Há»“ ChÃ Minh
(19 May 1890 â€“ 2 September 1969)
born Nguyá»…n Sinh Cung and also known as Nguyá»…n Táº¥t ThÃ nh and Nguyá»…n Ãi Quá»‘c,
was a Vietnamese Communist revolutionary leader who was prime minister (1945â€“1955) and president (1945â€“1969) of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam). He was a key figure in the foundation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1945, as well as the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) and the Viet Cong (NLF or VC) during the Vietnam War.
He led the Viet Minh independence movement from 1941 onward, establishing the communist-ruled Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1945 and defeating the French Union in 1954 at battle of Dien Bien Phu. He officially stepped down from power in 1955 due to health problems, but remained a highly visible figurehead and inspiration for Vietnamese fighting for his cause â€“ a united, communist Vietnam â€“ until his death. After the war, Saigon, capital of the Republic of Vietnam, was renamed Ho Chi Minh City.
In 1941, Ho returned to Vietnam to lead the Viet Minh independence movement. The "men in black" were a 10,000 member guerrilla force that operated with the Viet Minh. He oversaw many successful military actions against the Vichy French and Japanese occupation of Vietnam during World War II, supported closely but clandestinely by the United States Office of Strategic Services, and later against the French bid to reoccupy the country (1946â€“54). He was jailed in China by Chiang Kai-shek's local authorities before being rescued by Chinese Communists. Following his release in 1943, he returned to Vietnam. He was treated for malaria and dysentery by American OSS doctors.
Following the August Revolution (1945) organized by the Viet Minh, Ho became Chairman of the Provisional Government (Premier of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam) and issued a Proclamation of Independence of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Although he convinced Emperor Bao Dai to abdicate, his government was not recognized by any country. He repeatedly petitioned American President Harry S. Truman for support for Vietnamese independence, citing the Atlantic Charter, but Truman never responded.
According to some sources, 1945, in a power struggle, the Viet Minh killed members of rival groups, such as the leader of the Constitutional Party, the head of the Party for Independence, and Ngo Dinh Diem's brother, Ngo Dinh Khoi. Purges and killings of Trotskyists were also documented in The Black Book of Communism.
In 1946, when Ho traveled outside of the country, his subordinates imprisoned 2,500 non-communist nationalists and forced 6,000 others to flee. Hundreds of political opponents were jailed or exiled in July 1946, notably members of the National Party of Vietnam and the Dai Viet National Party, after a failed attempt to raise a coup against the Vietminh government. All rival political parties were hereafter banned and local governments were purge to minimize opposition later on.
However, it was noted that the Democratic Republic of Vietnam's first Congress had over two-third of its members come from non-Viet Minh political factions, some without election. NPV party leader Nguyen Hai Than was named Vice President. They also held four out of ten ministerial positions.