A new book series that details the lives of 3,276 Vietnamese patriots who died at Con Dao prison during the war for national liberation has been released in HCM City.

The seven-book series, Nha Tu Con Dao –Danh Sach Hy Sinh Va Tu Tran Giai Doan 1930-1975 (Con Dao Prison – Biographies of Deceased Patriots 1930-1975), was written by Bui Van Toan, a former prisoners at Con Dao.

Toan spent more than 10 years collecting documents and information about the prisoners to complete the 1,700-page series.

The prison on Con Dao island, 180km from Vung Tau, was built by the French. Between 1862 and 1975 it confined more than 200,000 Vietnamese, mainly patriots.

Most estimates put the number of people who died at Con Dao around 20,000 during the 113 years under French colonialism and the Sai Gon regime.

Toan said he and many former prisoners had suggested that the State build a memorial wall engraved with the names of Con Dao war martyrs.

“The list of deceased prisoners in my book only represents a few of the Vietnamese patriots and revolutionaries who died in Con Dao prison,” he said at a function to launch the book on June 16.

“My work to collect more documents on Con Dao prisoners and patriots who died on the island is continuing,” he said.
The Hang Duong Cemetery on Con Dao now has 2,000 graves, only 700 of which have names of the dead.

The book series, published by Thanh Nien (Young People) Publishing Co, comes as part of Nghia Tinh Con Dao (Remembering Con Dao), a nationwide fundraising programme launched last year to help preserve the island, honour the soldiers and provide support to former prisoners./.