the fall of saigon

Vietnamese people form Germany’s largest group of resident foreigners from Asia. Federal Statistical Office figures showed 83,446 Vietnamese nationals residing in Germany in 2005 (not included are individuals of Viet origin or descent who have been naturalized as German citizens - between 1981-2007, 41,500 people renounced Vietnamese citizenship to take up German nationality). A further 40,000 irregular migrants of Vietnamese origin were estimated to live in Germany, largely concentrated in the Eastern states.

The Vietnamese community in Western Germany consists of refugees from the Vietnam War. The first boat people who fled the country after the fall of Saigon, consisting of 208 families (640 individuals), who arrived in Hanover in 1978. None spoke German. They received official aid such as social benefits and job placement assistance, as well as societal support for their successful adaptation to German life. By the eve of German reunification, West Germany had roughly 33,000 Vietnamese people, largely consisting of boat people and their relatives who were admitted under family reunification schemes.[

East Germany began to invite North Vietnamese to attend study and training programs in the 1950s; cooperation expanded in 1973, when they pledged to train a further 10,000 Vietnamese citizens in the following 10 years. In 1980, they signed an agreement with reunified Vietnam to provide training. The East German government viewed industrial trainee programs not just as a means to increase the labor supply to local industry, but also as development aid to the poorer members of the Socialist Bloc. By 1985, Vietnamese, along with Africans from Mozambique, comprised the main groups of foreign laborers in the DDR. From just 2,482 in 1980, the number of Vietnamese residents grew to 59,053 by 1989. Communities were concentrated mainly in Karl-Marx-Stadt, Dresden, East Berlin, Erfurt, and Leipzig. Their contracts were supposed to last for 5 years, after which they would return home. 

After Reunification, the government sought to reduce populations of former guest workers in the east by offering each DM 3,000 to return home. Tens of thousands took the offer, but they were soon replaced by a further influx of Viet asylum-seekers who had been contract workers in other Eastern European nations. Throughout the 1990s, German attempts to repatriate the new immigrants back to their country were not very successful, due to both Berlin’s reluctance to forcibly deport, and Hanoi’s refusal to re-admit; however, nearly 4/10 were barred from permanent residency. 

Today, about 10,000 Vietnamese people live in Berlin, of whom roughly 25% consist of Hoa (descendants of Chinese immigrants to Vietnam). Vietnamese, along with Koreans, form one of the only Asian groups in which men and women migrated to Germany in roughly equal numbers, at least among legal residents - in contrast, there are far more Thai and Filipino women than men in Germany, while the reverse holds true for Chinese and Indians.

Studies by German education experts show that Vietnamese children are among the highest performing pupils in Germany (50% gaining entry into Gymnasiums). Vietnamese students in Eastern Germany who grow up in poverty typically outperform their peers, such as Turks and Italians. Notable people from the Viet community include Philipp Rösler (Vice-Chancellor of Germany, Federal Minister of Economics & Tech & chairman of the FDP), Dang Ngoc Long (composer), Marcel Nguyen (Olympic gymnast & silver medalist), Minh-Khai Phan-Thi (actress & former presenter for German music channel “VIVA”), and Phạm Nguyễn Lan Phiên (piano prodigy, youngest piano student accepted at the Frankfurt College of Music).

thetoastdevil  asked:

In regards to the ask about the sex scenes, it's actually so impressive and cool that your end goal was to incorporate it to better your story even if it's not what your used too, ahh sorry that's just awesome. Also thanks to 'Sun and Moon' you've made me obsessed and upset with Miss Saigon over this past week. Are you a big musical theater listener? What made you want to use that for the fic ig?

I am a massive musical theater listener! As for Miss Saigon, setting aside the appropriateness of the actual song itself for the context it was being used in, Miss Saigon as a whole is about someone who falls in love and keeps on loving even after the person they love moves on and leaves them behind. I’ll leave the rest up to you

5 Things About the Philippines and the Vietnam War

Since I’ve been sick and couldn’t make a new video for the past few days, here is a piece I wrote this morning which I still intend to turn into a youtube video when I feel better.

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Today, April 30th, marks the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon. Known as Black April to many, it marked the official end to the Vietnam War. Speaking from a Filipino and a historian’s perspective, here are five things you probably did not know about the Philippines and the Vietnam War.

  1. The Philippine-American War and genocide of 1899-1903 (in some areas up to 1913) is considered by many historians as “the First Vietnam” in recognition of the many parallelisms between the two. The Philippine-American war set a precedent of U.S. involvement and interests in the affairs of the region.
  2. As fellow Southeast Asians, the people of the Philippines have traditionally been sensitive to the humanitarian needs of the people of Vietnam. As early as 1954, the Philippines sent humanitarian missions to Vietnam. Contingents of agricultural experts, doctors, nurses and nutritionists, were sent to provide care for the people affected by the war in both Vietnam and Laos.
  3. Between 1964-1971 the Philippine government sent non-combatant troops to serve the medical, dental, engineering and other needs of the Vietnamese people. To this day many Filipino doctors, nurses, teachers, rights activists, humanitarian workers, etc. are found in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam as part of a collective regional consciousness and movements to strengthen the bond between the people of Southeast Asia.
  4. When Saigon and South Vietnam fell in 1975, the Philippines immediately built communities to shelter and aid the refugees. The Philippines was one of the earliest countries to open its borders and welcome refugees with open arms. When the world’s strongest typhoon (Haiyan) hit the Philippines in 2013, many Vietnamese Americans rallied together to send aid to the people of the Philippines in gratitude and recognition of the love the people of the Philippines extended during the war.
  5. More importantly, we also cannot ignore the profound effects of the Vietnam War to the people of the Philippines.  From a critical perspective, the Vietnam war was used as an excuse to continue the U.S. infringement of Philippine sovereignty. The Vietnam War was also a bargaining chip used to keep the Marcos Dictatorship, a dark chapter of Philippine history, in power.  In fact, many of the issues and problems plaguing the people of the Philippines today can be traced back to both the Marcos Dictatorship and the continuing neo-colonial relationship between the U.S. and the Philippines.

Hopefully this would help broaden the scope of understanding the Southeast Asian history and identity. The people of Southeast Asia (all 11 countries in both the mainland and the islands) have long shared a collective consciousness and intersectionalities for thousands of years way before the first European set foot in the region. Let us reclaim what it means to be Southeast Asian beyond the divisions imposed by Western imperialism. Let us once again stand in solidarity and show the rest of the world the collective strength and resilience of Southeast Asia and its people, our people.

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1. April 24, 1975, Saigon - South Vietnamese line up at the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, seeking evacuation days before the fall of Saigon
2. April 1, 1975, Nha Trang - South Vietnamese scramble to board an aircraft fleeing North Vietnamese forces 
3. April 24, 1975, Saigon - South Vietnamese waiting in line for evacuation watch an American helicopter take off from the roof of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon
4. March 23, 1975, Tuy Hoa - South Vietnamese civilian and soldiers climb aboard a rescue helicopter to escape advancing North Vietnamese troops

April 30, 1975 - North Vietnamese forces capture Saigon, ending the war 

Like many other remaining South Vietnamese, my father, a soldier, was imprisoned in a “reeducation camp” for seven years where he endured severe malnutrition, forced labor, and inhumane conditions.  

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The Fall of Saigon was the capture of Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam, by the People’s Army of Vietnam and the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam (also known as the Việt Cộng) on April 30, 1975. The event marked the end of the Vietnam War and the start of a transition period to the formal reunification of Vietnam into a socialist republic, governed by the Communist Party of Vietnam.

I'm gonna let you in on a little secret

You can call yourself strong, empowered, fucking bulletproof if that makes you happy. You can claim to be as enlightened as you want. But the second you start policing how people speak and start crying for legislation on what words people can use then maybe you aren’t as empowered, strong or as enlightened as you claim to be and maybe, just maybe you are the real problem not the words you fear so much. Someone calling you bossy, or whatever word “triggers” your Vietnam War flashbacks to when you lost your entire platoon to the Vietcong during the Fall of Saigon, is not gonna kill you and if you can’t handle that then maybe you should find some help with all those war flashbacks these big, bad words are causing these bouts of “PTSD” and “anxiety attacks”. Remember, words are scary and should be forbidden from ever hurting anyone ever again.

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This Heat - The Fall of Saigon

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Nearly forty years after the fall of Saigon, more than 1.7 million Americans are of Vietnamese descent. With the passage of time, many people are ready to talk for the first time about their experiences. And for many others, this is one of last opportunities they may have to tell their stories. In order to understand this vivid and emotional chapter in American history, we need to hear from the people who were there — the father who risked his life to evacuate his family, the marine who disobeyed orders to transfer at risk citizens, the child whose parents put her on a boat with hopes that she’d find a better life. These are important stories — not only for those individuals, but also for the nation as a whole. We don’t want these stories to be lost. But we need your help to save them. 

In order to capture and preserve these vital pieces of history, American Experience needs to raise $132,000.

ok, maybe not bed time yet.

genuine question: why doesn’t the US take a few hundred thousand of the Syrian refugees?

It’s clearly not safe for them to stay in Syria – or we wouldn’t be bombing ISIS – and we probably have the largest Syrian diaspora population of any individual country.  (On the basis that the US is very large; I haven’t found good numbers )

And it’s not like a few hundred thousand people would make a huge difference in a country of 320 million.

We could literally charter a fleet of Boeing 777s to carry 400,000 refugees from Syria to the US for less than 1/10 of the cost of one day of the Iraq War.

I know that’s not a useful comparison; the cost is not the issue.  I’m stuck on that imagery, though – can you imagine the PR coup if the US actually flew refugees out of a conflict it partially caused?  Not the fall of Saigon, but actively choosing to support the marginalized and terrorized of the world; to put “give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”.

Even if the US was to take only the refugees so far referred to it by the UNHCR – 10,000 – that would be a hell of a statement that we actually stand by our principles.

NPR says that as of June, we’ve taken less than 1000 refugees from Syria.  Why?  For that matter, why do we only take 70,000 refugees per year?  Does anti-immigrant rhetoric really extend to those fleeing verifiable conflicts?

It was some time after the fall of Saigon in 1975 that Vietnam slowly, but surely, began to be an acceptable topic of conversation. People began to ask, with what seemed genuine interest, if I had been in the war. But during these conversations, I also began to notice a very peculiar thing. About every third or fourth person would then ask, ‘Were you wounded?’ …

People still ask me the question from time to time, although not as often as they did before the Wall. When they used to ask me, I would reply, 'No, I was lucky. I wasn’t wounded.’ Now I say to those who ask the question, 'Everybody was wounded in Vietnam… everybody.’

—  John C. Dibble