This paper discusses the failed policy of reconciliation carried out by the leadership in Hanoi after the collapse of the Republic of Vietnam (commonly known as “South Vietnam”) on April 30, 1975.
It argues that in spite of all promises to the contrary after the end of the war the victorious North systematically dicriminated Southern Vietnamese who had worked for the former Saigonese government or the United States in Vietnam. Furthermore, I will analyse in which way the leadership in Hanoi tried to write the Republic of Vietnam out of history by destroying “sites of memory” (lieux de mémoire).
In the following I discuss how this policy together with the building of socialism in the southern part of the country led to serious social conflicts and finally to a massive exodus of approximately one million Vietnamese.
In the second part of the paper, I will show that since the beginning of the reform policy in Vietnam (đổi mới) in the 1980s the failed integration of many defeated South Vietnamese after the end of the war has increasingly been adressed in “memory debates” among Vietnamese abroad and at home. The fate of the former South Vietnamese war cemetery in Biên Hòa will serve as an example.