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Võ Thị Sáu (Đất Đỏ, 1933 – March 13, 1952) was a schoolgirl guerrilla remembered as a national martyr in Vietnam.

Life[edit | edit source]

She1 was born in Phước Thọ Commune, Đất Đỏ District, then in Bà Rịa Province (today belonging to Long Đất District, Bà Rịa–Vũng Tàu Province). In 1948, Sau became a contact for a local guerrilla group after many of her friends and relatives joined the anti-French resistance.[1] When she was 14 she threw a grenade which killed a French captain and wounded 12 French soldiers, but escaped undetected. Late in 1949 another grenade thrown at the Vietnamese canton chief – a man responsible for many executions – failed to explode and she was caught by the French authorities."[2] She was imprisoned in three jails and finally incarcerated in Côn Sơn Prison, where she was executed at 19 years of age.[3] She is remembered in revolutionary theatre and song, and is today venerated by Vietnamese as an ancestral spirit.[4]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Paige Whaley Eager From Freedom Fighters to Terrorists: Women and Political Violence Page 131 2008 "One story in particular of Vo Thi Sau exemplifies the commitment of the women to the national liberation cause. In 1948, after many of her friends and relatives joined the Resistance against the French, Sau became a contact for a local guerrilla ..."
  2. Grace, Paul (1974). "Vietnamese women in society and revolution". "On March 13, 1952 the French executed a sixteen-year-old woman named Vo Thi Sau. She was being ... She was given a grenade with which she managed to kill a French captain and wound 12 French soldiers. Her action went undetected. Late in 1949 a Vietnamese collaborator who was the canton chief of the district managed to get the French to execute hundreds of young men suspected of being Viet Minh cadres right in the market place. Sau was given the responsibility of eliminating this traitor. Since ammunition was so scarce, she was given only one hand grenade. It did not explode and she was caught by the French authorities. She went through three jails and scores of" 
  3. Ron Emmons Frommer's Vietnam: with Angkor Wat 2012 "Perhaps the most tragically poignant story of Con Son's prisoners is that of Vo Thi Sau, executed by the French at 19 years of age for lobbing a grenade at French soldiers when she was only 14. These days there is something of a cult .."
  4. Rivka Syd Matova Eisner, Re-staging revolution and remembering toward change: National Liberation Front women perform prospective memory in Vietnam The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Communication Studies – 2008 Page 287 "The Spirit of Vo Thi Sau – One of the other spirits lingering and listening in the room with us is that of the national martyr (liet si) Vo Thi Sau. She is one of the most revered ancestral spirits in the lives of the performance group women. Vo Thi Sau ..."

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