Dinh Xuan Ba

Dinh Xuan Ba, a native of Thanh Hoa province in North Vietnam, attended school in the Viet Minh-controlled “free zone” of Thanh Hoa in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Following completion of his secondary education, Ba joined the province assault youth organization and was sent off to support a number of major military campaigns, including the Dien Bien Phu operation. As an assault youth member he helped to build and maintain roads near the Chinese border for use by Viet Minh supply-truck convoys being sent to support the Dien Bien Phuc campaign. Following the Geneva Agreement and the French withdrawal, he was selected for training to become a Public Security officer. After spending several years as a Public Security officer, his talent for mathematics was discovered. Ba became a professor of mathematics at the University of Hanoi in the early 1960s, a position he held throughout the war against the Americans. In this interview, he describes wartime conditions in Hanoi and the evacuation of the university to a rural “dispersal area” up near the Chinese border. At the time of this interview, Ba was the director of a large private corporation in Hanoi.

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