Traces of President Ho Chi Minh in France

(VOVworld) – It has been 105 years since Ho Chi Minh first set foot in France, the first leg of his journey abroad to find a path to national liberation. France was where Ho Chi Minh became Vietnam’s first communist soldier.

During his 7 years in France Ho Chi Minh lived mainly in Paris but also in Marseille, Le Havre, and Dunkerque. In his book “Ho Chi Minh”, Pierre Brocheux wrote that “Brother 3”, Ho Chi Minh’s nickname at that time, arrived in Marseille with just 10 francs in his pocket and found out many beautiful things about France, allowing him to compare France with French colonialism in Indochina. He said: “My impression of Ho Chi Minh is just like that of any person who was lucky enough o meet him. He was humanen but decisive and determined to reach his goals. He was an honest, compassionate, and modest person, who would never lose his faith and his goals. Ho Chi Minh faced and overcame many difficulties from which he drew many valuable lessons.”

After Marseille Ho Chi Minh went to Le Havre. According to a document discovered in 2015, around 1911-1912 Ho Chi Minh worked as a gardener for a rich family in the town of Saint Adresse while waiting for his ship to be repaired. The house and the garden are still there. A joint research project by Vietnam and the government of Saint Adresse will be conducted soon. During a visit there Vietnamese ambassador to France Nguyen Ngoc Son said: “Personally I can perceive the feelings the French people here have for Ho Chi Minh and Vietnam. We will organize visits to all the places where Ho Chi Minh used to live and work in France.”

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Ho Chi Minh stayed in 5 places in Paris, The most frequently mentioned is the house at 9 Compoint Lane, where he stayed from July, 1921, to March, 1923.

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The house has been replaced by a high-rise building, which has a bronze plaque stating that Ho Chi Minh stayed there. Ho Chi Minh’s room has been recreated in the Living History Museum in Montreuil on the outskirts of Paris.

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Other places where Ho Chi Minh lived and worked include 56 Mounsieur Le Prince street and 6 Ville des Gobelines street.

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Olivia Pelletier, an archive expert at the French Center for Overseas Archive, said: “Many readers, including French and US researchers, are interested in the documents about Ho Chi Minh we are archiving here. Many of our colleagues from the Ho Chi Minh Museum came here and were happy to find the valuable documents being kept here. I’ve been archiving documents about Ho Chi Minh for 8 years. I was moved to see some photos of the ordinary life of a great politician.”