Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Trần Ngọc Quyên, former Vietnamese Counselor in Germany, offered to the Hồ Chí Minh Museum more than 100 documents and books in German and Bulgarian languages featuring the life of President Hồ Chí Minh on the occasion of National Day.
They include 50 photos, 92 documents and five books detailing the leader’s life and work - items that Quyên preserved for nearly 50 years.
This was the seventh time he offered the museum part of his collection of documents about the President.
Quyên, in his 70s, has spent nearly half of his life collecting and preserving documents and photos of President Hồ, who he loves and respects deeply.
After the President’s death in 1969, Quyên began to collect photos and documents about the President. He was a student at the TU Dresden University in Germany.
After his death, a Vietnamese student at Dresden University set up an altar so that students and local inhabitants could come to worship the President. The managing board of the university also organised ceremonies to commemorate him.
The photos of the two events were his first collected photos related to the President. He also bought many newspapers published in Germany to keep memories of the Vietnamese leader.
“In my heart and the hearts of other Vietnamese, the President is a shining symbol of revolutionary ethics - a man who sacrificed and devoted his whole life to serving the revolution, the motherland and the people,” he said. “For me, he is immortal.”
He also collected a number of the diplomatic documents that were exchanged between Việt Nam and Germany from 1950 to 1969.
He travelled everywhere in Germany – including flee markets - and met with friends, veteran journalists and well-known German photographers to build up a rich collection of documents related to the President.
During his travels, he discovered that at least three streets and six schools in Germany were named after the President.
He also translated some articles and poems from German into Vietnamese that were published in different newspapers in Germany, including the poem Hồ Chí Minh written by famous German poet Ernst Schumacher in 1956. He also wrote his own essay entitled Nguyễn Ái Quốc/Hồ Chí Minh with Germany. The book was considered one of the first research books about relations between the President and Germany since the 1920s.
After he retired in 2004 from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hà Nội, he came back to Germany four times to continue his research. Despite his advanced age, he learned to use the internet to read digital books about the President. — VNS