Wednesday, November 22 2017

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War veteran writer presents historic documents to museum

Update: July, 22/2017 - 07:00
Scribbles: The original manuscript of first English translation of doctor Đặng Thùy Trâm’s diary done by Trần Thị Kim Dung, the Vietnamese wife of Carl W Greifzu – a US veteran.— VNS Photo Bạch Liên
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — The Vietnamese Women’ Museum in Hà Nội received war mementoes from writer and journalist Colonel Đặng Vương Hưng during a ceremony on Friday.

This event is part of activities held to celebrate the 70th anniversary of War Invalids and Martyrs Day on July 27. 

The mementoes belonged to well-known Vietnamese soldiers who took part in the American war and doctors and nurses who treated wounded soldiers.

The documents include the original manuscript of the first English translation of doctor Đặng Thùy Trâm’s diary, translated by the Vietnamese wife of Carl W Greifzu – a US veteran, in the 80s in the US.

While visiting Việt Nam in March 2016, Greifzu presented the 102-page translation to Hưng after he had kept it for more than 30 years.

His wife Trần Thị Kim Dung translated the diary into English by pencil. From this translated version, Greifzu edited it and typed the text. The complete typewritten version of the diary is currently on display at the War Remnants’ Museum in HCM City.

Greifzu also made hundreds of copies of his translation of the diary and sent them to other US war veterans who would recognise its value.

Penned by doctor Đặng Thùy Trâm in the 1960s while working in a field hospital in central Quảng Ngãi province, the diary reveals her emotional tumult and personal aspirations.

She was killed by US troops in June 1970 at the age of 27.

Makes vases not war: The vase made by Hà Thị Quế from the carcass of the 2,700th US airplane that was shot down by the army and people of Ninh Bình province .— VNS Photo Bạch Liên

On the occasion, Colonel Hưng also donated to the museum one vase made by Hà Thị Quế, a female leader of the Việt Minh, from the 2,700th US airplane that was shot down by the army and people of Ninh Bình province .

Quế later offered this vase to Hưng’s father who was one of four first members of the Communist Party in Yên Thế District of Bắc Giang Province.  

“My family highly valued this object and used to place it on our altar with fresh flowers for many years”, recalls Hưng.

Colonel Hưng also donated to the museum 20 war-time letters that doctor Tạ Lưu (former director of 110 Military Hospital in Bắc Ninh province) and his wife, nurse Cao Thị Nhu, sent to each other from 1956-1972.

Those donated mementoes are much more significant as we have opened a permanent exhibition on the life and works of Đặng Thùy Trâm, Hà Thị Quế and war-letters in our museum, in “Women in History’ section. We will continue to enrich the information about the country’s female heroes through such precious donated objects to bring more meaningful historic stories to the young Vietnamese generation to teach them about patriotism,” said Nguyễn Hải Vân, the museum’s deputy director. — VNS

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