Assoc. Prof., Dr. Vu Trong Lam , Director–Editor-in-Chief of the National Political Publishing House of Vietnam had a speech the event
Assoc. Prof., Dr. Vu Trong Lam, Director–Editor-in-Chief of the National Political Publishing House of Vietnam and First Secretary, Charge d'Affaires ad Interim of the Embassy of Vietnam in Athens, Greece Nguyen Phuong Thuy co-chair the event.
Assoc. Prof., Dr. Vu Trong Lam with representatives of leaders from the Communist Party of Greece, the Embassy of Vietnam in Athens, Greece, and the Embassy of Cuba in Greece; ambassadors from some ASEAN member countries in Greece; representatives from some central agencies in Vietnam
Attending the book launch are representatives of leaders from the Communist Party of Greece, the Embassy of Vietnam in Athens, Greece, and the Embassy of Cuba in Greece; ambassadors from some ASEAN member countries in Greece; representatives from some central agencies in Vietnam; some family members of the author - the People’s Armed Forces Hero Kostas Sarantidis - Nguyen Van Lap; the translator of the book; and representatives from some departments of the National Political Publishing House of Vietnam.
This event is organized to express our gratitude to the People's Armed Forces Hero Kostas Sarantidis - Nguyen Van Lap for his contributions and sacrifices for justice, peace, independence, freedom, and the noble international proletarian spirit. Hopefully, it will help to strengthen and further deepen the cooperation and friendship relations between two countries of Vietnam and Greece, at the same time open up the prospect of increasingly profound cooperation in publishing activities, book distribution and cultural exchange activities between the National Political Publishing House of Vietnam and other Greek agencies and organizations.
Delegates are exploring the book by the Vietnamese People's Armed Forces Hero, Kostas Sarantidis - Nguyen Van Lap, on the sidelines of the event.
The memoir’s original Greek title Testimony of a Greek-Vietnamese about Vietnam's Struggle for Independence was translated and published by the National Political Publishing House of Vietnam in coordination with the Embassy of Vietnam in Greece as named Vietnam - My Second Homeland.
The content of the book is built on the basis of memoirs and diaries of Hero of the Vietnam People's Armed Forces Kostas Sarantidis - Nguyen Van Lap. The stories and accounts of Kostas Sarantidis, a Greek who fought side by side with the Vietnamese people for many years, attached to Vietnam as his second homeland, and who had "a life of exceptionally interesting and full of adventure", were recorded and preserved by the Association of Greeks Abroad, because "his experiences of this kind are perhaps unique in the world".
Born in Greece, Kostas Sarantidis spent almost his youth in the Viet Minh forces fighting against the French invaders. As a young man in the French legion who came to Saigon in early February 1946 “desiring to liberate” the regional countries as the French colonial government deceived, however, when he witnessed with his own eyes countless scenes of murder, robbery, and burning houses by legionnaires under the command of French officers, he found that the legionnaires came here not to protect the people but to oppress, kill, and rob them. Four months after landing in Saigon, Kostas Sarantidis abandoned the legion army and sided with the Vietnamese people who were fighting for independence and freedom.
Reaching the free zone, he joined the resistance forces, took the Vietnamese name Nguyen Van Lap, and officially became “Uncle Ho's Soldier” in June 1946. In 1949, he was admitted to the Workers’ Party of Vietnam. During the 9-year resistance war against the French colonialists, Kostas Sarantidis - Nguyen Van Lap was assigned to take charge of various jobs in the regular army units of Inter-Region 5, and joined in many fierce battles in the Central region. On his early days of conducting the enemy-oriented propaganda in the Quang Nam - Da Nang battlefield, he obtained remarkable achievements, making radio programs into enemy posts, inspiring a lot of legionnaires.
Assoc. Prof., Dr. Vu Trong Lam discussed the books with representative leaders. Photo: Organizing Committee
After the Geneva Agreement in 1954, he gathered in the North Vietnam and continued his contributions to the Vietnamese revolutionary cause. In 1958, he got married and then had four children, all of whom were given Vietnamese names. After nearly 20 years in Vietnam, Kostas Nguyen Van Lap returned to Greece in 1965 and continued to be a bridge of friendship between the countries of Vietnam and Greece.
It can be said that the young, vibrant, and very meaningful life in Vietnam of Kostas Nguyen Van Lap is worthy of respect, the shining symbol of the international proletarian spirit, affirming that the revolutionary war in Vietnam is legitimate, drawing strong support and participation from the world peace-loving people, including soldiers who fought in the enemy ranks like Kostas Sarantidis - Nguyen Van Lap. With his great contributions to the cause of national liberation and construction of Vietnam, Kostas Sarantidis - Nguyen Van Lap was awarded the Friendship Medal and granted Vietnamese citizenship by the Party and State of Vietnam in 2011. In 2013, he was the first and only foreigner to receive the noble title of Hero of the Vietnamese People's Armed Forces.
In 2022, after receiving the translated manuscript from the Vietnamese Embassy in Greece, the National Political Publishing House quickly and responsibily organized the tasks of designing marquet and revising and editing the manuscript. Due to the fact that its content was built from personal notes, we found uncountable difficulties in verifying and comparing characters, places, and events during the editing and publishing process. Consequently, we have so far remained unable to verify many names of Vietnamese people and places mentioned by the author. In this case, to ensure content consistency and convenience for readers, we respect the author's original versions and keep them intact, just adding notes to the foot of the respective pages.
As a political theory books publishing agency of the Party and State of Vietnam, during 78 years of establishment and development, the National Political Publishing House of Vietnam has released a number of precious and valuable books and collections on President Ho Chi Minh and other outstanding leaders of the Vietnamese Party and revolution, on the country's renewal process, and on the dissemination of the Party directions and the State policies and laws to a wide range of readers at home and abroad.
Over the past time, the National Political Publishing House has attached importance to publishing books for the purpose of the Party's foreign affairs, State diplomacy and people-to-people diplomacy in order to contribute to strengthening solidarity, friendship, and mutual development between Vietnam and other countries. The memoir Vietnam - My Second Homeland by Hero Kostas Sarantidis - Nguyen Van Lap launched today is a great proof, depicting the image of the harsh resistance war in Vietnam, where Kostas Nguyen Van Lap appeared simple but imbued with the spirit of a hero. The book is considered a spiritual gift to our fellow Greeks, as well as the generations of Vietnamese and Greek who have devoted contributions to establishing, maintaining and strengthening this bilateral relationship of special solidarity and friendship. At the same time, it will provide readers of the two countries with more documents to better understand and appreciate the history that our predecessors have worked hard to cultivate; help to reinforce and further deepen the fine traditional relationship between two Parties, two States and people of the two countries.
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Book launch “Vietnam- My second homeland”
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