Libmonster ID: VN-1238
Author(s) of the publication: E. KOBELEV

Historical science has long debated the question of the correlation between the role of the individual and the masses of the people in the historical development of a particular country. It seems that it is hardly possible to dispute the point of view that history is driven by peoples and social forces. But it is also apparently indisputable that the role of the individual increases dramatically at crucial and fateful stages in the development of countries and peoples and can have a powerful impact on the nature of development and the final results of these stages. How many times has history witnessed that some countries at the right moment, so to speak, were "lucky" with leaders, leaders, and others, on the contrary, were catastrophically "unlucky".

There can be no two opinions about Ho Chi Minh: he is a national hero of Vietnam, a political figure of historical significance. For many years in the minds of contemporaries, the words Ho Chi Minh and Vietnam were inseparable.

In the long-term anti-colonial struggle of the Vietnamese people for national liberation, against the intervention of external enemies, for the reunification of the artificially divided homeland, Ho Chi Minh was not only a political leader, but also a spiritual father of the nation, which plays a huge mobilizing role in the Asian country.


His diverse strength was recognized and admired by both his friends and opponents, and each of them noted some particularly remarkable trait in his character. For example, Indira Gandhi called him "a great and inflexible, though gentle leader." Salvador Allende to a journalist's question: "What are the three virtues of political figures that you would like to have and from whom would you take an example?" "He said,' The integrity, humanity, and majestic modesty of Ho Chi Minh.' And in our country, where he spent many years, he was affectionately called the "knight of the revolution".

The opponents naturally disliked Ho Chi Minh, but they recognized his strength and immense authority. "France's Commissar in North Vietnam" in 1945-1946, Jean Centeny lamented in his memoirs: "It is regrettable that France underestimated this man, failed to understand his significance and the forces that he represented." D. Eisenhower, explaining why the United States disrupted the general elections in Vietnam in 1956 and committed armed intervention here, admitted: the American administration was convinced that if elections were held, it would not be possible Less than 80 percent of Vietnamese people will vote for Ho Chi Minh. And when the American air force began to bomb the carefully hidden jungle roads along which volunteers marched from North to South Vietnam, transferring weapons and food, the American headquarters dubbed this road "Ho Chi Minh Trail", although he himself had never even been in those places.

Ho Chi Minh lived and fought in an era separated from us by decades, but he is very modern. From today's perspective, many important components of what we now call the philosophy of new thinking can be easily discerned in his work. And the most important of them is the dialectical combination of national and socio-class goals, the organic unity of national-patriotic and socialist ideals.

Ideological fanaticism was completely alien to him. National reconciliation and harmony, if possible nonviolent methods, compromise based on taking into account the interests of not only the majority, but also the minority - this was precisely the political position that was akin to his character. While remaining committed to protecting the interests of the working people, he was also able to attract representatives of the national bourgeoisie, landlords, and the bourgeois - feudal intelligentsia to the side of the people, which made it possible to oppose a fairly broad alliance of the Vietnamese nation to external enemies at the most difficult stages of the revolution. Many members of Vietnam's old intelligentsia note that they joined the revolution under the influence of Ho Chi Minh's personality, in which they saw everything first-

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We hope for the future national liberation and revival of Vietnam.

For the Vietnamese, Ho Chi Minh was a true symbol of national consolidation. "Vietnam is one country, Vietnamese are one people" - this slogan inspired Vietnamese patriots for three decades to fight against attempts by external forces to perpetuate the division of their homeland into two parts. Although he himself did not live to see this historic day, Vietnam was the first among the divided nations to achieve reunification in conditions of independence and freedom.

Ho Chi Minh initiated and actively promoted the strategy of a broad united national front at each specific historical stage of the revolution. This strategy has become a powerful weapon in the hands of Vietnamese patriots, first in the struggle to liberate the country from Japanese militarists and French colonialists (Vietminh Front), then in the struggle of the population of South Vietnam against US aggression (National Liberation Front of South Vietnam) and now in building a new society on Vietnamese soil (Patriotic Front of Vietnam).

And Ho Chi Minh entered world history not only as the leader of the Vietnamese Communist Party, but also as one of the outstanding leaders of the world national liberation movement. His contribution to the national liberation struggle of peoples was highly appreciated at various international forums of progressive forces, leaders of the young liberated states of Asia and Africa, and the press of many countries. Ho Chi Minh warmly welcomed the birth of the Non-Aligned Movement in 1961, and shared a cordial friendship with its distinguished "founding fathers" Jawaharlal Nehru and Sukarno.

Ho Chi Minh was a gifted creative personality - publicist, writer, poet. He has written many books, pamphlets, and articles on the theory and practice of the Vietnam Revolution, building the foundations of a new society in Vietnam, and strategies and tactics for defending the country's independence. Ho Chi Minh is called the founder of Vietnamese revolutionary literature in his homeland. His cycle of poems "Prison Diary", written in the 40s, is widely known in Vietnam, and has been translated into many languages around the world. In 1979, a collection of his literary works was published and later reprinted in the Soviet Union.

However, this aspect of Ho Chi Minh's work was not the prevailing one. His main life principle was the well-known words of Karl Marx: "Every step of a real movement is more important than a dozen programs." He was, in the best sense of the word, a practitioner, a man of action. To do everything possible in the name of approaching the victorious hour of the revolution, in the name of successfully building a new life - this rule he himself followed all his life, and he persistently called on his colleagues to do this.

Ho Chi Minh had a huge, truly limitless authority among the Vietnamese people. But this was precisely authority, and not a cult of personality with its inevitable perversions and crimes. It is known that for objective and subjective reasons, the cult of personality as a socio - political phenomenon has affected more than one socialist country, causing serious damage not only to the construction of a new life, but also to socialism as a whole as a socio-political phenomenon. Vietnam, on the other hand, has happily avoided such a fate, thanks primarily to Ho Chi Minh's personal human qualities.

Even in the most difficult years of the revolution, the struggle for freedom and independence, and for the very survival of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh has always remained a principled opponent of command and authoritarian methods, consistently advocating collective leadership and democracy. In 1956, he strongly joined the XX Congress of the CPSU in condemning the cult of Stalin's personality and his crimes. "Victorious socialism," wrote Ho Chi Minh, " could no longer tolerate either the cult of personality or its pernicious consequences. The decisive measures taken by the Central Committee of the CPSU to overcome the cult of personality and its consequences are an unprecedented example of political courage in history."

The Vietnamese leader was also deeply affected by the tragic manifestations of Mao Zedong's personality cult for the Chinese people, which resulted in the ominous excesses of the "cultural revolution". In one of his articles written in the midst of these events, Ho Chi Minh pointed out that if the disease of individualism affects the leader, it leads to serious consequences for society and for the country as a whole.


Ho Chi Minh was a passionate advocate of morality and tirelessly fought for the education of high personal qualities among Vietnamese workers. Addressing the young people, he admonished them with these words: "In any business, think first of all not about yourself, but about your compatriots, about all the people. Go to the front when it's difficult, and take last place when it comes to rewards."

Over the years of fighting, he had become accustomed to a harsh, Spartan lifestyle, and nothing was so alien to his character as

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the desire for luxury. He liked to remember the difficult but romantic life in the mountain caves of Vietbac on the eve of the Revolution and during the First War of Resistance. He always liked this simple life among the people, where he shared food with peasants and soldiers and slept with them under the same roof. When he returned to Hanoi in 1954 after eight years of guerrilla warfare, he asked for a simple wooden house to be built on the grounds of the Bakbofu Presidential Palace. The last 15 years of his life were spent in this modest dwelling. To the end of his life, Ho Chi Minh remained the epitome of simplicity and modesty.

Ho Chi Minh's very appearance radiated warmth, which he generously shared with others. He belonged to the category of people who are hurt more by other people's sufferings and sorrows than their own. Many people who met him noted that he was extremely sensitive to everything that concerned the life of the Vietnamese people, their suffering and sacrifices, and was noticeably worried when he spoke about the heroism of the Vietnamese fighters, bitterly repeating: "The best die."

By nature, a gentle and kind person, Ho Chi Minh was a model of firmness, resilience and determination when the situation demanded it. To win the struggle for national independence, he taught, the people must demonstrate " revolutionary determination, always carry high the banner of revolutionary heroism, never give up in the face of any difficulties and sacrifices, and fight for national independence stubbornly and to the end...".

One of the most striking features of Ho Chi Minh's character, which struck his associates, was an inexhaustible historical optimism. Even in the most dramatic days and months of the Vietnamese revolution, when it seemed forever trapped in caves and remote jungles, and the enemy triumphed almost all over the country, Ho Chi Minh remained the embodiment of unwavering faith in the inevitable triumph of the just cause of the Vietnamese people.

In our country, the name of Ho Chi Minh has always enjoyed special respect. The great patriot of Vietnam laid the foundation and was an active advocate of friendship between Vietnam and the USSR. Before the victory of the August Revolution, he spent more than six years in our country, where he truly found a second homeland.

In the late 50s, I studied at the Faculty of History and Philology of Hanoi University, and then in the 60s I worked as a TASS correspondent for Vietnam. Overall, I have lived in Hanoi for more than five years and have seen and met Ho Chi Minh many times during this time.

There were two striking features in his appearance: simplicity (he looked almost no different from an ordinary Vietnamese peasant) and at the same time surprisingly young and very lively, bright eyes, as if he was only 18 years old.

For the first time, I had the good fortune to be near Ho Chi Minh City in the spring of 1959, when students, along with the entire population of the capital, participated in a subbotnik to plant trees around Hanoi's Baimau Lake. Quite unexpectedly, without any notification, Ho Chi Minh appeared among the students and schoolchildren, threw a couple of joking warm phrases and began to plant trees with us. Since then, when I come to Hanoi and find myself near Lake Baimau, I remember the days of my youth and that first spring in Hanoi.

But my most exciting memory of Ho Chi Minh is the XXII Congress of the CPSU in 1961, when I, then still a student, was entrusted with simultaneous translation of Ho Chi Minh's speech. Naturally, I was very worried, and because of this, there was a very funny discrepancy. Ho Chi Minh, who knew Russian very well, said the last few sentences of his speech in Russian, and I automatically translated them into Vietnamese.


In the mid-60s, I worked as a TASS correspondent in Vietnam and, naturally, had the opportunity to see and hear Ho Chi Minh at rallies and official ceremonies. One of my deepest impressions was when I participated in the Congress of Vietnamese Soldiers who Distinguished Themselves in battles with American aircraft, which was held in 1966 in the government building of the Congresses on Badinh Square in Hanoi.

After the hero stars were awarded to the distinguished soldiers, Ho Chi Minh got up from the presidium table and gave a very humane speech, so to speak. Naturally, now I can only recall its contents from memory, but the main meaning of it was as follows: the Vietnamese people cannot be broken, because the more the enemy increases the aggressive war, the more our people give birth to heroes who are ready for feats in the name of the motherland. And the most striking evidence of this is the stars of heroes on the tunics of the congress participants.

And now, sons and grandsons, Ho Chi Minh addressed the heroes, look at me and my government. We do not have any awards, but we spare no effort to mobilize the people to victoriously repel the enemy's aggression. And this is our undisputed advantage over the enemy, so we are confident that no matter what difficulties and hardships, we will definitely win.

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The last time I heard Ho Chi Minh was on July 17, 1966, when he gave an address to the people on Hanoi radio. It was a strikingly optimistic speech. After all, these words were uttered at a time when North Vietnam, subjected to massive raids by American aircraft, was practically in ruins, and in South Vietnam there was a half-million US army.

Like today, I remember this day. A few hours before the president's speech, about 50 American fighter-bombers raided Hanoi for the first time. The smoky smell of burning still lingered in the air above the city. During these difficult hours, residents of the capital wanted to hear the inspiring voice of the president more than ever. The entire fighting Vietnam froze at the loudspeakers in urban and rural streets, at the transistors in guerrilla bases in the jungle and behind closed curtains in the homes of underground fighters in enemy-occupied cities in the South. Then Ho Chi Minh's voice came out, calm and with the distinctive accent of a native of Nguetinh Province:

"The war may last for another 5, 10, 20 years... Hanoi, Haiphong and other cities may be destroyed. However, the Vietnamese people are not intimidated! There is nothing more precious than independence and freedom! The day of victory will come, and our people will restore their homeland, make it even more majestic and beautiful."

Ho Chi Minh's famous words in this address are: "There is nothing more precious than independence and freedom!" - immediately spread throughout Vietnam, became the motto of the national liberation struggle.

In the last years of his life, Ho Chi Minh had "one but burning passion" - to complete the task of liberating the South of Vietnam, to see his homeland reunited. In 1963, when the National Assembly of the country decided to award the president with the Order of the Golden Star, he thanked the deputies and asked them to allow him not to accept this highest award while the country is divided into two parts, and the blood of patriotic compatriots is pouring in the South. "Let the National Assembly,"he suggested," allow the people of the South to present me with this order on the day when the South is completely liberated, our country is reunited and peace reigns in it, when the North and the South are gathered into one native family."

In the South of Vietnam, fierce fighting raged, American B-52s methodically rained deadly cargo on partisan areas, and Ho Chi Minh, whose age was approaching 80 years, insistently demanded that the Politburo of the Central Committee organize a trip to the South to " meet with comrades, compatriots." He asked me to inform him regularly when representatives of South Vietnam will be in Hanoi. Fighters from the South, once in the North, always met with him. Each time he asked the Southerners in detail about events at the front and in the rear, and it was clear how pleased he was with such meetings.

Ho Chi Minh did not live to see the historic day he had been waiting for-the complete liberation of South Vietnam and the reunification of the country. He died on September 3, 1969 in Hanoi at the age of 79.

Before passing away, Ho Chi Minh prepared a political will to the people. As before, each line of the will is imbued with a passionate belief in a speedy victory, in the bright future of the motherland. "The war of resistance to the American aggressors may still be prolonged," Ho Chi Minh wrote. " Our compatriots may have to suffer significant material and human losses. But we must fight with all determination against the American aggressors to complete victory... Whatever the difficulties and hardships, our people will surely win a complete victory. The American imperialists will have to get out of our country. Our homeland will be reunited. The compatriots of the North and South will once again become one family."

Just six years after these words were written, they became a reality. The immortal image of Ho Chi Minh led the soldiers and commanders of the People's Armed Forces in the battles for the liberation of the South of the country. The final operation of this long - term struggle, the operation to liberate Saigon, was named after him.

The cause for which Ho Chi Minh gave his whole life-the creation of a single independent Vietnam-has triumphed.

It seems that even such a visionary as Ho Chi Minh could not have imagined what Vietnam would become after the victorious end of many years of war. Today, Vietnam is one of the most politically stable countries in Southeast Asia, an authoritative member of ASEAN, and one of the most respected developing countries in the world.

The Vietnamese leader had no hatred for America, for the American people. During World War II, he fought alongside the Americans for the liberation of Vietnam from Japanese militarists.

Ho Chi Minh has always sought one thing-cooperation with the United States on an equal footing. And now, in the new historical conditions, this dream has come true.

And most importantly, the economy of the recently extremely backward Vietnam is now one of the most dynamically developing economies in the region, which for more than a decade has provided constant growth of gross domestic product at the level of five to nine percent. Its current economic strength is now twice as strong as it was before the start of the" renewal policy " in 1987.

And this, I think, is the best monument to Ho Chi Minh, who devoted his entire life to the liberation of his people and the revival of his homeland.


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