05/10/2009 | 11:19:50

The August 1945 Revolution

September 1940 witnessed the occupation of Hanoi by the Japanese fascists. The people of Hanoi started a new historical stage, life and struggle under the dual Franco-Japanese yoke.

Despite all the efforts by the French to distract the current struggle, such as the setting up of the Duy Roi Youth and the opening of new colleges, they could not disguise the poverty of the people, the rise in the prices, the abolishment of rice crops for jute planting and the imposition of new taxes. Many pro-Japanese parties were formed in Hanoi, which had a bad impact on the situation. They tried to encourage political moves, but they could not mislead the Vietnamese people whose hearts were with the communist party.

Then the Viet Minh (short for Viet Nam Doc lap Dong minh Hoi - League for Vietnamese Independence) was founded. This involved various organisations (of workers, peasants, youth, women and guerilla units) operating in Hanoi, putting up stiff resistance to the French and the Japanese: for example workers’ strikes, seizure of rice stores and the establishment of tu ve (small armed groups).

On 9 March 1945 the Japanese troops disarmed the French. The revolutionary movement was seething. After 15 August 1945 Japan surrendered to the Allies. In these circumstances it is quite a decision whether we stood up for an uprising or waited for the Liberation Army. If we hesitated, there was a danger that a late uprising would be defeated.

Thus, the Hanoi Communist Party Section, based themselves on the Central Committee’s Guidelines and decided to set up a committee for uprising. On August 17-18 most of the pro-Japanese offices in Hanoi were made powerless. On August 18 a mass meeting was held in the Town Hall Square, which then turned into a huge demonstration in favour of the Viet Minh.

Hue and Saigon in turn stood up to establish their revolutionary power. The insurrection had won complete victory throughout the country. On 2 September 1945, in Ba Đinh Square President Ho Chi Minh proclaimed to the world the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam./.

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