Massacre at Hue

From Academic Kids

Template:Dispute The following article was written with unverified information. All information used in this article was supplied from South Vietnam Government. Information they gave to US Army regarding this massacre were also different over time. Considering at that moment, they were at war, we should not accept that those information are true.

The Massacre at Hue was an incident in the Vietnam War that occurred during North Vietnam's occupation of the city of Hue during the Tet Offensive. An estimated 2500 civilians were executed and another 3500 were suspected executed but never found.

The North Vietnamese Army set up provisional authorities shortly after capturing the city. The first thing they did was call all South Vietnamese soldiers, civil servants of all services, political party members, and college students, to report to the "revolutionary people's committee." Those who reported to the Communist-run committee were registered in control books and then released with promise of safety.

After a few days, they were called to report again, then all were sent home safe. During three weeks under NVA units' occupation, they were ordered to report to the communist committee three or four times. In the late half of January 1968, the US Marine Corps and the South Vietnamese infantry counterattacked and recaptured the city after weeks of fierce fighting.

During the Marine and ARVN attack, North Vietnam's forces rounded up those individuals whose names it had previously collected and had them executed or sent North for re-education.

Missing image
South Vietnamese officials untie a victim and remove the body from a mass grave

In late February 1968, acting on reports by Vietnamese Communists and POWs, local South Vietnamese authorities found several mass graves. In each site, hundreds of bodies of the missing were buried. Most were tied to each other by ropes, electric wires or telephone wires. They had been shot or beaten or stabbed to death.

Many of the victims found were anti-communist Catholics who sought sanctuary in local churches. Others were apparently being marched off for political re-education but were shot when American or ARVN units came too close.

The mass graves within Hue itself were largely of those who had been picked up and executed for various "enemy of the people" offenses. There is some doubt that the NVA/VC had planned all these executions beforehand but unquestionably it was the largest Communist purge of the war.

Since April 1975, the Vietnamese Communist government moved many families related to the victims out of Hue City. People in the city however, still commemorate them every year. Because the people are mingling the rites with Tet celebrations, Communist local authorities have no reason to forbid them.

The event was not covered very extensively in the western media, mostly because American troops were not involved. In November 1974, when a documentary film produced by South Vietnamese reporters about the Tet Offensive was shown to an American audience of more than 200 US Army officers in Fort Benning, Georgia, almost none of the audience had ever heard of the full details of the atrocity. Many afterwards said that had they known the savage slaughter at the time, they would have acted differently while serving in Vietnam.

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