HÀ NỘI — Translator Sandra Scagliotti and journalist and writer Hellmut Kapfenberger are among the many foreigners extremely interested in exploring President Hồ Chí Minh’s life and legacy.
Scagliotti, from Italy, has been passionate about Vietnamese and President Hồ Chí Minh studies all her life, putting her all into making the late leader’s ideology better known in her country.
She has translated two Vietnamese books into Italian. One of them, in collaboration with Vietnamese translator Trần Đoan Trang, was published by Anteo Edizioni Publishing House last year under the name “Hồ Chí Minh – Lettre Per Pace in Việt Nam” (Hồ Chí Minh – Letters for Peace in Việt Nam) as part of its Banyan/Southeast Asia series.
It features a collection of his letters written between 1945 and 1969, in which the President expressed his wish to cooperate with the Americans and other nationalities throughout the world in fighting for peace in Việt Nam.
It was the first time the book had become available in an European language. The translator said she had tried her best to keep the simple but effective language and the original ideas as well as the “formality and dignity” in every letter he wrote.
The other book, “Đường kách mệnh” (The Revolutionary Path), was released in Italian in 2018.
Scagliotti’s first book about the Vietnamese leader, titled “Hồ Chí Minh – Political Biography,” was launched by Harmattan Italia Publishing House in 2004.
In the future, she plans to pursue in-depth studies on President Hồ Chí Minh and his connections with intellectuals, his view on gender equality, and his dedication to Việt Nam, among others.
Hellmut Kapfenberger was a former reporter of AND, the state news agency of the German Democratic Republic. He used to work in Việt Nam for seven years (1970 – 1973 and 1980 – 1984) as a correspondent.
While in Việt Nam, he was very much aware of the Vietnamese’s affection and respect for their beloved leader, which left a deep impression on him, he said.
Kapfenberger has written many books about Vietnamese history and President Hồ Chí Minh, including “Hồ Chí Minh – A Chronicle” released in Berlin in 2009.
“What surprised me the most was that the book had been translated into Vietnamese right away,” he told Vietnam News Agency. “I was very proud of this work but not completely satisfied with it. […] So I was determined to write a biography of President Hồ Chí Minh since his life had inspired me in many ways.”
The biography was completed in 2020. “I wanted to write it, I wanted to provide the most comprehensive possible description of President Hồ Chí Minh’s life,” he added.
“His life simply left countless valuable lessons.” — VNS