On the morning of October 10, 1954, the Vietnamese resistance army made its historic march into Hanoi, taking the capital from the French invaders.
As many as 200,000 Hanoians took to the streets to welcome their army. The entire city was festooned with national flags, slogans, and banners as the celebration began.
The Roar of the Red River exhibition at Hoa Lo Prison Relics in Hanoi recreates this atmosphere on the occasion of the 69th anniversary of the Capital Liberation Day (October 10, 1954-2023). Organized by the Hanoi Department of Culture and Sports, the exhibition opened on the morning of October 4.
|Visitors and historical witnesses recall the atmosphere of Hanoi Liberation Day. Photo: Ngo Minh/The Hanoi Times
It is divided into two major thematic areas, including "Long Resistance War" and "History Day".
Accordingly, the "Long War of Resistance" section reflects the atmosphere of the 60 days and nights in December 1946 when the army and people of the capital responded to President Ho Chi Minh's call for national resistance and fought resolutely with the spirit of "Determined to brave death for the survival of the Fatherland". Their battles bought time for the whole country to prepare for a long war of resistance.
Here, visitors can see Hanoi when it was temporarily under enemy occupation, suffering brutal military rule, repression, and oppression by the colonial government, which aroused a wave of hatred among the urban population.
Taking over Hanoi, but the French colonialists could not take over the people's hearts. Clandestinely, they hung red flags with yellow stars in the city. The people of Hanoi continued to secretly train cadres to support the resistance war. Students organized school strikes and performances to support the resistance war. Inside Hoa Lo Prison, revolutionary soldiers continued to fight stubbornly, plotting escapes, causing riots in temporarily occupied Hanoi, and stirring up the atmosphere of fierce struggle.
Meanwhile, the "Day of History" exhibition area takes visitors to the victory of the Dien Bien Phu campaign. This historic milestone forced the enemy to sign the Geneva Accords and withdraw troops from North Vietnam.
|The exhibition shows the hardships and sacrifices made by the soldiers and people of the capital for the liberation of the city. Photo: Ngo Minh/The Hanoi Times
For the smooth takeover of the capital from the hands of the French, Hanoi people from all walks of life were resilient and persistent in resisting all the enemy's sabotage plots, keeping the city intact before the Vietnamese army assumed control of the capital on October 10, 1954.
According to Dang Van Bieu, deputy director of the Hoa Lo Prison Relic Management Board, political prisoners under cruel incarceration found every means to make a national flag, and despite enemy repression, they were determined to protect it because the flag represented hope, faith and resolution to defeat the enemy.
|A special issue of Tien Phong newspaper to celebrate the Liberation of the Capital. Photo: Ngo Minh/The Hanoi Times
"The exhibition aims to remind today's generation of the hardships and sacrifices made by the capital's soldiers and people to achieve the 'Day of Return' and contribute to the victory of the long resistance war against the French," Bieu said.
Veteran Nguyen Tien Ha (real name Nguyen Huu Tu), a former political prisoner in Hoa Lo Prison who participated in the historic flag-raising ceremony on the afternoon of October 10, 1954, recalled: "When I saw the red flag with a yellow star flying proudly on the Hanoi Flag Tower, I was speechless with emotion. I shed tears in memory of my comrades and compatriots who lost their lives in the struggle. I am extremely grateful to the martyrs who helped me to fulfill the oath hidden in my alias Nguyen Tien Ha, which means the vow to advance to Hanoi and liberate the capital".
The exhibition space also has highlights for photo opportunities, such as the Gate, reminiscent of the waves of the Red River surging strongly like the spirit of persistent struggle and determination to regain independence, or giant pictures of the demonstration of female students from Trung Vuong High School in 1953.
The exhibition will last until December 31.