Ho Chi Minh wrote this letter on June 6, 1941, from Pac Bo, calling on the revolutionary fighters at home together with the compatriots throughout the country to rise up and overthrow the French and the Japanese.

Elders!

Prominent personalities!

Intellectuals, peasants, workers, traders, and soldiers!

Dear Compatriots!

Since the French were defeated by the Germans, their forces have been completely disintegrated. However, with regard to our people, they continue to plunder us pitilessly, suck all of our blood, and carry our barbarous policy of all-out terrorism and massacre. Concerning their foreign policy, they bow their heads and kneel down, shamelessly cutting our land for Siam; without a single word of protest, they heartlessly offer our interests to Japan. As a result, our people suffer under a double yoke: They serve not only as buffaloes and horses to the French invaders but also as slaves to the Japanese plunderers. Alas! What sin have our people committed to be doomed to such a wretched plight!...
...Now, the opportunity has come for our liberation. France itself is unable to dominate our country. As to the Japanese, on the one hand they are bogged down in China, on the other, they are hamstrung by the British and American forces, and certainly cannot use their forces to contend with us. If our entire people are united and single-minded, we are certainly able to smash the picked French and Japanese armies....

From Moscow, Ho made several trips to Yenan - probably under official pressure to ensure that Mao and his cohorts were staying strictly to the Party line. This trip presented many difficulties, whether one came eastward through Turkestan and the Gobi Desert, or, having endured the usual trans-Siberian ordeal to Vladivostok, then proceeded westward on a 4,000 mile trek across Manchuria and northern China. After a brief spell in the Chinese Communist capital (then a collection of caves dug in the cliffs), Ho journeyed south to Kunming, in China’s far southwest. Kunming was the termination of a railroad the French had built from Hanoi. This train had enabled large numbers of Vietnamese to escape French control. Ho at once set to work to inspire and indoctrinate these potential recruits.
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