Culture/art

President Ho Chi Minh’s Prison Diary republished in German

The famous “Nhat Ky Trong Tu” (Prison Diary) written by late President Ho Chi Minh during the early 1940s has been republished in German by two German citizens on the occasion of his 130th birthday (1890-2020).

President Ho Chi Minh’s Prison Diary republished in German (Photo: VNA)

President Ho Chi Minh’s Prison Diary republished in German (Photo: VNA)

Dr. Erhard Scherner – a writer and poet and his spouse Helga Scherner, who studied Chinese language and culture in Leipzig, Berlin and Beijing, translated the diary from the Chinese version to German to show their admiration and respect for President Ho Chi Minh’s personality and talent.
Speaking at an event to introduce the book on September 10, Dr. Scherner said through more than 100 poems translated into German, readers can feel the contents of the great thought of the Vietnamese late leader, as well as messages imbued with humanity and revolutionary spirit in his simple poems.
Despite being imprisoned in Guangxi, China, with the extraordinary mettle and will, President Ho Chi Minh always maintained his belief, optimism, and aspiration for freedom, equality, and boundless love for the humankind, he stressed.
According to Dr. Scherner, he and his wife unintentionally read President Ho Chi Minh's four quartet poems in a Chinese literary newspaper in 1957, and were immediately impressed. Since then, they have learned about the President and collected his other poems from various sources.
They translated and published the first German version of the diary in late 1975 and early 1976. The re-publishing is hoped help more readers understand more about President Ho Chi Minh - a typical revolutionary leader, a national hero and a world cultural celebrity.
Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Ambassador to Germany Nguyen Minh Vu thanked Mr and Mrs Scherner for their enthusiasm and affection to translate the diary, saying that they have contributed to helping German readers to better understand about the late President's life and career.
President Ho Chi Minh's thought is the ideological foundation and guideline for the Communist Party of Vietnam at present, he said, expressing the hope that the collection of poems would be warmly welcomed by German readers as well as the Vietnamese community in the country.
“Nhat Ky Trong Tu” is a collection of more than 100 poems written in Chinese characters during 12 months between 1942 and 1943 when Ho Chi Minh was imprisoned in China's Guangxi province.
Over the past 50 years, the work has been translated into many foreign languages and become the inspiration for both domestic and international artists.

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