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Old 12-14-2015, 01:15 PM
 
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One of the lingering stories about the end of the Vietnam war is the story of mass atrocities following the defeat of the Republic of Vietnam. Over the years I've read conflicting reports, everything from the killing of thousands to South Vietnam civilians and former military to out right denial that such atrocities ever occurred, so what is the credible evidence either way?
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Old 12-14-2015, 02:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by TheWiseWino View Post
One of the lingering stories about the end of the Vietnam war is the story of mass atrocities following the defeat of the Republic of Vietnam. Over the years I've read conflicting reports, everything from the killing of thousands to South Vietnam civilians and former military to out right denial that such atrocities ever occurred, so what is the credible evidence either way?
There were mass atrocities during the war of course, in various RVN-friendly vills that were overrun by VC or NVA - Hue is an example. In the one month that this otherwise beautiful and peaceful town was occupied by the North during Tet in 1968, communist cadres managed to execute some 4,000 (maybe as high as 6,000) men, women, and children - many simply buried alive. They actually came with "pay-back" lists - anyone that collaborated with American's, anyone that was involved with the RVN government, doctors, priests, leaders. All this was not well publicized at the time - instead the western media was pre-occupied with the My Lai massacre by US troops. A terrible event, but somewhat ironic that the massacre by the north which was ten-fold worse, was ignored. Now it's simply part of the politically correct guilt-trip rhetoric - US - bad, NV - good.
But, the South Vietnamese new it then, and new what would happen when the North overran the south. That's why you had such a mass exudus of refugees moving south away from NVA troops is 1975 and finally, when Saigon fell, you had about a million Vietnamese take to anything that floats, into the South China Sea, to escape the communists. Literally taking to leaking bath tubs to face possible drowning. They knew what to expect if they didn't.
How many were killed when Vietnam was "reunited" is anyones guess. Hundreds of thousands at least - many outright executed, many died of deseise, starvation, or torture in "reeducation camps" for the next decade or two. The reeducation camps were simply political prison forced labor camps - concentration camps. Beatings and executions were a regular occurance.
Today Vietnam has moderated of course, a relatively prosperous country by SE asia standards, but it's still a society where the government controls the information, the media, education, everything...it's not an open society. The massacre in Hue is not mentioned, I would assume most of the younger generation simply has no idea, nor are any atrocities after the reunification. I was in Vietnam a couple months ago - talking to some of the citizens in the south, the division between north and south is still very much there. One guy mentioned that he was a professional in Saigon (none of the residents call it Ho Chi Minh city, possibly out of spite, they hold on to "Saigon"), if he were to move to Hanoi he said he would not do any better than be a luggage handler, because he was from the south. He said his grandfather was in Saigon working for the communists, he hated the US at the time, but he was treated terribly as well when the communists came in because, even if he helped the communists, he was still from the south.

Last edited by Dd714; 12-14-2015 at 02:21 PM..
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Old 12-14-2015, 03:00 PM
 
7,326 posts, read 4,341,603 times
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Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
There were mass atrocities during the war of course,
I remember the reporting on the Hue massacres uncovered after the NVA withdrawal following the Tet Offensive and I am certainly aware of the mass evacuation and refugee crisis following the fall of Saigon (in fact I was sitting dockside waiting for orders that never came to return to Vietnam to assist in the evacuation). I also have no doubt that those who collaborated with the RVN and the US paid a heavy price but I'm interested in sorting out just how intense the repression was.
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Old 12-14-2015, 04:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by TheWiseWino View Post
I remember the reporting on the Hue massacres uncovered after the NVA withdrawal following the Tet Offensive and I am certainly aware of the mass evacuation and refugee crisis following the fall of Saigon (in fact I was sitting dockside waiting for orders that never came to return to Vietnam to assist in the evacuation). I also have no doubt that those who collaborated with the RVN and the US paid a heavy price but I'm interested in sorting out just how intense the repression was.
Let's see what other's can contribute (Added note - my spelling was embarrassingly bad in my post above). It will be pretty tough to figure out because Vietnam was very much closed off and isolated from the rest of the world during those times, now of course they have tourists and businessmen all over today's Vietnam but the records are still sealed.
I don't really think there was any massive Hue-like/Cambodian "killing fields"-like mass execution (which in itself was the result of communism), but those re-education camps certainly resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths over a period 15 or 20 years.
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