The War Remnants Museum is located at No. 28, Vo Van Tan Street, District 3 in the center of Saigon city, focusing on exhibits relating to the American phase of the Vietnam War. It was established in September 1975, with first name as “Exhibition House for US and Puppet Crimes” Then, in 1990, the name was changed to “Exhibition House for Crimes of War and Aggression”. On July 4, 1995, when the US embargo was ended, Vietnamese government officially named it “War Remnants Museum”. Nowadays, the museum has continuously been searching more objects and documents to bring the most truthful look on the losses, sacrifices, and damages of Vietnam throughout the wars.
With the area of 7300m2, the War Remnants Museum keeps and displays many objects during the Resistant War Against America such as: a UH-1 “Huey” helicopter, an F-5A fighter, a BLU-82 “Daisy Cutter” bomb, M48 Patton tank, an A-1 Sky raider attack bomber, and an A-37 Dragonfly attack bomber, etc, to individual weapons, instruments of tortures, or weapons of mass destruction. It will be astonished for your first look on disturbing photographs about the traumatizing consequences of Agent Orange, napalm and phosphorus bombs. There are also pictures about atrocities such as My Lai massacre, a guillotine used by Southern Government of Vietnam, a “tiger cage” used to keep political prisoners, etc.
These collections leave strong impression and deep emotions on tourists, especially the guillotine – a destructive machine. This machine was brought to Vietnam by French colonialist to suppress the Vietnamese in the early of the twentieth century. After the Geneva Convention, the old Saigon Government brought it throughout southern provinces to execute Vietnamese patriots. When the country was liberated, this guillotine was kept in this museum since then to show proof of the colonialist’s crime.
More than 70% of tourists visiting the museum are foreigners. They come here to study the Vietnam War, to understand more about the losses, sacrifices and damages which cannot be restored for Vietnamese people. After watching the pictures, images and objects of the war, the common feelings of tourists are sympathy and deep emotion on what Vietnamese people had to suffer in such long time. The scene of foreign visitors standing speechless, keep silence in front of a picture, an object seems to be the common things in this museum. Most of visitors know about the Vietnam War but they cannot imagine that the war consequence was so cruel and devastating like that.