said General Dale Vesser, a member of McNamara’s team.

“No, not a legend,” the legend replied, “but a People’s General. When I stand next to a soldier, I feel like a soldier. To be commander-in-chief is an important task, but the soldier is the one who is directly in charge. Therefore I highly respect the soldier.”

Towards the end, when Giap said he must make another important point, McNamara just let him have his way. “Go ahead!” And then, while Giap proceeded to speak, McNamara let his shoulders sink and smiled a good-natured smile. His energetic posture gave way to an almost humorous resignation. This, perhaps, is where the two men might have started to look at each other, maybe even talk – about People’s War and body counts, about successes and failures, about the tragedy of so many lost lives. It never happened. The encounter was over. Hands were shaken. Doors were opened. Cameras came back while the General and Secretary walked out. For more than an hour Giap and McNamara had been in the same room but they had not actually met.

The fact that Vo Nguyen Giap was politically side-lined in much of the 1960s, and again in the 1970s, leaves ambiguous feelings in me. On the one hand I admire the first and second generation of Vietnamese leaders more than the third and the fourth, and I hold Ho Chi Minh’s main lieutenants in the Viet Minh period, Pham Van Dong and Vo Nguyen Giap in very high esteem. Hence I would be curious to see what Giap would have done in the 1970s and 1980s if he had been more influential. On the other hand it may perhaps be an advantage for Giap’s memory that he did not hold too much responsibility for the many mistakes that were made after the fall of South Vietnam: the too rapid unification; the attempt to collectivize southern agriculture, the destruction of the commercial class, the close alliance with the Soviet Union, the failure to manage Vietnam’s relations with China, the long occupation of Cambodia, the many years it took before the policy of renovation (Doi Moi) was launched.

VoNguyenGiap_MilitaryArtGiap held power at the time when People’s War was on its ascendancy. The doctrine lost force from the 1980s onward. The last successful socialist revolution of a People’s War kind was in Nicaragua 1979. After that some central elements of People’s War were “turned around” and utilized in so-called “low intensity warfare” against socialist regimes in Afghanistan, Cambodia, Angola, Mozambique, and other places. But this kind of warfare also declined after the end of the Cold War, when major powers mostly ceased to support insurgencies in other countries and when modern roads, modern surveillance tecniques and the cutting of trees made it more and more difficult to hide in jungles.

From the side-lines, Giap watched the East Asian region and also other parts of the world become more peaceful, more rich and also more morally depraved. He was now able to spend time on his original field, history, which is also the discipline of his wife Dang Bich Ha. With the help of some of Vietnam’s best historians Giap wrote a readable three-volume memoir that was published both in Vietnamese and French. He also found time during the last few decades of his life to develop a critical view of certain developments in his party, and sometimes he expressed his criticism in letters to the party leadership. The independence of mind thus demonstrated must have further endeared him to the Vietnamese public. Giap became a national icon, and his funeral became the focus of intense national mourning. In his old age, a bit like McNamara, Giap also spoke more often about peace.

Vo Nguyen Giap was 102 or 103 years old when he died (depending on whether we count the European or the Vietnamese way). He thus became even older than his French mentor in the study of the Red River villages during the 1930s, Pierre Gourou, who died in 1999 at the age of 99 (one wonders what they ate when conducting their village fieldwork).[3] General Giap’s life spanned 89 years of the twentieth century and almost thirteen of the twenty-first.

I saw him last on 20 December 2005, two days before his army celebrated its 61st birthday. He received me in his house here in Hanoi, in a room filled with memorabilia – among them several portraits of Uncle Ho – and he rose up in front of me to express a wish for world peace. Vo Nguyen Giap had an impressive personality. He did not perhaps possess the same personal warmth as Uncle Ho. Who does? But Giap was witty, knowledgeable and argumentative. He had a sharp tongue. His eyes revealed an exceptional intelligence and commanded great authority. He expected soldiers to be ready for great sacrifice, and he deeply respected those who were. He now lies buried in his ancestral land of Quang Binh.

May General Giap rest in peace! May his wish be fulfilled that Vietnam and the world can live in peace. In this twenty-first century there should be no place either for People’s War or for its opposite; the war that comes out of the sky, from B52 bombers, cruise missiles or drones.

What we now need is People’s Peace.

Stein Tønnesson


[1] with small corrections made in Hanoi, 13 Nov 2013.

[2] As John Kleinen has noted in “Tropicality and topicality: Pierre Gourou and the genealogy of French colonial scholarship on rural Vietnam” (2005: 348-349), Vo Nguyen Giap collected field data for Gourou’s ‘supplementary thesis’ about Vietnamese housing in central Vietnam as early as 1935. According to Gourou the two of them had met for the first time in 1931 when Giap was freed on probation. They met again in 1946 at the Dalat conference. See: Tuoi Tre. (Thanks to John Kleinen for this information.)

[3] In the early 1990s, Giap travelled to Brussels to see his old professor. According to Gourou (interviewed by John Kleinen in 1994) it was a polite and pleasant event. Thanks to John Kleinen for this information.

Texte envoyé depuis Hanoi et publié sur Mémoires d’Indochine avec l’aimable autorisation de l’auteur que nous remercions chaleureusement.

[à paraître] David G. Marr: Vietnam – State, War, and Revolution (1945-1946)

Marr_VietnamStateWarRevolution[ndlr] L’année 2013 s’annonce déjà comme un « très bon cru » pour les études sur le Viêt-Nam. Les publications des jeunes chercheurs côtoient cette année celles des « anciens ». Parmi ceux-ci l’incontournable David G. Marr qui en trois études majeures a balayé l’histoire du Viêt-Nam contemporain en résistance et en révolution. Une saga historique fondamentale, méticuleuse et précise qui couvre une longue période de  1885 à 1945 (voir plus bas).

Voici le quatrième volet consacré à la période 1945-1946 qui se présente comme une suite logique de Vietnam 1945. Une somme de 721 pages à lire, à utiliser, et à placer dans toutes les bonnes bibliothèques. Présentation de l’éditeur, appréciations élogieuses de collègues et aperçu Google books ci-dessous. Date de parution affichée : 30 avril 2013.

Réf. : David G. Marr, Vietnam: State, War, and Revolution (1945-1946), Berkeley, CA : University of California Press, coll. From Indochina to Vietnam: Revolution and War in a Global Perspective, 2013, 721 p.

Amidst the revolutionary euphoria of August 1945, most Vietnamese believed that colonialism and war were being left behind in favor of independence and modernization. The late-September British-French coup de force in Saigon cast a pall over such assumptions. Ho Chi Minh tried to negotiate a mutually advantageous relationship with France, but meanwhile told his lieutenants to plan for a war in which the nascent state might have to survive without allies. In this landmark study, David Marr evokes the uncertainty and contingency as well as coherence and momentum of fast-paced events. Mining recently accessible sources in Aix-en-Provence and Hanoi, Marr explains what became the largest, most intense mobilization of human resources ever seen in Vietnam.

“The primary contribution of this remarkable book is that it fills in a gaping void in the historical record of the origins of the modern independent state of Vietnam and, in doing so, provides us with a far deeper understanding of the origins of the Vietnam War… an extraordinary achievement.” —David Elliott, author of Changing Worlds: Vietnam’s Transition From Cold War to Globalization

“Like Marr’s three big earlier books on Vietnam since 1884 this pathbreaking study of how the modern nation state was born is bound to become a classic. A must for any curriculum.”—Stein Tønnesson, author of Vietnam 1946: How the War Began

“In this meticulous autopsy of the fifteen months following the 1945 August Revolution, David Marr shows that Vietnam’s Communists did not shape, guide or control events to the extent they claimed and many others believed. Vietnam: State, War, and Revolution is a profound analysis of social mobilization and state formation in extraordinarily fluid circumstances. A monumental contribution to the history of modern Vietnam and to the study of revolutionary post-colonial states.” —William S. Turley, author of The Second Indochina War: A Concise Political and Military History

« This is a fascinatingly broad, detailed, and fluent account of how determined Vietnamese revolutionaries created a postcolonial state in Southeast Asia in the mid 1940s, against the extremely severe odds of food shortages, foreign invasions, little international recognition, and colonial repression. No book about Vietnam has ever succeeded so well as this one in answering Thomas Carlyle’s famous question about revolutions: What was it like to be there? »—Alexander Woodside, author of Community and Revolution in Modern Vietnam

“Achieving independence from France was a stupendous Vietnamese achievement about which David Marr earlier wrote the prize-winning book Vietnam 1945: The Quest for Power (1995). Vietnamese establishing a viable government for the entire country as they faced the likelihood of another French military invasion was quite another challenge. Success, Marr demonstrates in this splendidly written and detailed new study, Vietnam: State, War, and Revolution, was never a sure thing. From this meticulously researched book, historians, political scientists, and students of revolution in all disciplines, Vietnamese and non-Vietnamese alike, will learn much about state-making in times of immense adversity.” —Benedict J. Tria Kerkvliet, Emeritus Professor, The Australian National University

David Marr is Emeritus Professor of History at Australian National University and the author of Vietnamese Anticolonialism, 1885-1925 (1971), Vietnamese Tradition on Trial, 1920-1945 (1981), and Vietnam 1945: The Quest for Power (1995), all published with University of California Press.


Dernières lectures du séminaire : montrer les violences extrêmes et crises de mémoire

Pour clore le séminaire Mémoires d’Indochine de cette année, nous signalons deux ouvrages parus en 2012 qui méritent toute notre attention. Le premier s’intéresse à la façon de témoigner des violences extrêmes dans l’expression artistique ou mémorielle ; le second visite les écrits produits du traumatisme de la Seconde guerre mondiale.

Nous retrouverons les lecteurs de ce carnet en début d’année 2013 avec deux nouveaux sujets de préoccupation : les ressources documentaires relatives au sujet d’agrégation de cette année : « Les sociétés coloniales » (ici plus précisément l’Indochine) et différentes ressources et données sur 150 d’histoire du Viêt-Nam. Cette dernière thématique sera l’objet du cours d’ouverture du DEMEOC (Diplôme d’établissement sur le Monde Extrême-Oriental Contemporain) de Sciences Po Lyon.

FG, 28/10/2012.

Montrer les violences extrêmes

Théoriser, créer, historiciser, muséographier. Sous la direction d’Annette Becker et Octave Debary – Creaphis Editions.

Textes de Claire Angelini, Vincent Auzas, Annette Becker, Anne Bourgon, Philippe Braunstein, Jean-Baptiste Clais, Octave Debary, Jochen Gerz, Marc-Olivier Gonseth, Nina Gorgus, Philippe Mesnard, Liza Nguyen, Natacha Nisic, Marianne Petit, Catherine Perret, Adeline Rispal, Isabelle Rivé-Doré, François Soulages, Sophie Wahnich.

Comment montre-t-on aujourd’hui les différents temps de la Shoah ou les événements du 11-Septembre, les lieux tels l’ancienne gare de déportation de Bobigny, le camp de Rivesaltes, le lieu de torture de Tuol Sleng ? Comment historiciser la douleur des conflits ? Peut-on présenter la guerre des siècles passés comme un art au Louvre ? Est-il possible de créer à partir de ce qui reste, d’Auschwitz-Birkenau aux poignées de terres rapportées du Viêt Nam ? Peut-on faire une théorie de la violence de masse, théoriser son existence ? Peut-on prétendre partager ce qui relève dans nos sociétés désormais d’un non-vécu ? Penser les destructions guerrières, les génocides, les exterminations, mais également leur retentissement, leur transmission, la résonance de ces mémoires meurtries pour lesquelles l’apaisement semble échapper.

Annette Becker est professeur en cultures de guerre à l’Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense et membre de l’Institut universitaire de France.

Octave Debary est maître de conférences à l’Université Paris Descartes. Il travaille sur la mémoire et les restes.

Réf. : Annette Becker et Octave Debary (sous la dir.), Montrer les violences extrêmes. Théoriser, créer, historiciser, muséographier, Vérone, Creaphis Editions, 2012, 341 p. (Fiche Sudoc)

Source : Université Paris Ouest

Crises de mémoire

Récits individuels et collectifs de la Deuxième Guerre mondiale. Susan Rubin Suleiman. Traduit de l’anglais (US) par Marine Le Ruyet et Thomas Van Ruymbeke.

Cet ouvrage est centré sur des crises de mémoire en lien avec la Deuxième Guerre mondiale et la Shoah, mémoire de nature à transcender les frontières nationales. Susan Rubin Suleiman s’intéresse tout particulièrement aux textes littéraires qui portent la trace d’une confrontation réelle avec des difficultés de langage et de sens. Car aux côtés de l’histoire et du témoignage, l’imagination donne forme et figure à la mémoire et à l’expérience, confère une dimension collective aux vicissitudes de la vie individuelle. Elle leur permet de durer.

Née à Budapest, Susan Rubin Suleiman a émigré aux États-Unis avec ses parents à l’âge de dix ans.  Depuis 1981 elle est professeure de littérature française et de littérature comparée à Harvard University. Auteur de nombreux ouvrages et d’articles sur la littérature et l’histoire modernes, elle a publié en France Le roman à thèse ou l’autorité fictive (PUF) et Retours : Journal de Budapest (Bleu Autour), aussi bien que des articles dans Le Monde, Poétique, Critique, Les Cahiers naturalistes et d’autres journaux et revues.

Réf. : Susan Rubin Suleiman, Crises de mémoire. Récits individuels et collectifs de la Deuxième Guerre mondiale, Rennes, Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2012, 268 p. (Fiche Sudoc)

Voir l’introduction (pdf). Sommaire :

  • Choisir son passé : Jean-Paul Sartre mémorialiste de la France occupée
  • Le Désir narratif : l’« affaire Aubrac » et la mémoire nationale de la Résistance française
  • Commémorer les Morts Illustres
  • Histoire, mémoire et jugement moral après la Shoah. Hôtel Terminus de Marcel Ophuls
  • Anamnèse : mémoire de l’identité juive en Europe centrale après le communisme
  • Sunshine d’István Szabó
  • Révision : traumatisme historique et témoignage littéraire. Les mémoires de Buchenwald de Jorge Semprun
  • Mémoires de la Shoah : l’importance des faits. Wilkomirski/Wiesel
  • À la lisière de la mémoire : l’écriture expérimentale et la génération 1.5. Perec/Federman
  • Amnésie et amnistie : réflexions sur l’oubli et le pardon

Source : Presses Universitaires de Rennes

Haunted Landscapes and Ambiguous Memories: Interactions with the Past in Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia [2010]

Haunted Landscapes and Ambiguous Memories: Interactions with the Past in Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.
Convenors: Dr Oliver Tappe, Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle and Dr Vatthana Pholsena, Research Fellow, Institut d’Asie Orientale, Lyon.

[Panel EUROSEAS Aug. 2010]

Historical experiences of war and revolution have left visible traces in the landscapes of mainland Southeast Asia. In particular, war-ridden landscapes of Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia are sites of contested and ambiguous memory. While the two Indochina Wars entailed scars both on peoples and places, experiments of orthodox socialism such as forced collectivization contributed to the character of the region as a topographic and demographic palimpsest. Lao, Vietnamese and Cambodian landscapes represent different historical layers and bear inscriptions of competing ideologies. From prisons and battlefields to re-education camps and resettled villages: 20th century history confronts people with manifold lieux de mémoire telling about sorrow and violence. The past lingers on in the physical, often ruined environment as well as in precarious objects such as unexploded ordnance.

Studies in the anthropology of landscape have discussed how people shape landscapes and landscapes shape people in an interactive cultural process. The transformative power of human activity on the physical environment is related to the power of the landscape generating affects on people. Landscapes can be considered as representations of cultural memory and mark the nexus of past, present and future. Both as meaning producing spatial forms and contested discursive sites of memory, landscapes influence imaginings of past experiences and visions of the future. Radical alterations of the physical environment – be it by large-scale bombing or the flooding of a hydropower dam site – thus affect traditional livelihoods as well as individual mental states. The understanding of everyday social life is inseparable from its cultural and physical surroundings.

In our panel we would like to examine how people interact with sites of traumatic or violent memory. Vietnamese landscapes contaminated by Agent Orange, the haunted killing fields of Cambodia and the Lao highlands scattered with cluster bombs are prominent examples of memorial landscapes as inhabited and constantly re-envisioned. The following questions shall be addressed: How do these landscapes affect the population and shape discourses of identity and memory? What are the people’s coping strategies in order to carry on living in brutally transformed and ruined landscapes that are also sites of haunting, traumatic memories? How do official historiographies try to occupy and define landscapes of memory? How do memories of suffering and displacement correlate with tendencies of making sites of memory available for tourist consumption?

We invite scholars to tackle and discuss these questions at the intersection between history and anthropology. By looking at how people and ‘violent’ landscapes interact, this panel attempts at giving new insights with regard to Southeast Asian memory discourses.

Panel proposal by:

  • Dr. Oliver Tappe, Research fellow, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle (Germany)
  • Dr. Vatthana Pholsena, Research fellow, Institut d’Asie Orientale, Lyon (France)

* * *

Sacrifice, Heroism and the construction of a revolutionary lieu de mémoire – The case of Vieng Xay, Lao PDR.

Oliver Tappe

Vieng Xay, today a sleepy town of a few thousand inhabitants, represents one of the most dramatic episodes in Lao history. Between 1964 and 1973, the Lao highlands suffered constant air bombing by the Americans. Alongside the Plain of Jars and the Ho-Chi-Minh-Trail – discussed by Vatthana Pholsena and Elaine Russell – Houaphan province in Northeast Laos was the main target of the bombing campaign since it harbored the headquarters of the Lao communist movement. Supported by the North Vietnamese, the Pathet Lao fought a fierce civil war against the Lao royalists backed by the US. When the bombings escalated, the leadership moved into the caves of the karst mountains around Vieng Xay. Thousands of civilians followed this example and a proper cave city with more than 20,000 inhabitants emerged. The revolutionaries built commando centers, warehouses, schools, hospitals and factories inside the caves. Yet, the people’s everyday life meant constant struggle for survival.

Today, the ruling Lao People’s Revolutionary Party highlights the legacy of the years in the caves as example of bravery, sacrifice and solidarity between Party and the so-called ‘Lao multi-ethnic people’. Vieng Xay emblematizes the liberation struggle of the valiant Lao people against foreign aggressors. Therefore, it plays a key role within the narratives of official revolutionary historiography and museum exhibitions. In recent years, Vieng Xay was promoted as a tourism destination, now attracting many visitors from the lowland Lao cities and from abroad. On the one hand, the hardships of the war years are now presented to younger Lao generations; on the other hand, foreign visitors get aware of a less known chapter of cold war history. Unlike most Lao history books, the official cave tour also illustrates the small fates of the population that suffered from the war. Yet, the relation between heroism and trauma remains ambivalent. Vieng Xay represents regional pride and the commitment to revolutionary solidarity as well as individual suffering and traumatic memories. Official commemorative politics imply the transformation of suffering into sacrifice and heroism – the utilization of memory for ideological purposes. Besides, some aspects of the region’s history such as the reeducation camps are still suppressed as they would disturb the nicely arranged narrative of the righteous revolutionary struggle. This paper shall discuss the politics of memorial landscapes as media of shaping, reproducing, and controlling collective memory.

* * *

Transformed landscapes in south-eastern Laos: From the ruins of war to large-scale ‘development’

Vatthana Pholsena

This presentation focuses on a rural area in south-eastern Laos located on the Lao-Vietnamese border: Sepon district in Savannakhet Province. This area is predominantly inhabited by Mon-Khmer peoples, who are classified into two groups in Sepon (the Makong or Mangkong and the Tri) but known as one group in Vietnam (the Vân Kiêu or Bru-Vân Kiêu). However, there is also a significant minority of Tai-speaking Phuthai. The district of Sepon (formerly spelled Tchepone) is located in the east of Savannakhet Province on the 17th parallel that divided Vietnam into a communist zone in the north and a non-communist zone in the south as a result of the Geneva Agreements signed on July 21, 1954. Consequently, Sepon constituted a strategic centre and logistics base area for the North Vietnamese Army, and was one of the most important nodes on the transportation network widely known as the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Today, however, the landscape of (borderless) war – i.e. trails, craters, bare mountain slopes – is progressively giving way to a landscape of (national) development – asphalt roads, large-scale commercial plantations, hydropower projects. Traces of the past are receding in Sepon, though historical layers of ruins – remnants of war and reminders of the immediate postwar period – remain very much stamped onto the everyday landscape. In this paper, I interrogate the effects of this altering landscape on people’s war memories, and more
broadly, on their dealings with the past and negotiation with the present.

* * *

Laos – Living with Unexploded Ordnance (UXO): Past Memories and Present Day Realities

Channapha Khamvongsa and Elaine Russell, Legacies of War

Laos is the most heavily bombed country in history. U.S. Vietnam War-era bombings from 1964-1973 left nearly half of Laos contaminated with vast quantities of unexploded ordnance (UXO). Today, close to 78 million unexploded cluster bombs litter forests, rice fields, villages, school grounds, roads and other populated areas. Over 34,000 people have been killed or injured by UXO since the bombing ceased, and each year there are 300 new casualties. More than half of all confirmed cluster munitions casualties in the world have occurred in Laos. Nearly 40 years on, only a fraction of these munitions have been destroyed. UXO has shaped the lives of generations, challenging their spirit, ingenuity, and cultural beliefs. For those who lived through the war and aftermath, memories are still sharp and painful, while younger generations focus on the future and ways of coping with the current reality.

The presence of UXO in the day to day lives of the Lao people has caused terrible human losses and a heavy economic burden for a country struggling with extreme poverty. From contamination of half the arable land to strains on a grossly inadequate health care system, the impacts of UXO are far reaching. The constant and unpredictable threat takes a psychological toll. Children, particularly boys, are the most vulnerable, making up 60 percent of the casualties. Cultural beliefs and biases toward people with disabilities are challenged by the rising number of UXO injuries, which often result in lost limbs. When husbands are killed or injured, women assume non-traditional roles as the primary worker in the fields or by taking jobs, such as working for the all-woman UXO clearance team. Despite the risks, people have adapted and found creative uses for scrap metal, bomb casings, and defused cluster munitions. But the desperate need for income, has also led people to collect scrap metal for sale, which in turn has caused more UXO casualties.

* * *

Urban and rural lands in Cambodia: dealing with the scars of the past, building a memory for tomorrow.

Ariane Mathieu

The years of conflicts as well as the Khmer Rouge revolution and regime have strongly left their marks on the Cambodian land. I would like (i) to present the main transformations undergone by Khmer territories, and notably to underline the radical differences between rural and urban areas, and (ii) to highlight the way the actors manage to live with a kind of reasonable pragmatism in these spaces, which of course constantly remind of the sorrowful past, but should not inhibit current and future life. Besides, I would like to examine how the memory of Khmer Rouge times has been crystallized around specific places, both at national and local levels.

* * *

Breathing new life into remnants of war in Southeast Asia

Krisna Uk

This paper offers an ethnographic insight into the survival strategies of local communities living in a post-conflict environment that remains affected by explosive remnants of war. Despite the heavy bombardment of the Ho Chi Minh trail from 1964 to 1975, which destroyed the physical landscapes of Cambodia, Lao PDR and Vietnam, local populations living in former zones of heavy conflicts have developed practical ways to cope with the daily stress of environmental hazards. This paper examines the ways in which ethnic minority villages located in Northeast Cambodia has adjusted its daily livelihood by physically and psychologically coping with the multiple devastations caused by the wars.Whether in the form of live bombs, scrap metal, human remains, individual or collective memories, the material that is processed through collection, recollection, re-cycling and refashioning is key to a powerful therapeutic process that deals with an environment, which is emotionally and physically charged with a violent past. This paper seeks to discuss the extent of local resilience especially when it is confronted with the environmental damages caused by the extensive deployment of technological warfare by external powers. By drawing on the material culture of post-conflict ethnic minority communities, it argues that the life cycle of war-generated objects is illustrative of how the desolated landscapes of battlefields and memories can be ingenuously transformed so as to bear new meanings, take over new functions and embark into a new life.

* * *

The legacy of Agent Orange in Vietnam

Susan Hammond

[abstract follows]

Source : Global Studies / Göteborg Universitet


Ian G. Baird: Political Memories, Economic Land Concessions, and Landscapes in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic

Paper presented at the International Conference on Global Land Grabbing II – October 17‐19, 2012 – Organized by the Land Deals Politics Initiative (LDPI) and hosted by the Department of Development Sociology at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

Recently I have argued that ‘political memories’ —which are crucial for establishing and maintaining ‘political capital’, based on individual and group positioning during past wars and conflicts— are important when considering varied outcomes from negotiations that occur in the Lao People‘s Democratic Republic in relation to large-scale economic land concessions (see Baird and Le Billon 2012, Political Geography). In this paper I expand on the idea of political memories by considering the concept in relation to the theoretical framework presented by Hall et al. (2011) in their book Powers of Exclusion, which stresses the importance of interactions between regulation, force, the market and legitimation for understanding different types of exclusionary processes, especially in relation to access to land. I argue that political memories are particularly relevant when it comes to the idea of legitimation, and that the concept of political memories fits well into Hall et al.’s framework. In relation to large-scale plantation, mining and hydropower dam concessions, I stress the importance of political memories in (re)shaping understandings of landscapes.

Lire la suite : Cornell Land Project (pdf)

Ian Baird, Assistant Professor of Geography, University of Wisconsin-Madison, see Ian Baird Profile

Ian G. Baird is an Assistant Professor of Geography and an affiliate of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Geographically, his research is focused on mainland Southeast Asia, especially Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. He is particularly interested in upland peoples, including the Brao and Hmong, and the ethnic Lao. Much of his research revolves around political ecology, human-environment relations, the co-management of natural resources, resource tenure issues, development studies, post-colonial studies, social movements, social theory, social and spatial (re)organization, identities, boundaries, and 19th and 20th century mainland Southeast Asia history. He conducts research regarding social justice and environmental issues associated with internal resettlement in Laos, economic land concessions in mainland Southeast Asia, and hydropower development in the Mekong region. He also has a keen interest in indigenous peoples’ issues. He has worked with progressive non-government organizations (NGOs) and people’s organizations in Southeast Asia for most of the last 25 years. He believes that environmental justice issues should be recognized more widely as being fundamentally linked to human rights, including rights to livelihoods. He has an extensive academic publication record.


Source : Human Rights Initiative, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Vietnamese Women in the War: a review – by Ernest Bolt

Many Americans who are more or less familiar with our Vietnam Experience know less about American women in the war. Many think all American women who were in Vietnam were nurses. Later our class will focus more on American women, but the People’s War materials must certainly include Vietnamese women and the war. Yet this is probably the least known and the last-studied aspect of the Vietnam Wars.

This has begun to change, however, and our Duiker text, Sacred War, is a good example of such change. Even better indicators of scholarly interest in Vietnamese women in the war are two recently published works by historians.


Dr. Karen G. Turner is an East Asia scholar at Holy Cross College who published, with the assistance of Hanoi journalist-interpreter Thanh Hao Phan, Even the Women Must Fight: Memories of War from North Vietnam (1998).


From army reports, diaries, and oral interviews, Turner and Thanh offer the reader a sampling of stories told by North Vietnamese women who fought in the Vietnamese wars against both the French and the Americans. One interesting outcome of their work was production of a map showing places of significance to these women — places they fought and survived and places where others died. The map, on page xii, shows some already familiar places but also some less well known to other scholars of the war.

The Turner-Thanh study is also well-illustrated with photos of women veterans who were interviewed as well as many from the Vietnam Women’s Museum in Hanoi. This is a museum which honors the roles of women from both the north, from the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, and the south — from the Republic of Vietnam.

Students and other readers of Even the Women Must Fight will also become familiar with Vietnamese heroines. Among them is Madame Nguyen Thi Dinh, who is featured on this People’s War module.

Others, not as frequently noted by historians and political scientists, include Nguyen Thi Duc Hoan, actress-director and film maker in Hanoi. Several of her films deal with Hanoi youth and war-related service and/or women’s issues: « From a Jungle » (1978), « Love and Distance » (1980s), « Obsession » (1978), « Love Story by a River » (1991).

She left home as a young girl to participate in the anti-French resistance and was a guerrilla fighter by the time the Americans came in large numbers. Her daughter by then, in the 1960s, trained in the militia. Turner quotes from her interview of Duc Hoan: « At no other time in Vietnam’s history was the will of the people more necessary for national survival. When even the gentlest Vietnamese woman could be inspired to enter the male world of violence for her country and when she learned to do the job well, the war had become in reality a total people’s war. » (p. 47)

Another Vietnamese woman whom Turner profiles is Ngo Thi Tuyen. Her heroism relates to her key role, in April 1965, in the supplying of Vietnamese defense of Dragon’s Jaw Bridge, a key point on the Highway 1 north-south artery in Vietnam. Rebuilt and dedicated in 1964, American air attacks the next year failed to destroy it; it was not until 1972 that American bombing efforts accomplished that goal. Ngo Thi Tuyen had helped down some of the attacking American planes on April 3 and 4, 1965. Until the present day, she has been honored with badges and frequent celebrations of her heroism. Turner effectively mixes and compares Vietnamese accounts and American accounts of the April 4 U.S. efforts — reported as the dropping of over 300 bombs. She concludes that this was one of the frequent tests of wills.

Turner relates Ngo Thi Tuyen’s story, based on her 1997 interview with the former militia woman. The setting was the local « commemoration house, » a type of local museum which depicts the bridge and the role of Tuyen and others to defend it. She told of the recent visit of former American POW Jeremiah Denton, one of the pilots shot down and captured during the mission in which Tuyen had figured so prominently.

The Vietnamese today have many museums, and I have visited some of them. The ones in Thanh Hoa Province, however, are among those I still must visit. This was the province in which the Dragon bridge was located, a province with a thousand-year revolutionary history. Many young men and women in the province contributed to the war effort in the Volunteer Youth Corps, working on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, or in local militia forces.

Work on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, in fact, is the subject of three chapters, one-third of Even the Women Must Fight. Due to the importance of this trail and its significance in helping to determine the outcome of the Vietnam War with the U.S., this emphasis is justified. The author engages in thick description and uses many examples of women (and men) who worked on the trail. Teenagers with shovels and AK-47s kept the trail cleared and repaired following constant bombing attacks. They worked under severe hardships and relied on local support rather than significant government and army support. According to Turner, citing Vietnamese media attention recently, they have also not received the postwar services that they deserve. Turner’s examples of women she interviewed, road builders, members of the Youth Corps, and veterans of special groups (such as Troop C814), are numerous, and the testimony of most was similar. They performed war duties not to defend socialism or to win a global struggle; rather they defended their homeland as a « place to raise future generations. » As Turner puts it, they left home to « save home. » (p. 82)

One of the best features of this study is the use of several postwar paintings by Nguyen Ngoc Tuan, a militia woman during the war. It is also interesting to note evidence, once more, that the Vietnamese write and treasure poetry. Examples of Vietnamese writing furnished in this study also include womens’ memoir writings. Some writings of women warriors used by Turner are in the Combined Document Exploitation Center (CDEC) in Saigon. She utilized those records of life and service data to draw examples and to find meanings of women’s war experiences. Those materials, according to Turner, reflect greater evidence of discrimination against women than is often recalled from memory today. The CDEC records cover the 1966 to 1973 period and remain a little-used resource for examining individual war experiences.

When dealing with « Meanings, » Turner turns more and more to an analysis of the 1990s based upon her broader observations in Hanoi and northern Vietnam while engaged in her research and interviews. She relates, for example, her visit to Dien Bien Phu and the memorials in the Vietnamese cemetery there. One of the most interesting statues to her is that of two women standing and shielding a young soldier. There is also a stone mural commemorating the role of women porters. From selected examples in recent Vietnamese literature by men and women writers, she also draws meanings, including the postwar treatment of war mothers as martyrs and symbols of Vietnamese endurance and sacrifice. She also connects her sources and analysis to present women’s issues in Vietnam, concluding that « the (women) survivors who live poorly have become potent symbols of the costs of war. » (p. 179)


Dr. Sandra C. Taylor, Professor of History at the University of Utah, is the author of the most-recent book on Vietnamese women in the war. Vietnamese Women at War: Fighting for Ho Chi Minh and the Revolution (1999) is a brief but excellent study and is part of the Modern War Studies series of University Press of Kansas.


Taylor, as does Turner, uses many interviews chiefly to preserve and attempt to understand the stories of women at war. Her sample, she acknowledges, is not a « valid » one, but it is a broader one than that of Turner. Professor Taylor’s interviews are with more women warriors who were part of the southern insurgency and fewer of her subjects fought in the north. She regards her work, therefore, a « preliminary attempt to understand the women warriors, » (p. 7) as « the tip of an iceberg » (p. 165). Taylor’s book, however, is well-grounded in her knowledge of the Vietnam Wars, and she has engaged in field research in Vietnam for more than a dozen years. Among her sources is the large and quite rich Pike Collection, now housed in Texas Tech’s Vietnam Archives, where Douglas Pike is located. Some of her eighteen pages of photographs are also from that collection.

Because women played such an important role along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, Taylor’s study also frequently provides a focus on that angle. Her most thoroughly treated women warriors, however, include Nguyen Thi Dinh, one of the original « long-haired warriors, » warrior-diplomat Nguyen Thi Binh, Cu Chi guerrilla Ho Thi Bi, and warrior-physician Duong Quynh Hoa.

Taylor’s major examples are among the « long-haired warriors » in the southern revolutionary movement and opposition to the Republic of Vietnam and the U.S. Students would profit from reading just chapter four on that group of women. This subject should be of interest to students especially because both Turner and Taylor recognize the importance of emphasizing the youthfulness of Vietnam’s warriors. Recommended, therefore, is Taylor’s chapter five, « Youth at War. »

Other excellent features of Taylor’s book include her comments on poetry and her discussion of memory theory in relation to use of oral history — both her own and previously-collected interviews by our military. Students should especially note her conclusions concerning the stories told to her (p. 18). As in the case of Turner, Taylor finds Vietnamese poetry « a living testimony to the will power of the insurgents » whom we fought. (p. 15)

Read together, these two recent books will inform the reader and yet still leave some unanswered questions. Perhaps the result for students in this course will be further reading or research on women’s roles in Vietnam’s wars.

Dr. Ernest Bolt, University of Richmond

Source : University of Richmond

Bibliographie en ligne : Le travail de mémoire – Décolonisations et guerres du XXe siècle

[ndlr] Créé en 2000, développé et actualisé par Jean-Pierre Husson (1), le site Histoire et Mémoires des deux guerres mondiales offre un ensemble de ressources documentaires et de réflexions pour l’enseignement sur les questions mémorielles. Particulièrement utile pour notre séminaire, l’onglet “Enseigner la mémoire ? Problématique des rapports entre Histoire et mémoire(s). Enjeux et débats autour de la construction de la mémoire” offre un survol de ces questions en présentant, à l’appui d’exemples et de citations, les nouvelles problématiques auxquelles ont été confrontés historiens et enseignants ces dix dernières années. L’onglet “Ressources documentaires (2000-2010)” propose des bibliographies thématiques en ligne. Notre intérêt s’est porté sur la thématique englobant la question des décolonisations et des guerres du XXe siècle. Nous reproduisons ci-dessous la page de présentation de cette bibliographie en conservant les liens actifs vers le site de Jean-Pierre Husson.


Le travail de mémoire
Esclavage – Colonisations – Décolonisations
Guerres et conflits du XXe siècle

Ouvrages et articles de référence
Classement alphabétique par auteurs


Actes de Colloques – Ouvrages collectifs – Guides et Atlas
Catalogues d’expositions et  Albums de Photographies
Numéros spéciaux de revues – Dvd-vidéo – Dossiers pédagogiques en ligne

Classement chronologique

2010 – 2009 – 2008 – 2007 –  2006 – 2005 – 2004 – 2003 – 2002 – 2001
Avant 2001

Source : CNDP-CRDP Le travail de mémoire

Jean-Pierre Husson, auteur d’une thèse intitulée La Marne et les Marnais à l’épreuve de la seconde guerre mondiale (Presses universitaires de Reims, 1993), est le seul historien à avoir rencontré René Bousquet. Il est auteur et animateur d’Histoire et mémoire des deux guerres mondiales, site du CRDP de Champagne-Ardenne.

Contact : Jean-Pierre Husson (

Bibliographie du Séminaire « Mémoires d’Indochine »

Bibliographie du séminaire

« Mémoires d’Indochine »


François Guillemot, IAO, CNRS, ENS de Lyon

La bibliographie du séminaire se présente sous la forme d’une sélection d’ouvrages en langues française et anglaise. Elle est composée d’études académiques portant sur les questions de mémoires, d’identité et de constructions nationales et rassemble des témoignages sur les événements traversés par les populations de la péninsule indochinoise au cours du XXe siècle. Ne prenant pas en compte les littératures en langues asiatiques, cette bibliographie n’est donc pas exhaustive. Elle sera complétée au fil des séminaires. Les étudiants du séminaire de recherche ASIOC « Mémoires d’Indochine » pourront s’y référer et contribuer à son enrichissement.

Dernière mise à jour : 20/09/2016

★ ★ ★

Travaux académiques
Récits, témoignages, mémoires / Cambodge
Récits, témoignages, mémoires / Laos
Récits, témoignages, mémoires / Viêt-Nam

Travaux académiques

Appadurai, Arjun, Après le colonialisme. Les conséquences culturelles de la globalisation, Paris : Editions Payot & Rivages, Petite Bibliothèque Payot, 2005. Cote IAO : DEA 36

Bayly, Susan, Asian voices in the postcolonial age: Vietnam, India and beyond, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007. Cote IAO : 604AA.07/206

Beaupré, Nicolas, Écrire en guerre, écrire la guerre. France, Allemagne, 1914-1920, Paris : CNRS Éditions, coll. « CNRS histoire », 2006. Réédité sous le titre Écrits de guerre, 1914-1918, Paris : CNRS Éditions, 2013.

Blanchard, Pascal & Veyrat-Masson, Isabelle, Les guerres de mémoires. La France et son histoire. Enjeux politiques, controverses historiques, stratégies médiatiques, Paris : Editions La Découverte (2008), La Découverte / Poche, 2010. (Site Descartes LSHS, Ebook en ligne)

Bleakney, Julia, Revisiting Vietnam: memoirs, memorials, museums, London; New York: Routledge, 2006. Cote IAO : 604AV.06/253

Bradley, Mark & Young, Marilyn Blatt, Making sense of the Vietnam wars : local, national, and transnational perspectives, Oxford; New York; Auckland : Oxford University Press, Reinterpreting history, 2008. Cote IAO : 605AV.09/35

Cargill, Mary Terell & Huynh, Jade Ngoc Quang (ed.), Voices of Vietnamese Boat People: Nineteen Narratives of Escape and Survival, Jefferson (NC): McFarland & Company, 2001. Cote IAO : 604AV.08/100

Choron-Baix, Catherine, « Retour au Laos, le mirage de la mémoire. Envers et revers de la transmission », Ethnologie française, 2000, vol. 30, no 3, pp. 379-387 .

Davis, Mike, Génocides tropicaux. Catastrophes naturelles et famines coloniales (1870-1900). Aux origines du sous-développement, Paris : Editions La Découverte (2003), La Découverte / Poche, 2006. (Site Descartes LSHS)

Freeman, James, Hearts of sorrow. Vietnamese-American Lives, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1991. Cote IAO : 605AA.03/1171

Garan, Frédéric (sous la dir.), Défendre l’empire. Des conflits oubliés à l’oubli des combattants, Paris : Editions Vendémiaire, 2013. Cote IAO : 604AI.14/39

Gnaba, Abdallah, La mémoire réinventée. Chronique anthropologique d’une association vietnamienne de Paris, Paris : L’Harmattan, 2008. Cote IAO : 203AV.09/28

Goscha, Christopher E., Going Indochinese : Contesting Concepts of Space and Place in French Indochinese, Copenhagen : NIAS Press, 2012. Cote IAO : 605AI.13/50

Granier, Solène, Domestiques indochinois, Paris : Editions Vendémiaire, 2014. Cote IAO : 604AI.14/195

Grant, Evans, The Politics of Ritual and Remembrance. Laos Since 1975, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2009.

Gustafsson, Mai Lan, War and shadows: the haunting of Vietnam, Ithaca (NY): Cornell University Press, 2009. Cote IAO : 604AV.10/133

Hartog, François, Régimes d’historicité : présentisme et expérience du temps, Paris : Editions du Seuil, La librairie du XXIe siècle, 2003. (Site Descartes LSHS)

Hue-Tam Ho Tai (ed.), The Country of Memory. Remaking the Past in Late Socialist Vietnam, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001. Cote IAO : 200AV.03/1157

Hue-Tam Ho Tai, Passion, betrayal, and revolution in colonial Saigon: the memoirs of Bao Luong, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010. Cote IAO : 603AV.10/175

« Histoire et archives de soi », Sociétés & Représentations, n° 13, 2002/1. Sommaire en ligne :

Ivarsson, Soren, Creating Laos: the making of a Lao space between Indochina and Siam, 1860-1945, Copenhagen: NIAS Press, 2008. Cote IAO : 600AA.08/257

Joutard, Philippe, Histoire et mémoires, conflits et alliance, Paris, Éditions La Découverte / Poche 437, 2015.

Kwon, Heonik, After the massacre : commemoration and consolation in Ha My and My Lai, Berkeley: University of California Press, Asia-Local studies/global themes, 14, 2006. Cote IAO : 605AV.07/240

Kwon, Heonik, Ghosts of war in Vietnam, Cambridge: Cambribge University Press, 2008. Cote IAO : 100AV.08/150

Laderman, Scott, Tours of Vietnam: war, travel guides, and memory, Durham: Duke University Press, 2009. Cote IAO : 605AV.10/176

Law, Sophia Suk-Mun, The Invisible Citizens of Hong Kong. Art and Stories of Vietnamese Boatpeople, Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press, 2014. Cote IAO : 604AV.15/25

Le Van Ho, Mireille, Des Vietnamiens dans la Grande Guerre. 50 000 recrues dans les usines françaises, Paris : Editions Vendémiaire, 2014. Cote IAO : 604AV.14/201

Li, Xiaobing, Voices from the Vietnam War: stories from American, Asian, and Russian veterans, Lexington, Ky.: University Press of Kentucky, 2010. Cote IAO : 603AV.10/170

Locard, Henri, Pourquoi les Khmers rouges, Paris : Vendémiaire, coll. Révolutions, 2013. Cote IAO : 605AA.13/135

Logan, William & Witcom, Andrea, « Messages from Long Tan, Vietnam. Memorialization, Reconciliation, and Historical Justice », Critical Asian Studies, 45:2 (2013), pp. 255-278.

Nguyen, Nathalie Huynh Chau, Voyage of Hope. Vietnamese Australian Women’s Narratives, Altona : Common Ground, 2005. Cote IAO : 604AV.13/167

Nguyen, Nathalie Huynh Chau, Memory is another country: women of the Vietnamese diaspora, Santa Barbara; Denver; Oxford: ABC Clio, 2009. Cote IAO : 604AV.10/4 traduit en français sous le titre : La mémoire est un autre pays. Femmes de la diaspora vietnamienne, Paris : Riveneuve éditions, 2013. Cote IAO : 604AV.13/132

Nguyen, Nathalie Huynh Chau (ed.), New perceptions of the Vietnam War. Essays on the war, the South Vietnamese experience, the Diaspora and the continuing impact, Jefferson (NC): McFarland & Company, 2015. Cote IAO : 605AV.15/28

Nguyen The Anh, « Le genre autobiographique dans la littérature vietnamienne, à travers les Mémoires de Phan Bôi Châu », in En suivant la voie royale : Mélanges offerts en hommage à Léon Vandermeersch, textes réunis et présentés par Jacques Gernet et Marc Kalinowski, Paris : Ecole française d’Extrême-Orient, Etudes thématiques, 7, 1997, pp. 333-342. En ligne sur Mémoire d’Indochine

Pholsena, Vatthana, Post-war Laos: the politics of culture, history, and identity, Singapore: ISEAS Publications,  2006. Cote IAO : 605AA.07/48

Po Dharma, Du FLM au FULRO. Une lutte des minorités du sud indochinois (1955-1975), Paris : Les Indes Savantes, 2006. Cote IAO : 103AV.06/223

Prezioso, Stéphanie ; Fayet, Jean-François et Haver (sous la dir.), Gianni, Le totalitarisme en question, Paris : L’Harmattan, Logiques politiques, 2008. Voir en particulier : Ami-Jacques Rapin, « Deux expériences divergentes de pouvoir total en Asie du Sud-Est péninsulaire : le parti révolutionnaire lao et le Parti Communiste du Kampuchéa démocratique, 1975-1979 ». Cote IAO : 200AA.14/212

Robic-Diaz, Delphine, La guerre d’Indochine dans le cinéma français. Images d’un trou de mémoire, Rennes, Presses Universitaires de Rennes, coll. Histoire, 2015.

Rousso, Henry, La hantise du passé (entretien avec Philippe Petit), Paris : Textuel, 1998.

Scott, Joanna Catherine, Indochina’s Refugees. Oral histories from Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, Jefferson (NC) : McFarland,  1989. Cote IAO : 603AA.11/149

Stoler, Ann Laura & Cooper, Frederick, Repenser le colonialisme, Paris : Payot, 2013. Cote BDL : 909/325 STO r

Stora, Benjamin, La guerre des mémoires : la France face à son passé colonial (entretiens avec Thierry Leclere), La Tour d’Aigues : Editions de l’Aube, 2007.

Streed, Sarah, Leaving the house of ghosts: Cambodian refugees in the American Midwest, Jefferson (NC): McFarland, 2002. Cote IAO : 605AA.03/1171

Tanabe, Shigeharu & Keyes, Charles F., Cultural Crisis and Social Memory. Modernity and Identity in Thailand and Laos, Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press, 2002.

Taylor, K. W. (ed.), Voices of the Second Republic of South Vietnam (1967-1975), Ithaca (NY): Cornell University, Southeast Asia Program Publications, 2014. Cote IAO : 603AV.15/138

Thibault, Christel, L’archipel des camps. L’exemple cambodgien, Paris : Presses universitaires de France, 2008. Cote IAO : 605AA.08/51

Thompson, Larry Clinton, Refugee Workers in the Indochina Exodus, 1975-1982, Jefferson (NC): McFarland, 2010. Cote IAO : 604AA.11/72

Tran, Jonathan, The Vietnam War and theologies of memory. Time and eternity in the far country, Malden, MA : Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. Cote IAO : 605AV.10/171

Vaillant, Barbara, Boat people vietnamiens. Entre mémoire et diaspora, Paris : L’Harmattan, Recherches asiatiques, 2013. Cote IAO : 604AV.13/124

Vo, Nghia M., The Viet Kieu in America: personal accounts of postwar immigrants from Vietnam, Jefferson (NC); London : McFarland,  2009. Cote IAO : 603AV.10/123

Vo, Nghia M., The Bamboo Gulag: Political Imprisonment in Communist Vietnam, Jefferson (NC): McFarland,  2004. Cote IAO : 605AV.06/124

Zinoman, Peter, Vietnamese Colonial Republican. The Political Vision of Vu Trong Phung, Berkeley; Los Angeles; London : University of California Press, 2014. Cote IAO : 205AV.14/89


Récits, témoignages, mémoires / Cambodge

Boun Sokha, Cambodge, la massue de l’Angkar, Paris, Atelier Marcel Jullian, coll. « Les droits de l’homme », 1979. Cote IAO : 603AA.13/11BOU

Chileng Pa & Mortland, Carol A., Escaping the Khmer Rouge: a Cambodian memoir, Jefferson (NC): McFarland & Company, 2008. Cote IAO : 603AA.08/265

Chuth Khay, Comment j’ai menti aux Khmers Rouges, Paris : L’Harmattan, 2004. Cote IAO : 603AA.13/126

Deron, Francis & Sablon, Jean Leclerc du, Le Procès des Khmers rouges : trente ans d’enquête sur le génocide du Cambodge, Paris : Gallimard, 2009. Cote IAO : 605AA.09/142

Dith Pran & DePaul, Kim (eds), Children of Cambodia’s killing fields. Memoirs by survivors, Chang Mai : Silkworm Books, 2003. Cote IAO : 603AA.13/169

Dunlop, Nic, The lost executioner: a story of comrade Duch and the Khmer Rouge, London: Bloomsbury, 2009. Cote IAO : 603AA.10/93

Guillou, Anne Yvonne, Cambodge, soigner dans les fracas de l’histoire : médecins et société, Paris : Les Indes Savantes, 2009. Cote IAO : 107AA.09/125

Haing Ngor (avec Roger Warner), Une odyssée cambodgienne, Paris : Fixot, 1989. Cote IAO : 605AA.98/1085

Him, Chanrithy, When broken glass floats. Growing up under the Khmer Rouge, New York ; Londres : W.W. Norton, 2001. Cote IAO : 603AA.03/1092

Hour Chea, Quatre ans avec les Khmers Rouges, Paris : Editions Tchou, Ingérences, 2007. Cote IAO : 603AA.13/176

Lafreniere, Bree & Kravanh, Daran, Music through the dark. A tale of survival in Cambodia, Chang Mai : Silkworm Books, 2003.

Lunn, Richard, Leaving Year Zero. Stories of Surviving Pol Pot’s Cambodia, Crawley : University of Western Australia Press, 2004.

Ly, Claire, Revenue de l’enfer. Quatre ans dans les camps des Khmers rouges, Paris : Editions de l’Atelier / Les Editions Ouvrières, 2007.

Ly Heng et Demeure, Françoise, Cambodge, le sourire bâillonné, Xonrupt-Longemer : Anako, coll. Grands témoins, 1992.

Ly San Meas, Mon Cambodge. Le destin d’une femme, Paris : L’Harmattan, 2012. Cote IAO : 603AA.13/129

Malay Phcar, Une enfance en enfer. Cambodge, 17 avril 1975 – 8 mars 1980, Paris : Robert Laffont, 2005. Cote IAO : 603AA.13/133

Malay Phcar (avec Yves Guyheneuf), L’enfer khmer rouge. Une enfance au Cambodge, Paris : L’Harmattan, 1997.

Norodom Sihanouk, My war with the CIA : the memoirs of Prince Norodom Sihanouk as related to Wilfred Burchett, [Middlesex] : Penguin Books, Pelican books, 1974. Cote IAO : 603AA.13/264STO

Norodom Sihanouk, Chroniques de guerre et d’espoir, Paris : Hachette / Stock, 1979. Cote IAO : 603AA.11/314BOU

Norodom Sihanouk, Prisonnier des Khmers rouges, Paris : Hachette, Histoire, 1986. (Fonds Boudarel)

Ong Thong Hoeung, J’ai cru aux Khmers rouges. Retour sur une illusion, Paris : Buchet Chastel, Essais et documents, 2003.

Oum Nal, Un médecin chez les Khmers rouges, Paris : L’Harmattan, Mémoires asiatiques, 2012. Cote IAO : 603AA.13/130

Pin Yathay, L’utopie meurtrière. Un rescapé du génocide cambodgien témoigne, Paris : Robert Laffont, coll. Vécu, 1980. (Site Descartes LSHS)

Pin Yathay, Tu vivras, mon fils, Paris : L’Archipel, 2005, édition revue et corrigée.

Pech Métral, Méas, Cambodge, je me souviens, Nîmes : HB éditions, coll. Intimes, 2003 et Artisans-Voyageurs, 2012. Cote IAO : 603AA.13/101

Panh, Rithy & Chaumeau, Christine, La machine khmère rouge : Monti Santésok S-21, Paris : Flammarion, 2009. Cote IAO : 604AA.09/195

Panh, Rithy & Bataille, Christophe, L’élimination, Paris : Grasset, 2012. Cote IAO : 603AA.13/108

Sam Prasith & Max Pierre, Cambodge du silence, Paris, Éditions de l’Échiquier, 1977. Cote IAO : 603AA.13/3BOU

Sam Rainsy, Des racines dans la pierre, Paris : Calmann-Lévy, 2008. Cote IAO : 603AA.13/102

Sam Rainsy (avec David Whitehouse), We Didn’t Start the Fire. My Struggle for Democracy in Cambodia, Chang Mai : Silkworm Books, 2013. Cote IAO : 603AA.13/179

Sathavy Kim, Jeunesse brisée. Chroniques de Borng Tha sous le Kampuchéa Démocratique, Arles : Actes Sud, 2008. Cote IAO : 603AA.13/171

Seng, Theary C., Daughter of the killing fields. Asrei’s story, London : Fusion Press, 2005.

Séra, Impasse et rouge, Paris : Albin Michel, 2003. Cote IAO : 603AA.13/100

Séra, L’eau et la terre. Cambodge, 1975-1979, Paris : Delcourt, 2005.

Séra, Lendemains de cendres. Cambodge, 1979-1993, Paris : Delcourt, 2007. Cote IAO : 603AA.13/104

Sitha Nao, Growing up in the ‘Killing Fields’ and Surviving the Khmer Rouge. The personal recollections of Sitha Nao, [Etats-Unis] : XLibris, 2013.

Someth May, Cambodian witness. The autobiography of Someth May, London ; Boston : Faber & Faber, 1986. Cote IAO : 603AA.13/6BOU

Sophat Phal, Run, Run, Run. A Young Boy’s Journey through the Cambodian Tragedy, Amazon Digital Services, Inc., [Kindle Edition], 2013.

Sor Sisavang, L’enfant de la rizière rouge, Paris : Fayard, coll. Les Enfants du fleuve, 1990. Cote IAO : 603AA.13/12BOU

Suong Sikoeun, Itinéraire d’un intellectuel khmer rouge, Paris : Les éditions du Cerf, 2013. Cote IAO : 603AA.13/103

Szymusiak, Molyda, Les pierres crieront. Une enfance cambodgienne, 1975-1980, Paris : La Découverte, 1988. Cote IAO : 603AA.13/173

Tian, L’année du lièvre. 1, Au revoir Phnom-Penh, Paris : Gallimard, 2011 & L’année du lièvre. 2, Ne vous inquiétez pas, Paris : Gallimard, coll. Bayou, 2013. Cote IAO : 603AA.13/137.2

Un Loung, D’abord, ils ont tué mon père, Paris : Plon, 2002. Cote IAO : 603AA.13/175

Vandy, Kaonn, Cambodge : 1940-1991 ou la politique sans les Cambodgiens. Essai, Paris, L’Harmattan, 1993. Cote IAO : 605AA.13/5BOU

Vann Nath, Dans l’enfer de Tuol Sleng. L’inquisition khmère rouge en mots et en tableaux, Paris : Calmann-Lévy, 2008. Cote IAO : 603AA.08/52

Vek Huong Taing, Ordeal in Cambodia. One Family’s Miraculous Survival – Escape From the Khmer Rouge, San Bernardino, CA : Here’s Life Publishers, Inc., 1980.

Y Phandara, Retour à Phnom Penh. Le Cambodge du génocide à la colonisation. Témoignage, Paris : A.M. Métailié, 1982. Cote IAO : 603AA.13/4BOU

Yi Tan Kim Pho (avec Ida Simon-Barouh), Le Cambodge des Khmers rouges : chronique de la vie quotidienne, Paris : L’Harmattan, 2000. Cote IAO : 603AA.13/128

Récits, témoignages, mémoires / Laos

Bounsang Khamkeo, I little slave: a prison memoir from communist Laos, Spokane, Washington : Eastern Washington University Press, 2006. Cote IAO : 603AA.09/81

Branfman, Fred (ed.), Voices from the Plain of Jars. Life under an Air War, Madison : The University of Wisconsin Press, 2013. (with essays and drawings by Laotian villagers).

Kao Kalia Yang, The latehomecomer. A Hmong family memoir, Minneapolis : Coffee House Press, 2008. Cote IAO : 603AA.13/138

Khamphanh Thammakhanty, Get to the Trunk, Destroy the Roots: The Fall from Monarchy to Socialism, Portland : [auto-édition], 2004.

Mangkra Souvannaphouma, Laos : Autopsie d’une monarchie assassinée, Paris : L’Harmattan, Recherches asiatiques, 2010. Cote IAO : 605AA.11/132

Mithouna (avec André Rosset), La route n° 9. Témoignage sur le goulag laotien, Paris : L’Harmattan, Mémoires asiatiques, 2001. Cote IAO : 603AA.13/127

Na Champassak, Sisouk, Tempête sur le Laos, Paris : La Table Ronde, L’ordre du jour, 1961. (même ouvrage en anglais ci-après)

Na Champassak, Sisouk, Storm over Laos. A contemporary history, New York, Frederick A. Praeger Publisher, 1961. Cote IAO : 603AA13/13BOU

Na Champassak, Singto, Mon destin, Paris : L’Harmattan, 2010. Cote IAO : 603AA.11/136

Nakhonkham Bouphanouvong, Sixteen years in the Land of Death: Revolution and Reeducation in Laos, Bangkok : White Lotus, 2003. Cote IAO : 603AA.13/184

Payen, Cyril, Laos, la guerre oubliée, Paris : Robert Laffont, 2007. Cote IAO : 600AA.07/182

Souvannavong, Vongprachanh, La jeune captive du Pathet Lao, Paris : Fayard, Les enfants du fleuve, 1993. Cote IAO : 603AA.03/107

Récits, témoignages, mémoires / Viêt-Nam

Anh Vu Sawyer and Pam Proctor, Song of Saigon. One woman’s journey to freedom, New York : Warner Books Printing, 2003.

Bach Mai, Rivages du Mékong, roman, Paris : L’Harmattan, Lettres asiatiques, 2012.

Bao Dai, SM, Le dragon d’Annam, Paris : Plon, 1980. Cote IAO : 603AV.13/230STO

Bass, Thomas A., Agent Z.21 : le meilleur ennemi des Américains, Saigon 1946-1975, Paris : Tallandier, 2010. Cote IAO : 603AV.10/36

Bong-Wright, Jackie, Autumn cloud : from Vietnamese war widow to American activist, Sterling : Capital books, 2001. Cote IAO : 603AV.04/122

Bui Diem (with David Chanoff), In the jaws of history, Bloomington : Indiana University Press, Vietnam War Era Classics Series, 1999. Cote IAO : 605AV.03/1160

Bui Ngoc Tan, A Tale For 2000 (A Personal Glimpse Of The Vietnamese Gulag), Westminster, CA : Nguoi Viet, 2010.

Bui Ngoc Tan, Conte pour les siècles à venir, La Tour d’Aigues : Editions de l’Aube, 2013. Cote IAO : 750AV.15/123.

Bui Tin, 1945-1999 Vietnam la face cachée du régime, Paris : Editions Kergour, 1999. Cote IAO : 603AV.13/229STO

Canh Tran and Lani Hayduk, The book of Canh. Memoirs of a Vietnamese woman, physician, CIA informant, People’s Salvation Army Commander-in-Chief and prisoner of war, Milford, CT: [autoéditon], 1996.

Cao Tien Le, Hoang Huu Cac, Luu Quang Vu… & al., Sur le front du Nord, Hanoi : Editions en langues étrangères, 1982.

Chân Không (sœur), La force de l’amour. Une bouddhiste dans le Viêt-Nam en guerre, Paris : La Table Ronde, 1995. Cote IAO : 603AV.13/172

Dan Hong, Duong Thi Xuan Quy, Dao Vu… & al., La piste Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi : Editions en Langues Etrangères, 1982. Titre de couv. : Sur la piste Ho Chi Minh.

Dang Thuy Tram, Pham, Andrew X (trad.), Last night I dreamed of peace, London : Rider, 2007. Cote IAO : 603AV.08/273

Dang Thuy Tram, Les carnets retrouvés (1968-1970), Arles : Philippe Picquier, 2010. Cote IAO : 603AV.11/119

Dang Phuong Nghi, Mo, une micro-histoire du Vietnam au XXe siècle, Paris : Centre international d’études vietnamiennes, 2004.

Dang Van Viet, Souvenirs d’un colonel Vietminh : portrait, Paris : Indo éditions, 2006. Cote IAO : 603AV.07/185

Dao Thanh Huyen et al., Dien Bien Phu vu d’en face. Paroles de bô dôi, Paris : Nouveau Monde éditions, 2010. Cote IAO : 603AV.12/3

Devillers, Philippe, Vingt ans, et plus, avec le Viêt-Nam : souvenirs et écrits 1945-1969, Paris : Les Indes Savantes, 2010. Cote IAO : 603AV.10/22

Dinh Thi Van, I engaged in intelligence work, Hanoi : The Gioi, The many faces of Vietnam, 2006. Cote IAO : 603AV.07/88

Doan Van Toai, Le goulag vietnamien, Paris : Robert Laffont, coll. Vécu, 1979. (site Descartes LSHS)

Doan Van Toai (with David Chanoff), The Vietnamese gulag, New York : Simon and Schuster, 1986. Cote IAO : 603AV.13/20STO

Dong Si Nguyen (with assistance from Duy Tường and Kỳ Vân), The Trans-Trường Sơn route : (a memoir), Hanoi : The Gioi, 2005. Cote IAO : 603AV.07/91

Dong Sy Hua, De la Mélanésie au Vietnam. Itinéraire d’un colonisé devenu francophile, Paris : L’Harmattan, Mémoires asiatiques, 1993. Cote IAO : 603AV.03/1259

Dong Van, Souvenirs [du] Viêt Nam : témoignage, Paris : Thélès, 2010. Cote IAO : 603AV.11/141

Dong Van, Saigon, le rêve brisé, Saint-Maur-des-Fossés : Editions Jets d’Encre, 2011. Cote IAO : 603AV.11/109

Duong, Uyen Nicole, Daughters of the River Huong : a Vietnamese royal concubine and her descendants, Oakton, VA : RavensYard, 2005.

Duong Thai Thong, Évasion de l’enfer, Paris : La Pensée Universelle, 1992.

Duong Thu Huong, Roman sans titre, Paris : Éditions des Femmes, 1992. Cote IAO : 750AV.12/19BOU – Ouvrage réédité chez Sabine Wespieser, 2010 (Cote IAO : 750AV.14/190), France Loisirs, 2011 et Livre de Poche, 2013.

Duong Van Loi, L’hélicoptère de la liberté de la porte du Ciel (cong troi) à la porte de Chine. Aventure vécue d’un prisonnier politique échappé du camp de la mort, Paris : Les éditions La Bruyère, 1990. Cote IAO : 603A.08/1BOU

Duong Van Mai Elliott, The sacred willow. Four generations in the life of a Vietnamese family, New York : Oxford University Press, 1999. Cote IAO : 603AV.03/1198

Duong Van Nguyen, The tragedy of the Vietnam war: a South Vietnamese officer’s analysis, Jefferson (NC): McFarland & Company, 2008. Cote IAO : 605AV.09/94

Ho Chi Minh (sous le nom de Tran Dan Tien), L’itinéraire de Ho Chi Minh jusqu’à 1945, Hanoi : Editions The Gioi, 1995. Cote IAO : 603AV.13/107STO

Hoang, Carina, Boat People – Personal Stories From The Vietnamese Exodus 1975-1996, Carina Hoang / Người Việt, 2011. (IAO Fonds Virtual Saigon)

Huynh Ba Xuan, Oublié 23 ans dans les goulags viêt-minh 1953-1976, Paris : L’Harmattan, Lettres asiatiques, 2003. Cote IAO : 603AV.07/152.

Kien Nguyen, voir Nguyen Kien.

Kieu Lien Le Ogura, Bird of one wing. A Vietnamese woman’s story, Reston (VA): Ancient Mariners Press, 2001.

Kim Ha (Ha Pham Kim Nhung), Stormy Escape: A Vietnamese Woman’s Account of Her 1980 Flight Through Cambodia to Thailand, Jefferson (NC) : McFarland, 1997.

Kim Huynh, Where the sea takes us: a Vietnamese-Australian history, London; New York; Sydney & Auckland: Fourth Estate, 2007. Cote IAO : 603AV.09/33

Kim Thuy, Ru, Paris : Liana Levi, 2010. Le Livre de poche, 2012 (Cote IAO : 750AV.14/200)

Ky Thu, Refermer le passé douloureux. Mémoires du camp N°1 des officiers français faits prisonniers dans la guerre au Vietnam, Hanoi : Editions culturelles, 1995. Cote IAO : 600AV.03/84

Lac, Juliet, War child: a story of survival, Edinburgh & London : Mainstream Publishing, 2008. Cote IAO : 603AV.08/264

Lam Quang Thi, The twenty-five year century : a South Vietnamese general remembers the Indochina War to the fall of Saigon, College Station, TX : Texas A & M University Press ; London : Eurospan, 2001. Cote IAO : 603AV.03/1155

Lan Cao, The lotus and the storm, a novel, New York : Viking Books, Adult, 2014. Cote IAO : 750AV.15/48

Lê Cao Dai, C’était au Tây Nguyên. Journal de guerre d’un chirurgien nord-vietnamien 1965-1973, Hanoi : Editions The Gioi, 2006. (en vietnamien, 2002, cote IAO : 750V.04/475)

Le Huu Tho, Itinéraire d’un petit mandarin : juin 1940, Paris : L’Harmattan, Mémoires asiatiques, 1997. Cote IAO : 603AI.03/1263

Le Ly Hayslip (avec Jay Wurst), Entre le ciel et la terre, Paris : Editions du Seuil, 1993. Cote IAO : 603AV.03/1314 (édition de 2001).

Le Quang Vinh, Defy The Death Spirit (An Autobiographical Novel), The Avery Publishing Company / Xuan Thu, 1995.

Lefèvre, Kim, Métisse blanche, Paris : Bernard Barrault, 1989 / La Tour d’Aigues : Editions de l’Aube, L’Aube Poche 62, 2001. Cote IAO : 603AV.03/1009

Lin Ung, Charlene, Nam Moi, a Young Girl’s Story of her Family’s Escape from Vietnam, [Etats-Unis] : [autoédition], 2015. Cote IAO : 603AV.15/265

Ly Ba Hy, Mes 4584 jours de rééducation au Viêt Nam, s.l. : [autoédition], 1994.

Mai Ling, Enfance volée. Histoire vécue, Paris : Société des Ecrivains, 2012.

Mai Thu Van, Vietnam un peuple, des voix, Paris : Pierre Horay, 1983. Cote IAO : 104AV.11/297BOU

Manh Bich, Le Viêt-Nam crucifié 1945-1975, Paris : L’Harmattan, Mémoires asiatiques, 2000. Cote IAO : 605AV.03/1273

Manh Dang, Freedom or Death (The Memoirs of Manh Dang), Baltimore (MD) : Noble House, 2012.

Metzner, Edward (ed.), Reeducation in postwar Vietnam: Personal postscripts to peace, Texas, Texas A&M University Press, 2001. (témoignages des Colonels Tran Van Phuc, Huynh Van Chinh et Le Nguyen Binh).

Minh Tri, Saigon à l’heure de Hanoi, 1975-1980, Paris : L’Harmattan, Mémoires asiatiques, 2000. Cote IAO : 200AV.02/308

Nam Phuong, Red on gold. The true story of one woman’s courage and will to survive to war-torn Vietnam, Sutherland : Albatross Book, 1991.

Ngo Dinh Quynh / Ngo Dinh Le Quyen / Ngo Dinh Nhu / Willemetz, Jacqueline, La République du Viêt-Nam et les Ngô-Đình. Suivi des mémoires posthumes de madame Ngô Đình Nhu : 16 juin 1954–2 novembre 1963, Paris : L’Harmattan, 2013. Cote IAO : 603AV.14/68

Ngo Van, Au pays de la cloche fêlée. Tribulations d’un Cochinchinois à l’époque coloniale, Montreuil : L’insomniaque, 2000. Cote IAO : 603AI.03/1032

Ngo Van, In the crossfire. Adventures of a Vietnamese revolutionary, Oakland (CA) : AK Press, 2010. Cote IAO : 603AV.10/230

Ngo Van Chieu, Journal d’un combattant Viet-Minh, Paris : Editions du Seuil, 1955. Cote IAO : 603AV.03/889

Nguyen Ai Quoc, Le procès de la colonisation française, Paris : Librairie du travail, Petite bibliothèque coloniale. 1ère série. Moeurs coloniales, s.d. [1924]. Cote IAO : 601AV.03/625

Nguyen, Bernard, Entre le Capitole et la roche tarpeienne, Paris : L’Harmattan, Graveurs de mémoires, 2007. Cote IAO : 603AV.07/126

Nguyen Cao Ky, Buddha’s child: my fight to save Vietnam, New York : St Martin, 2002. Cote IAO : 603AV.03/1148

Nguyen Cao Ky, How We Lost the Vietnam War, Cooper Square Publishers Inc., 2002. Cote IAO : 603AV.08/99

Nguyen Cong Luan, Nationalist in the Vietnam wars. Memoirs of a victim turned soldier, Bloomington : Indiana University Press, 2012. Cote IAO : 603AV.12/71

Nguyen Dinh Hoa, From the city inside the Red River. A cultural memoir of mid-century Vietnam, Jefferson (NC) : McFarland, 1999. Cote IAO : 603AV.13/156

Nguyen Huu Giao, Le livre de Giao, Paris : La Table Ronde, 2004. Cote IAO : 603AV.07/141

Nguyen Huu Le & Nguyen Thanh Khuong, Je dois vivre (Toi phai song!). Chroniques du goulag Hô-Chi-Minh, 1975-1988, Paris : Les Indes Savantes, 2014. Cote IAO : 603AV.14/204

Nguyen Kien, La nuit nous a surpris, récit, Paris : Denoël, 2001. (traduction de The unwanted : a memoir, 2001)

Nguyen Ky Nguyen, La mémoire des âmes croisées, Lyon : Editions Baudelaire, 2010. Cote IAO : 603AV.14/66

Nguyen Long, Pedro (avec Georges Walter), La montagne des parfums. Une saga indochinoise, Paris : Robert Laffont, Collection Vécu, 1996. Cote IAO : 750AV.03/367

Nguyen Manh Tuong, Un excommunié. Hanoi 1954-1991: procès d’un intellectuel, Paris : Editions Quê Me, 1992. Cote IAO : 200AV.03/432

Nguyen Phuc Ky, Itinéraire d’un gardien de buffles, Brest : [autoédition], 2012.

Nguyen Quy Duc, Where the Ashes Are. The Odyssey of a Vietnamese Family, Reading, Mass. : Addison-Wesley Pub. Co., 1994 (reprint Bison Books, 2009).

Nguyen Thi Dinh, No other road to take: memoir, Ithaca (NY) : Cornell University, 1976.

Nguyen Thi Lung (with Peter Huchthausen), Echoes of the Mekong, Baltimore : Nautical & Aviation Pub. Co. of America, 1996. En version audiobook : [Ashland, Or.] : Blackstone Audio, 2006.

Nguyen Thi Thu Lam (with Edith Kreisler and Sandra Christenson), Fallen leaves. Memoirs of a Vietnamese woman from 1940 to 1975, New Haven (CT) : Yale Center fo International and Area Studies, Lac Viet Series, no. 11, 1989.

Nguyen Thi Tuyet Mai, The rubber tree. Memoir of a Vietnamese woman who was an anti-french guerrilla, a publisher and a peace activist, Jefferson (NC) : McFarland, 1994.

Nguyen Tien Lang, Les Vietnamiens 1. Les chemins de la révolte, roman, Paris : Amiot-Dumont, 1953. Cote IAO : 750AV.07/96BOU

Nguyen Trieu Dan, A Vietnamese Family Chronicle. Twelve Generations on the Banks of the Hat River, Jefferson (NC) : McFarland, 2011 (réédition). Cote IAO : 603AV.13/6STO (édition de 1991).

Nguyen Van Thanh, Saigon-Marseille aller simple. Un fils de mandarin dans les camps de travailleurs en France, Elytis, Grands voyageurs, 2012. Cote IAO : 603AV.13/107

Nha Ca, Mourning Headband for Hue. An account of the battle for Hue, Vietnam 1968, Bloomington : Indiana University Press, 2014. (Translated with an Introduction by Olga Dror). Cote IAO : 603AV.14/228

Pham, Andrew X., Catfish and mandala. A two-wheeled voyage through the landscape and memory of Vietnam, New York : Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 1999.

Pham, Andrew X., The eaves of heaven. A life in three wars, New York: Three Rivers Press, 2008.

Pham, David Lan, Two Hamlets in Nam Bo. Memoirs of life in Vietnam throught Japanese occupation, the French and American wars and communist rule, 1940-1986, Jefferson (NC) : McFarland, 2008, 2e éd. Cote IAO : 603AV.08/268

Pham Quang X., A sense of duty : our journey from Vietnam to America, New York : Presidio Press Trade Paperbacks, 2010. Cote IAO : 603AV.11/76.

Pham Thanh Tâm, Carnet de guerre d’un jeune Viêt Minh à Dien Bien Phu, Paris : Armand Colin, coll. Le fait guerrier, 2011. Cote IAO : 603AV.11/94

Phan Chau Trinh, Vinh Sinh (trad.), Phan Châu Trinh and his political writings, Ithaca (NY) : Southeast Asia Program, Cornell University, Studies on Southeast Asia, 49, 2009. Cote IAO : 205AV.10/134

Phan Boi Chau, Boudarel Georges (trad.), Mémoires de Phan Boi Chau, Paris : Association pour une meilleure connaissance de l’Asie, « Extrait de France-Asie/Asia, no. 194-195, 1969. Cote IAO : 603AV.11/181BOU

Phan Boi Chau, Vinh Sinh & Wickenden, Nicholas (trad.), Overturned Chariot. The Autobiography of Phan-Boi-Chau, Hawaii: University of Hawai’i Press, SHAPS Library of Translations, 1999. Cote IAO : 603AV.15/117

Phan Minh Hien & Nguyen Van Huy, Loques de vie, Paris : L’Harmattan, Mémoires asiatiques, 2000. Cote IAO : 603AV.07/142

Phan Van Truong, Une histoire de conspirateurs annamites à Paris ou la vérité sur l’Indochine, Montreuil : L’insomniaque, 2003. Cote IAO : 605AV.08/55

Quynh Dao, Tales from a Mountain City. A Vietnam war memoir, Fyshwick : Odyssey Books, 2010. Cote IAO : 603AV.11/74

Sarrazin, Xuan Trang, Xuan Trang, Paris : Éditions des Écrivains, 2001.

Scaggion, Guy, Pham Van Kiem, l’évadé des annexes, Bordeaux : Les dossiers d’Aquitaine, coll. Mémoires de France, 2002.

Tham Huy Vu, A Dangerous Journey from Vietnam to America, [Etats-Unis] : Xây Dựng Publishing House, 2013.

Thanh Nguyen, My Story, S.l. : Booksurge Llc, 2005.

Thich Thien Minh (Ven.), Memoirs of 26 Years in Exile in Communist Viet Nam, [Charleston, SC], Vietnam Today, 2015. Cote IAO : 603AV.15/266

Thieu Van Muu, Un enfant loin de son pays, Vénissieux : [autoédition], 2003.

Tran Cong Tan / Vu Cao / Vo Huy Tam et al., Les premiers jours de notre combat. (Récits de la Résistance vietnamienne), Hanoi : Editions en Langues Etrangères, 1962. Cote IAO : 603AV.08/492BOU

Tran, P.V. , Prisonnier politique au Viêt-Nam, 1975-1979, Paris : L’Harmattan, Mémoires asiatiques, 1990. Cote IAO : 200AV.03/1281

Trando, Robert C. [Tran Do Cung], Letters of a Vietnamese émigré, [Etats-Unis] : Xlibris, 2010. Cote IAO : 600AV.03/168

Tran Nguyet Anh (avec  Alain Gagnieux), Clair de lune, d’un ciel à l’autre. Itinéraire d’une Vietnamienne au gré de l’histoire, Paris : L’Harmattan, Graveurs de mémoire, 2013. Cote IAO : 600AV.03/125

Tran Nhu Dinh & Truong Thi Truong Nga, The Last Boat Out. Memoirs of a Triumphant Vietnamese-American Family, Leander (TX) : GASLight Publishing LLC, 2006.

Tran Thi Hao, La jeune fille et la guerre, roman, Paris : L’Harmattan, Lettres asiatiques, 2007.

Tran Thi Hao, La dernière impératrice d’Annam : Nam Phuong la sacrifiée. Récit romancé de la première reine vietnamienne, Paris : L’Harmattan, 2014. Cote IAO : 603AV.15/124

Tran Van Don, Our endless war : inside Vietnam, San Rafael (CA) ; London : Presidio Press, 1978. Cote IAO : 603AV.11/44BOU

Tran Van Don, Les guerres du Vietnam. Un quart de siècle au Vietnam du Sud, Paris : Vertiges Publications, 1985. (traduction française du précédent)

Tran Van Tung, Rêves d’un campagnard annamite, Paris : Mercure de France, 1940. Cote IAO : 600AV.03/484

Trinh Dinh Khai, Décolonisation du Viêt Nam. Un avocat témoigne Me Trinh Dinh Thao, Paris : L’Harmattan, Mémoires asiatiques, 1994. Cote IAO : 603AV.03/1260

Trinh Quang Do, Saigon to San Diego : memoir of a boy who escaped from communist Vietnam, Jefferson (NC) : McFarland, 2004. Cote IAO : 603AV.06/125

Trong, Lucien, Enfer rouge, mon amour, Paris : Editions du Seuil, 1980. Cote IAO : 603AV.11/310BOU

Truong, Huguette, Adieu Vietnam mon amour, Paris : La Pensée Universelle, 1975. Cote IAO : 603AV.08/105BOU

Truong, Marcelino, Une si jolie petite guerre. Saigon 1961-1963, Paris : Denoël, Denoël Graphic, 2012. Cote IAO : 603AV.13/105

Truong Nhu Tang (avec David Chanoff et Doan Van Toai), Mémoires d’un Vietcong, Paris : Flammarion, 1985. Cote IAO : 603AV.11/8BOU

Tu Tri, Jean, L’ombre du passé, Paris : L’Harmattan, Lettres asiatiques, 2010.

Viet Tran, Vietnam: J’ai choisi l’exil, Paris : Editions du Seuil, L’Histoire immédiate, 1979. Cote IAO : 603AV.11/304BOU

Vo Nguyen Giap (Général), Des journées inoubliables, Hanoi : Editions The Gioi, 1999, 3e éd. Cote IAO : 603AV.03/935BOU (édition de 1975).

Vo Nguyen Giap (Général), Le haut-commandement et le printemps de la victoire. Mémoires rédigés par Pham Chi Nhan, Hanoi : Editions The Gioi, 2008.

Vo Nguyen Giap (avec la participation de Huu Mai), Mémoires, Fontenay-sous-bois : Anako éditions, 3 tomes, 2003-2004.

Vuong Duy Binh, Loin des yeux de ma mère, Paris : First éditions, 2014. Cote IAO : 603AV.14/40

Xuan Phuong (avec Danièle Mazingarbe), Ao Dai. Du couvent des Oiseaux à la jungle du Viêt-minh, Paris : Plon, 2001. Cote IAO : 603AV.04/219

Yung Krall, A thousand tears falling: the true story of a Vietnamese family torn apart by war, communism, and the CIA, Atlanta (Ga.) : Longstreet Press, 1995. (IAO Fonds Virtual Saigon)

* * *

Étudiants du Master ASIOC (Asie Orientale Contemporaine) :
Infos pratiques

  • Pour rechercher un ouvrage sur le Portail Diderot (Bibliothèque Diderot de Lyon).

Mémoires d’Indochine

L’histoire de la décolonisation de la péninsule indochinoise a le plus souvent été présentée sous l’angle des littératures officielles marquées par le prisme des vainqueurs. Le Viêt-Nam échappe en partie à cette règle car les vaincus (en outre, les Américains et les Vietnamiens exilés de la République du Sud) ont chacun, de leur côté, beaucoup écrit sur leur expérience de la décolonisation et de la guerre. Défaits à Dien Bien Phu, les Français ont eux-mêmes élaboré une mémoire « militaria » de la guerre d’Indochine qui fait encore peu de cas de leurs adversaires ou de leurs alliés indochinois. Les Cambodgiens ont témoigné de leur vécu au Kampuchéa Démocratique. Les témoignages laotiens reviennent sur la douloureuse question de l’exil. Dans ces trois pays indépendants, les ethnies minoritaires ont aussi été bon gré mal gré fortement impliquées dans les conflits de décolonisations en laissant des traces de leurs organisations politico-militaires actives pendant la guerre.

Au Viêt-Nam, à l’appui de nombreuses publications historiques et politiques, les vainqueurs continuent d’affirmer leur légitimité gagnée au prix d’un sacrifice de plus en plus mis à mal par les réalités postcoloniales et d’après-guerre. A côté de la peinture héroïque et hagiographique de la lutte pour l’indépendance, de nouveaux témoignages entendent bousculer les certitudes. Au Cambodge, le procès des Khmers Rouges a ravivé les traumatismes mais aussi refermé une des pages les plus sombres de l’histoire du XXe siècle. Au Laos, les nouvelles réalités locales interpellent les jeunes adultes de la diaspora sur leur mémoire collective, élaborée en exil.

L’objectif de ce carnet de recherche est d’inverser la tendance générale des histoires officielles pour se plonger dans les récits de vie, témoignages et mémoires des acteurs, de réfléchir sur leur contenu explicite ou implicite, de poser un regard critique sur ces écrits, de réintroduire ces sources « marginales » de l’histoire dans la « grande histoire » de ces pays. La décolonisation de l’Indochine et ses suites avec l’avènement douloureux des Etats-nations postcoloniaux (Viêt-Nam, Laos et Cambodge) est donc ici appréhendée à travers la vision originale des témoins et acteurs de ces pays. Il s’agit en quelque sorte de prendre la juste mesure des mémoires, écrites ou orales, pour interroger l’histoire récente de ces trois pays, en particulier de tenter d’élaborer une histoire vue du bas. La décolonisation vue par les locaux qu’ils appartiennent à l’élite ou au petit peuple permet de rééquilibrer l’histoire officielle souvent tronquée et paramétrée pour des soucis de légitimité politique.