On August 19, 2022, Raymonde Dien, a member of the French Communist Party, passed away at the age of 93. All her life, she has always devoted herself to Vietnam.
On February 23, 1950, the peace-loving people of the world were deeply moved by the actions of a woman lying on the rails to block a train carrying tanks and other weapons to Indochina.
The brave act of French woman Raymonde Dien - then less than 21 years old - caused the train to stop. And since then, this historic event ignited a movement against the war, supporting the Vietnamese people in the struggle against the French colonialists.
Image of Raymonde Dien bravely lying on the rails to block a train carrying tanks and other weapons from France to Vietnam.
Raymonde Dien during her trial in June 1950, after bravely lying on the rails to block a train carrying tanks and other weapons to Vietnam (Photo: Le Maitron)
After the events of February 23, Mrs. Raymonde Dien was arrested and detained for nearly a year. However, that did not reduce her fighting spirit. After her release, she continued to fight for peace and justice for the Vietnamese people.
Image of Raymonde Dien with peace-loving people. (Photo: L'Humanite)
Her image has become iconic in the struggles for peace.
February 23 is recorded in history as the most beautiful symbol of proletarian internationalism, while Raymonde Dien's heroic action is specifically remembered by a street named "February 23, 1950" in Saint-Pierre-des-Corps, near the city of Tours, France.
The monument of Raymonde Dien in the city of Saint Petersburg, Russia, depicts the image of her standing proudly on the train tracks to block the train carrying weapons from France to Vietnam. (Photo: Dezidor)
In 1953, sculptor Valerian Kirhoglani carved a statue of Raymonde Dien and erected it in Victory Park in Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg, Russia).
A version of this statue was also erected in Zelenogorsk, about 50km from the center of Saint Petersburg.
Monument of Raymonde Dien in Zelenogorsk, Saint Petersburg, Russia. (Picture: Peter Ivanov)
Raymonde Dien in Berlin, Germany, August 1951. (Photo: Le Maitron)
In Vietnam, her name is also given to a street in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City. With her great affection and contributions to the struggle of the Vietnamese people, on September 2, 2004 she was presented with Vietnam's friendship orders and medals.
Raymonde Dien (left) at the Youth Congress in Bucharest, Romania, 1953. In her hand, she holds the slogan of the Vietnamese delegation attending the awards conference. (Photo: Robert Aimé)
In 1956, Raymonde Dien had the opportunity to come to Vietnam along with the French Communist Youth Union and was honoured to receive Uncle Ho. On her first visit to Vietnam, she accompanied Henri Martin, who is also a very close French friend of Vietnam, one of the pioneers in the movement against the French colonial war in Vietnam and Indochina.
Uncle Ho received Raymonde Dien and Henri Martin of the French Communist Youth Union, in Hanoi, in November 1956.
Documents about Uncle Ho and articles reported that Raymonde Dien was freed by the French authorities after her reckless act of stopping an arms train in 1950. (Photo: Vietnam+)
Raymonde Dien and a photo taken with Uncle Ho in 1956.
In 2004, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Dien Bien Phu victory, Raymonde Dien and her friend Henry Martin returned to Vietnam and witnessed the rapid changes in Uncle Ho's homeland. It is also the happiness and pride that she often mentions when she sees the country and the people of Vietnam moving forward toward President Ho Chi Minh's will.
Raymonde Dien visits the Foreign Representative Offices of Nhan Dan newspaper in France on March 11, 2012.
Raymonde Dien visits the booth of Nhan Dan Newspaper and signs books on her life fighting for peace at L’humanite festival, France, on September 13, 2014.
Raymonde Dien and her friends, who are also close French friends of Vietnam
It has been 72 years since the historic February 23, 1950, at the station in the city of Tours. That event changed her life and cemented her strong feelings for Vietnam. Many things have changed, but the heart of the female French Communist Party member Raymonde Dien remained with Vietnam until she passed away.