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The War Remnants Museum

Remembering Vietnam:

I was three-months pregnant when we visited Vietnam. Less adventure, as expected, we opted to stay in Saigon and enjoyed what the city tour offered. The War Remnants Museum is one of the destinations that would forever be remembered. They said it was a one-sided story (an anti-American view) of the US - Vietnam War. Indeed, all the horrors and terrors were encapsulated in this museum. This is what the Vietnamese people had to go through under the hands of the Americans before they achieved what they were fighting for.


Before you enter the museum hall, a big courtyard was packed with battle tanks, helicopters and fighter jets. These war machines were taken from the South Vietnamese Air Force. I remember my occasional trips to one of the airbases where my dad works. These stuffs were in no way of the same level as our tora-toras.




Inside the museum were bombs, missiles and other infantry weapons. The saddest section was the Requiem Exhibit. It showcased the photographs captured by those journalists who were killed during the Vietnam War.
In the war of aggression in Vietnam, the US not only used conventional bombs and armaments, but also chemical weapons to wipe out surrounding natural resources and prevent the forward march of the Liberation Army of South Vietnam. In the 10 years from 1961 to 1971, toxic rains poured down continuously on the Central and Sout Vietnam, defoliating mountains, plains and crops, destroying clean water resources and upsetting the delicate ecological balance.

According to US Defence Department data, from 1961 - 1971, the US Air Force sprayed 72 million litres of toxic chemicals of vrious types of dioxin. In a study by scientists at Colombia University (New York) published in Nature magazine, the total volume of toxic chemicals that the US sprayed over Vietnam amounted to approximately 100 million litres and the content of dioxin reported was double that of previously announced figures. According to the study, 3,851 communes suffered direct chemical sprayed and the chemical directly affected between 2.1 and 4.8 million Vietnamese people.
~ Quoted from AGENT ORANGE
I find it really devastating. 'Got the courage to snap on the first few photos, but later on, my husband told me to skip the remaining part of the exhibit because I might feel depressed which would definitely be bad for our baby.
The horrible truth about war is not a good memory to recall. It is not recommended for those who have weak heart. You could feel the pain from all the photos around you and this is the type of exhibit that could give you nightmares.

At the left area, outside the museum, was a version of French Colonial prisons used to house and execute Viet Cong prisoners. They call these prisons as "Tiger Cages".


I peeked on a very small window and saw this inside. Prisoners were said to be held in this sitting position for a very long period of time.

An actual killing machine was also part of the exhibit. The guillotine used to behead the prisoners was kept there and it was said to be used in executions until 1960.


Despite of all these, the War Remnants Museum is considered as an advocate of peace. Let this be an eye-opener that this kind of torment should never happen again. It is truly a very painful history.

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