Nguyen Thi Dinh (1920 - 1992)
Born in 1920, in Luong Hoa Commune, Giong Trom District, Ben Tre Province.
Intimately called Ba Dinh (Ba is understood as Three, indicating her birth order in the family.)
As an adolescent girl, Ba Dinh got to know of the patriotic movement in her birth district. At 16, she joined in the local movement to fight for civil welfare and democracy. In 1938, at 18, she became a member of the Indochine Communist Party.
It was that event that had set a milestone in Ba Dinh's life. She hereby had chances to devote fully to the cause of patriotic struggle. In the years after 1940, she was detained along with several other comrades, including her husband, who was exiled to the Con Dao Detention Camp and died there. She was jailed in Ba Ra. Then in 1943, she and some of her comrades got out of the colonial prison and returned to Chau Thanh District, Ben Tre province, to lead the people in the successful general uprising that gave birth to the Republic and Democratic of Viet Nam in August, 1945. After this event, she became an executive member of the province's National Salvation Women Society, and after that became the organization's leader.
In 1946, she was among the 4-person delegation of the Eighth Sector going to North Viet Nam by sea to report to the central leadership on the field situation in South Viet Nam, and ask for assistance. This trip had set the early brick and mortar for the later assistance from the North to the South. And, she was also the only one who returned to Ben Tre with a boat full of ammunitions. After that, she and her comrades and Ben Tre's people joined hands firmly to fight the French invaders to the final victory in 1954.
Since the signing of Geneva Peace Accord in July, 1954, South Viet Nam had been again put under the US-led occupation, with Ngo Dinh Diem becoming the President of the puppet Southern Government. Ben Tre once again became one of the key battle fields. Nguyen Thi Dinh now was one of the key leaders of Ben Tre Communist Party. She and her comrades were steering the revolution through years of extreme hardship. Before the Dong Khoi Movement, many members of the Communist Party in Ben Tre were detained, imprisoned and killed by the US and Ngo Dinh Diem forces. She herself escaped several times from the enemy's fatal attacks and safely returned to the Revolutionary Base to continue the national liberation cause.
In the Dong Khoi Movement, 1960, she was a member of the Dong Khoi Commander Staff, a field commander at the uprising hot spots in the three Dong Khoi pivotal communes of Dinh Thuy, Phuoc Hiep, Binh Khanh (in Mo Cay District), leading these to the first victory on January 17, 1960, then to the complete victory of the movement.
After Dong Khoi, she was elected Secretary of Ben Tre's Communist Party as well as many other important positions in the South, became Deputy Chief Commander of the Southern Liberation Armed Forces (4-1970).
After the country's reunification in 1975, she was summoned to Ha Noi and promoted to various senior positions at the Central Government, the Party's Executive Committee, and other government organizations. She was also elected Vice Chairwoman of the World's Democratic Women Federation, and President of the Cuban-Vietnamese Friendship Society.
On her passaway in 1992, more than 50 articles and essays were written in tribute to her great personality and her revolutionary career by her comrades, her relatives and fellow nativemen as well as a wide spectrum of professional writers, reporters, intellectuals, etc. All were collected into an anthology to celebrate her.
People from all walks of life in her native province of Ben Tre and around the South loved her because she had led the simple life among the people and their struggle movement, attached her fate to their fate, lived the way they lived and faught for the cause they followed.
Her character was a harmonious combination between courage, bravery and mercy, between aggressiveness and tenderness, between the toughness and the very sweet womanliness. She was also characterized by the distinction between rights and wrongs, between love and hatred. A bright-hearted character, she was one of the rare leaders of Ben Tre's revolution who were not corrupt at the temptation of power and benefits. She kept faithful to her comrades, friends, family and people to show them that she was their very Ba Dinh.
She was awarded tens of highest medals and entitled Hero of the Armed Forces.