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Greek hero of Việt Nam People's Armed Forces passes away

Update: June, 26/2021 - 10:17

 

Kostas Sarantidis (R) meets with then Foreign Minister of Việt Nam Phạm Binh Minh in 2018. VNA/VNS Photo 

HÀ NỘI — Kostas Sarantidis, the sole foreigner who was honoured with the title of Hero of the People's Armed Forces of Việt Nam, passed away on June 25 (Vietnam time). He was 94.

The Greek was 16 when he was sent to the German army in 1943. After World War II, he could not return home for having no identity documents and later joined the French Foreign Legion and was mobilised to Indochina.   

Since Sarantidis set foot on Sài Gòn (now Hồ Chí Minh City) in 1946, he decided to follow the Việt Minh (the short name for Việt Nam Độc Lập Đồng Minh or Việt Nam Independence League) as he had witnessed invaders’ crime to innocent Vietnamese and realised the aspirations of the Vietnamese revolution.

The soldier, with the Vietnamese name of Nguyễn Văn Lập, had made various accomplishments during his service and was presented with awards from the Party and State. 

He was honoured with the Friendship Order and received Vietnamese citizenship in January 2011.

In 2013, Lập was awarded with the title of Hero of the People's Armed Forces of Việt Nam.

He lived with his family in Athens, Greece. — VNS

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