House of exiles draws history buffs to Buon Ma Thuot

By Ha Thanh    March 8, 2021 | 08:00 pm GMT+7
A former detention center for Vietnamese patriots in Buon Ma Thuot Town is now an important historical relic and tourism destination.
Buon Ma Thuot exile house now a tourism attraction

The complex in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak was built by French colonialists in the period 1930-1931 to exile and detain convicted central Vietnam partisans. Among them were pioneers in the Soviet Nghe Tinh movement.
The area occupies 2 hectares, including a prison, manager house, medical station, kitchen – dining room, classroom, torture chamber, workshop, chapel and office.
These structures were all built and operated through two phases: 1931-1945 during the French colonial period and 1954-1975 during the war against the U.S. (Vietnam War).

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There are six main prison houses. All are lined up with high iron bar windows, solid walls, tiled roofs and meshes of barbed wire above the ceiling to prevent prison break.

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Being shackled depended on a prisoner's sentence and "level of danger." All inmates, especially political prisoners, survived under extreme conditions and were often brutally tortured.

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Prisoners were employed on construction sites, plantations or in factories under the close supervision of guards.

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Prison guards tortured new inmates prior to interrogation.

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Beside six collective prison houses, dark and damp, two-square-meter solitary confinement areas were reserved for loyal soldiers who had led the resistance, protests or prison breaks.

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Thermic punishment in a concrete yard, feet chained to a large, heavy iron ball.

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Brutality and oppression served to ignite revolutionary fervor, with prison cells turned into makeshift classrooms.

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Inside the central management facility is an altar dedicated to President Ho Chi Minh and the communist soldiers who died in the national liberation movement and room of honor for unyielding communists.

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Many intact documents tell of the construction of the Buon Ma Thuot exile house, resistance in prison, development of the Communist Party and of Dak Lak Province.

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Buon Ma Thuot exile house was restored in 1992, 2006 and is open for purposes of historical research. The complex was recognized as a Special National Monument in 2019.
It is located on Tan Thuat Street, Tu An Ward, about one kilometer southeast of Buon Ma Thuot's center. Ticket prices for one adult is VND20,000 ($0.87); and VND10,000 for children.

 
 
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