House No. 74+76 – Party’s secret base in Longzhou
(LSO) – House No. 74+76 on Nan street of Longzhou county in China’s Guangxi province is currently both a relic site and also an exhibition hall of documents and objects linked with late President Ho Chi Minh and other revolutionaries of Vietnam. During his time in Longzhou to carry out revolutionary activities, Hoang Van Thu (1909 – 1944) often stayed and worked at this house.
House No. 74+76 is a big house on an old street running along the Li River in downtown Longzhou county. With a typical old Chinese architectural style, the house features wooden structures and has two storeys: the first floor is used as a store, the second one is for residence.
Lu Guoqi, a guide at the relic site, said the house was built in the late Ming and early Qing dynasties (about the late 17th century) and owned by Huang Daguang and Wen Shijie. In 1931, Vietnamese revolutionaries rented this house in the name of trading, but in fact to create a safe and convenient place for contact and secret activities until 1936. Therefore, this relic site was named the “secret base of the Communist Party of Vietnam in Longzhou”. In 2006, the arrangement of exhibits at this house was completed, and the site became an exhibition hall on President Ho Chi Minh.
Staff membersof the Museum of Lang Son province prepare photos and objects to be displayed at an exhibition on Hoang Van Thu (Photo: La Mai)
According to documents kept at the museum of Longzhou county and the information introduced at the relic site, Hoang Van Thu stayed at this house during most of his time operating in Longzhou,. Here, he stayed together with Le Hong Phong and Vi Du Dong, who were also among the first leaders of the Party, and joined them in revolutionary activities.
This house served as the secret base of Vietnamese revolutionaries in Longzhou and also the venue of training courses for key revolutionaries who later returned to the homeland to develop the revolutionary movement in Vietnam – China border areas. At that time, each class often consisted of 5 – 6 members and lasted for 7 – 8 days. Hoang Van Thu was one of the cadres who organized those courses and arranged for trainees to travel from Vietnam.
The room where Hoang Van Thu stayed at is nearly 20 sq.m. wide and is located on the right of the house’s second floor. In the room, there is a wooden double bed, a small wooden cupboard for holding personal belongings, a desk and some chairs for working, and several daily utensils such as an oil lamp, a glass, and a wood shelf for the washing tub. Nearby, there is a large living room and the room where President Ho Chi Minh stayed at when he was here.
House No. 74+76 on Nan street, the Party’s secret base in Longzhou (Photo: Que Ngan)
The house keeps a number of things that Hoang Van Thu and Le Hong Phong had used, including daily tools and objects relevant to his revolutionary career, many of which were collected from other places, such as a ceramic pillow, a pair of scissors and sewing machine, a bronze pot, and a book entitled “Chinese revolutionary with the Communist Party of China.”
The precious items displayed at the relic site have special attractiveness to visitors. For many years, the house has become a popular destination for tens of thousands of Vietnamese and Chinese people, and a venue for various exchange activities of people from the two countries.
The house Hoang Van Thu used to live and work in while being in Longzhou gives visitors an insight into a period full of difficulties and challenges in China during his revolutionary career, as well as his enormous contributions to the foundation and development of the revolutionary movements in Vietnam – China border areas, including Lang Son province, in the 1930s.