The history of relations between the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the Soviet Union and other Socialist states during the Vietnam War is usually told as a story of solidarity and “proletarian internationalism.” But there was another side: while the North Vietnamese celebrated “friendly relations” with Moscow and East Berlin and happily accepted aid provided by the Soviet bloc, they were deeply distrustful of Moscow’s policy of “peaceful co-existence” and the influence of “revisionist culture.” In this presentation to the Washington History Seminar, Martin Grossheim used the case of Vietnamese students in the former German Democratic Republic as an example of the ambivalent relations between Hanoi and their “comrades” in Eastern Europe.
Martin Grossheim is a Residential Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars working on a project entitled “The East German ‘Stasi’ and the Making of the Autocratic State in Vietnam.” He received his doctorate in Southeast Asian history from Passau University, Germany, where he teaches in the Department of Southeast Studies. He is the author of The Party and the War: Debates and Dissent in North Vietnam (2009) and Ho Chi Minh, The Mysterious Revolutionary: Life and Legend (2011), both published in German.
The seminar is a joint venture of the Wilson Center and the National History Center of the American Historical Association. A webcast of this session will be posted here in a few weeks.