In the center of Hanoi, a large area is devoted to the world-renowned Vietnamese statesman, Ho Chi Minh. Modeled after the Mausoleum of Lenin in Russia, the centerpiece of the area is the huge Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum where the hero’s embalmed body lies in a glass case.
Uncle Ho, as he was affectionately known as left directions for his cremation and his final will. However, during 1969 at the time of this death, the war was still raging a year after the Tet Offensive, making morale still low. The Communist Party recognized his iconic status and denied his wishes. Many claim that it was a wise decision at the time but ethically unacceptable. Instead, his body was embalmed and the mausoleum was erected in his honor despite it being against his final wishes. The embalming process is undertaken by Russian experts every year during the early autumn as his body is flown to Moscow for three months of maintenance. [Read more…]