According to Idcommunism.com, Nguyen Van Lap was born into a worker’s family in the North of Greece in 1927. He was 16 when he was sent to the German army in 1943. After World War II, he could not return home due to having no identity documents and later joined the French Foreign Legion and was mobilised to Indochina.
After Sarantidis set foot in Sai Gon (now Ho Chi Minh City) in 1946, he decided to follow the Viet Minh (the short name for Vietnam Doc Lap Dong Minh or Vietnam Independence League) as he had witnessed the invaders’ cruelty to the innocent Vietnamese and realised the aspirations of the Vietnamese revolution.
He was given the name Nguyen Van Lap and served in various posts, participating in many battles.
Kostas Saratidis with the legendary General Vo Nguyen Giap. (Photo: Idcommunism.com)
He was honoured with many noble rewards from the Vietnamese State. In January, 2011, he received the Friendship Order and Vietnamese citizenship. In 2013, he was named a Hero of the People’s Armed Forces and became the only foreigner to have received this noble title.
He lived with his family in Athens, Greece.