(Video hosted on Youtube.)
o Chi Minh (May 19, 1890 September 2, 1969) was a Vietnamese revolutionary and statesman, who later became Prime Minister (1946 1955) and President (1955 1969) of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Ho is most famous for leading the Viet Minh independence movement from 1941 onward, establishing the communist-governed Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1945 and defeating the French Union in 1954 at Dien Bien Phu. He was one of the most important Communist figures of the 20th century, Ho Chi Minh led the Vietnamese struggle for independence from France during the First Indochina War (1946-1954). In 1954 Vietnam was temporarily divided into North and South Vietnam, with Ho as the leader of North Vietnam.
Ho’s childhood name was Nguyen Sinh Cung, but in accordance with Vietnamese custom, he received a new name, Nguyen Tat Thanh, at the age of 10. Ho was born in the village of Kim Li’n in Annam, a region that now makes up central Vietnam. At the time, Vietnam was part of a French colony known as the Indochinese Union, or French Indochina, although it remained under the nominal rule of an emperor. Ho’s father served as an official at the Vietnamese imperial court, but French authorities eventually dismissed him for criticizing French domination of his country. As an adolescent, Ho attended a French-run school in Hue. Expelled for rebellious activities in 1908, he then briefly taught at a private school in Phan Thiet. In 1911 Ho signed on as a cook for a French steamship liner, and then worked in the United States and London, England. It was while living abroad that Ho evidently became acquainted with the ideas of German political theorist Karl Marx, which form the basis of communism.
(Documentary made by The History Channel)
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