In 2011 the IISH acquired the papers of the late Ngo Van. Van, who was born in Tân Lô, a Vietnamese village near Saigon in 1913. He left his village at the age of fourteen and moved to Saigon to work in the metallurgical industry. Van became involved in demonstrations and strikes against the French colonial power. In the thirties he belonged to a coalition of parties with Stalinist and Trotskyist views, editing the journal La Lutte (The Battle), but Van and other Trotskyists later left the journal. During the Second World War, Van and his comrades were arrested, tortured, and imprisoned by representatives of the Vichy government and the short Japanese rule.
Van decided to leave Vietnam in the spring of 1948, and moved to Paris, where he worked in factories. At the same time, he wrote about the history of the revolutionary movement in Vietnam and Indochina and relations during the colonial and post-colonial periods with France. He joined the group around Maximilien Rubel. Among his works are Viêt-nam 1920-1945: Révolution et contre-révolution sous la domination coloniale (1996, 2000) and his memoirs Au pays de la Cloche fêlée (2000); the second part of his memoirs Au pays d’Héloïse, and Le Joueur de flute et l’Oncle Hô (Viêtnam, 1945-2005) were published shortly after his death in Paris in 2005. An English translation and compilation of his memoirs was published in 2010 under the title In the Crossfire: Adventures of a Vietnamese Revolutionary (Spring, 2012).
A preliminary list of the Ngo Van papers has also been published. His papers include correspondence, manuscripts, reviews, and research materials for his various publications.
See also Vans publications, paintings and drawings on line