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Ho Chi Minh’s 1946 Letter to President Truman Before the Vietnam War

The following is a Jan. 18, 1946, letter written by Ho Chi Minh to U.S. President Harry Truman made accessible by the U.S. National Archives.

Dear Mr. President,

On the event of the first meeting of the United Nations in London, I urge to congratulate you for the steady and profitable efforts your Government has been making to keep Peace and Security throughout the World.

As Peace is indivisible and as the Far East is being taken into especial consideration by your excessive Representative in China, General MARSHALL, I feel it our obligation to inform you on what’s going on in our nation and on what grave penalties for World Security the aggressive struggle inflicted upon us by the French could result in.

As early as 1941, Vietnam has risen up in opposition to the Japanese fascists, and brought arms by the aspect of the Allies. After the Japanese surrendered to the Allies, a Provisional Government was arrange to restore order and eradicate all fascist intentions in Vietnam. Supported by the complete nation, it carried out a democratic program, and succeeded in restoring order and self-discipline in all places. Under very tough circumstances, basic elections for National Congress had been organized and befell on January sixth 1946 all through the land, together with 9,000,000 electors of whom greater than 90% went to the polls.

The French colonialists, on the opposite, surrendered to the Japanese as early as September 1941. For 4 years they wholeheartedly cooperated with the Japanese to struggle in opposition to the Allies and to repress the Vietnamese inhabitants. On March ninth, 1945, 5 months earlier than the Japanese had been defeated, the French by a second give up, misplaced all proper and management over Indochina.

On September twenty third, 1945, whereas the New Vietnam Democratic Republic was making strenuous efforts to perform her reconstruction program, the French launched an evening assault on the harmless inhabitants of Saigon, which was adopted up by a systematically damaging and murderous warfare. Facts of looting, assassination of civilians, violence, indiscriminate bombing of non-strategical locations by struggle planes, are reported on a regular basis. Their intention is to invade the complete nation and to reestablish their domination.

In the in the meantime, after the supply of interference voiced by Mr. VINCENT CARTER, Chairman of the Far-East Department, our individuals enthusiastically welcomed President TRUMAN’s handle on October 28, 1945, by which he vigorously and concretely set forth the ideas of self-determination and equality of standing laid down in the Atlantic and San Francisco Charters.

Since that point, the French have tremendously elevated their preventing forces. Millions of individuals will undergo, hundreds can be killed and invaluable properties can be destroyed, except the United States would step out to cease that bloodshed and illegal aggression.

For this purpose, on behalf of my individuals and Government, I respectfully request you to intervene for an instantaneous answer of the Vietnamese challenge. The individuals of Vietnam earnestly hopes that the nice American Republic would assist us to conquer full independence and help us in our reconstruction work.

Thus, with the help of China and the United States, each in capital and method, our Vietnam Republic can be ready to carry her share in the building-up of World Peace and World Prosperity.

With respect,
I’m, expensive President,
Yours actually,

Ho Chi Minh


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