by mattsteinglass
February 17, 2009, 2:15 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

 As part of the Tet celebration in early February, Hanoi opened up a small exhibition inside the city’s old 19th-century Citadel, generally off-limits to tourists because it remains the headquarters of the People’s Army. One of the exhibits they opened up was something I’d never heard of in my 6 years in Hanoi, but apparently it’s a permanent exhibition: Building 67, a small ’60s concrete building which served as the office of the Political Committee of the Communist Party during the war. Inside is an exhibit that’s supposed to show the room as it would have been when key decisions were taken here, such as the final plan for the invasion of Saigon.

It’s not really visible here, but the nameplates at lower left belong to Le Duc Tho, the top North Vietnamese negotiator and Henry Kissinger’s counterpart at the Paris Peace Talks, and to Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap, the victor of Dien Bien Phu and still nominally the North’s top commander in the late ’60s. On the wall at right we have this map:

The text reads “Resolution of the Ministry (Ho Chi Minh Campaign)”. This is the plan for the final conquest of Saigon in 1975, but by that time Ho Chi Minh had been dead for 5 1/2 years, so this is the “Ho Chi Minh campaign” in the sense of being dedicated to him, rather than having been designed or approved by him.

They’ve also preserved the building’s bomb shelter:

Inside is a complete command center, with another meeting room, electricity and phones, and supplies. Whatever the US decided to drop on Hanoi, it clearly wasn’t taking out the leadership of the Communist Party.

Leave a Comment so far
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: