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Nhân Văn affair
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The Nhân Văn affair (or the Nhân Văn-Giai Phẩm affair) was a political controversy in North Vietnam in the late 1950s. Following a loosening of political restrictions with some similarities to the Chinese Hundred Flowers Campaign, there was a hardening of attitudes. Two periodicals were closed down and their political associates imprisoned or exiled.

The affair is named for the suppression of two independent newspapers in North Vietnam in 1956. The Nhân Văn (The Beauty of Humanity) group consisted of the dissident North Vietnamese intellectuals from 1955 - 1958. This group was led by Phan Khôi, a revolutionary from Quảng Nam.

Most of these intellectuals had participated in the movement against French colonialism. After the first phase of land reform, they became disillusioned and started a political movement demanding political freedom and democracy.

They published the Nhân Văn paper and the Giai Phẩm periodical, with articles demanding freedom of speech, and that certain human rights be respected. They also commented that Communist Party leaders had violated the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

The official address of the Nhân Văn paper was 27 Hang Khay, Hanoi. Its editor was Phan Khôi, and its secretary was Tran Duy.

Among intellectuals that joined the group were the lawyer Nguyễn Mạnh Tường, Dr Đặng Văn Ngữ, scholar Đào Duy Anh, philosopher Trần Đức Thảo, poets Trần Dần, Hoàng Cầm, Phùng Quán, Quang Dũng, Văn Cao, Nguyễn Hữu Đang, Lê Đạt and painter Bui Xuan Phai.

The first edition of Giai Pham (Spring) was published in March, 1956. By December 1956, they had published two issues (Fall and Spring) of Giai Phẩm and five issues of Nhân Văn.

On December 15, 1956, the Communist Party shut down the organization, closed the office, and arrested all participants.[citation needed] Some were executed and others sent for "re-education".[citation needed]

The event was publicised in the West by Hoàng Văn Chí in The Nhân Văn Affair, and Trăm Hoa Đua Nở Trên Đất Bắc (Hundreds of Flowers Blooming in the North), published in 1959 by the Congress of Cultural Freedom in Saigon.

After the doi moi reforms in the late 1980s, many of the imprisoned intellectuals were rehabilitated. The government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam recognized many of the writers and poets in the late 1990s and 2000s with many state awards, often posthumously.

[edit] References

* Hoàng Văn Chí, Trăm hoa đua nở trên đất Bắc. Mặt trận Bảo vệ Tự do Văn hoá xuất bản. Saigon 1959.
* Hoàng Văn Chí, From Colonialism to Communism: A Case History of North Vietnam New York: Praeger, (1964). Intro. by P. J. Honey. 8vo. Black cloth, stamped in gilt. xv, 252 p. 1st American ed.

[edit] External links

* Hoàng Văn Chí: Trăm Hoa Đua Nở Trên Đất Bắc
* "Từ Nguyễn Hữu Đang đến Phạm Hồng Sơn" của Tưởng Năng Tiến
* Bài Phong trào Nhân Văn Giai Phẩm của Thụy Khuê
* Mở lại hồ sơ vụ Nhân văn Giai phẩm - RFA

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Categories: 20th century in Vietnam Political repression in Vietnam


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