Conducts research and collects data on the global history of labour, workers, and labour relations

Dien Bien Phu

General Vo Nguyen Giap, who died in Hanoi on 4 October 2013, at the age of 102, was a brilliant military strategist. 'The Volcano', as he was nicknamed by his troops, obtained this reputation in 1954 in the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, when Giaps army trapped 12.000 French troops from the hills surrounding the valley of Dien Bien Phu. The victory of Giaps guerilla army signalled the end of French colonial rule in Vietnam.

An intriguing scale model of Dien Bien Phu (click image to enlarge) was made by the Dutch artist Tom Küsters (1943-2008)  and donated to the IISH in 2009 with related documentation, screen prints and printed materials. In the 1970s Küsters participated in the Vietnam movement in Nijmegen and produced a series of posters on the subject. The scale model measures 139x109x18 cm and is made of wood with plexiglass. It took Küsters three years to make it and he travelled to Vietnam to make sure the details were correct.

Call no BG X1/57

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7 October 2013