Le dictionnaire



Both the French Fourth Republic and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) organized the re-education and the indoctrination of their respective prisoners. And both drew upon the experiences of World War II in doing so. The Allies had organized special “democracy” classes for their prisoners while the Soviets provided communist re-education for many of their captured. The French and the Vietnamese were well aware of these models and adopted, adapted, and applied them during the Indochina War to varying degrees. With the creation of Deuxième Bureau’s psychological warfare operations in the early 1950s, the French army allocated a sizeable amount of money to the re-education of Vietnamese prisoners. This meant the organization of special political classes during which French and Vietnamese propagandist specialists dispensed an anti-communist, pro-Western program. On several occasions, once re-education was sufficiently attained, the French integrated the soldiers into its fighting forces or used them as agents in its various intelligence services. The DRV carefully organized the indoctrination of thousands of its French Union prisoners of war taken in the early 1950s. They often drew upon Sino-Soviet communist models. In elaborate re-education classes, political cadres, even leftist European crossovers like Rudy Schroeder and Georges Boudarel, indoctrinated French Union prisoners about the just cause of the DRV’s war of national independence, the crimes of French colonialism in Indochina, and the advantages of communist civilization. The most important communist method of indoctrination was the process of rectification, designed to instill a new ideological way of thinking among cadres, soldiers, and bureaucrats in the DRV. See also EMULATION CAMPAIGN, NEW HERO.