Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hanoi, Vietnam: A Visit to Hoa Lo Prison -- The "Hanoi Hilton"

The Hoa Lo Prison was famously dubbed the "Hanoi Hilton" by the American pilots imprisoned there during the Vietnam War.  Today it's not a prison, but a museum.  Most of the exhibits focus on the time period before the Vietnam War when the prison was used by the French to house Vietnamese prisoners.  However, the small exhibits about the American POW's are interesting.  It seemed more like a propaganda display than anything else.

This is a copy of the video playing on a loop at the museum.  You'll notice the emphasis on the good treatment and privileges supposedly afforded to the POW's.  The pilots are said to be sorry for their "crimes" and to have realized the war in Vietnam was wrong.  Watch the video yourself and pay attention to the subtitles.  I thought the museum was interesting and worth the visit -- that doesn't mean all the displays are historically accurate.

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