28. Vo Thi Sau Park

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No. 519, DT44A, Dat Do Town, Dat Do District, Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province, Vietnam ( Chỉ đường )
0254 3688 868
Ms. Vo Thi Sau was the first death-row prisoner in Con Dao and was also the youngest female prisoner who was a strong and brave girl. On August 02nd, 1993, the President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Le Duc Anh) posthumously awarded the title of hero of the People’s Armed Force to Martyr Vo Thi Sau in Decision No. 149 - KT/CTN; the First-Class Victory Medal on August 13th, 1993 at Decision No. 153 - KT/CTN of the President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Vice President Nguyen Thi Binh).

Heroic Martyr Vo Thi Sau was born in 1933 in a poor family in Phuoc Tho commune, Dat Do district. Her parents were Mr. Vo Van Hoi (1896-August 27, 1971) who worked as a horse-drawn carriage driver and Mrs. Nguyen Thi Dau (1898 – June 25, 1973) sold vermicelli and spring rolls at Dat Do market. Every morning, Sau got up early to feed the horses, then helped her mother carry the goods to the market to sell.

In early 1946, France returned to occupy the areas in Ba Ria province for the second time, including Dat Do. At that time, she was only 13 years old, with an honest, gentle and spontaneous nature, loving her homeland and country, when she saw the scenes of murder and brutal robbery of the French soldiers, her heart formed a strong and profound hatred of the colonialists.

In the autumn of 1947, at the age of 14, Sau joined Dat Do Volunteer Public Security Team. She is a young girl who is agile, ingenious, knowledgeable about the terrain, courageous, a scout and brave soldier. She crept deep into the temporarily occupied countryside, from Dat Do to Phuoc Hai, and always in disguise. Sometimes she played the role of a resident who went to the market, sometimes she played the role of a seeder or harvester. Where the Volunteer Public Security Team prepared to operate, she came to scout the area and grasp the enemy situation. Wherever there was enemy, she reported it or left a signal at the designated place. Even though she was young, she was very ingenious and agile, and she always completed the assigned tasks.

On July 14, 1948, the Volunteer Public Security Team was ordered to break the meeting commemorating the National Day of France. As soon as the governor’s car arrived, the soldiers herded the people into the yard, Sau threw a grenade towards the stands, dispersing the meeting at Dat Do market.

After that missed death, the general gave a reward to those who could capture Sau. In early 1950, the Tet market atmosphere was busier than before, Sau wore an old grandmother’s suit, barefoot like a village girl, mixed in the flow of people into the market. Everyone jostled to buy, and no one paid attention to the little girl who kept going from one store to another without buying anything. Waiting for the market to be empty, the group of soldiers just left the market gate, she threw a grenade straight at the group of soldiers. With blue flashes of fire, deafening explosions, a group of soldiers struggled in a pool of blood. At this time, the soldiers in the station rushed out, two groups of volunteer security officers opened fire to support and relieve the siege. She threw a second grenade, but tragically, this grenade did not explode, and she was captured.

Sau fell into the hands of the enemy, was detained for more than a month at Dat Do prison and searched Ba Ria street; the enemy used many brutal torture methods but they still could not get a single statement from her; they took her to detention at Chi Hoa prison in Saigon. In prison, Sau was taught by other prisoners how to read, write, sing, dance, and embroider. And when being tortured, how she should deal with it, how to confess, when it was necessary to die, how to choose a worthy death.

Despite being detained by the enemy, Sau continued to make contact for the comrades in charge and with the sisters in the prison to fight to force the enemy to improve life in the prison. Faced with the fierce and unwavering fighting spirit of Sau and her comrades in prison, despite insufficient evidence, in April 1951, the French brought Vo Thi Sau to court and sentenced her to death. The death sentence of the girl who had just passed her teenage years caused a stir at that time. Therefore, they did not dare to execute her on the mainland but secretly took her to Con Dao to shoot.

On January 21, 1952, the French took her to Con Dao. She only had one night in prison at Xa Lim (So Co). During that fateful night, she filled the air with resounding, heroic songs, her youthful and spirited voice touching the hearts of everyone on the island.

Recognized for her resilience, courage, and unwavering loyalty, Vo Thi Sau was honored to be inducted into the Communist Party of Vietnam by the prison’s party committee on January 22, 1952.

At 4:00 am on January 23, 1952, in the office of the Chief Supervisor, Vo Thi Sau firmly declined a proposed absolution from a visiting priest: “I am not guilty! If absolution is to be granted, please grant it to those who are about to take my life.”

When asked if there were any regrets before facing execution, she responded calmly and defiantly, “I only regret not having eradicated all the colonial oppressors and the traitors who betrayed our nation.”

As the priest marked her hand and the guards released Vo Thi Sau with bound hands for execution, all prisoners stood up and sang the Chien si ca (Soldier’s Song) to bid her a poignant farewell. The memory of that sorrowful day remained etched in the hearts of all the prisoners at Con Dao. When escorted by the French authorities for execution, with a composed demeanor, confident strides, head held high, and singing the International anthem, she embodied the unyielding spirit of a communist soldier.


“In the midst of the firing ground,

A young girl stands so brave.

Between two rows of soldiers,

She smiles with calm grace.

Plucking a fresh flower,

She adorns her hair with care.

Head held high, undaunted,

In the moment of sacrifice…”

Vo Thi Sau requested not to have her eyes covered, wanting to behold her homeland until the very last moment. When the chief judge turned to announce the execution order, Vo Thi Sau started to sing. She sang the lyrics of “Tiến quân ca” (March Forward), the national anthem of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Her voice, sincere and pure, resonated gracefully with the morning breeze.

The song just ended, she shouted the slogan:

“Down with the French colonialists!

Vietnam’s independence for eternity!

Long live Ho Chi Minh City!”

Following the order of the 7 executioners, a volley of shots was unleashed, but only 2 bullets found their mark, embedding into Vo Thi Sau’s left shoulder and rib. Another shot grazed her ear, while the remaining shots missed entirely.  In that moment, the team leader, Le Duong, approached with hesitation, pressing the gun barrel against her ear.

In a unified act of defiance, all the prisoners at Con Dao shouted:

“Down with the French colonialists

Down with the inhumane torture

The spirit of Vo Thi Sau lives on!”

Now, Ms. Sau rests in peace at Hang Duong Cemetery, Con Dao.

The initial memorial plaque on Sister Sau’s grave was crafted by a prisoner team, using cement skillfully produced by artisans from Ward 2, Block 1. It was erected on the evening of Sister Sau’s sacrifice. On the very next day, Island Lord Jatty himself led the soldiers to smash the plaque and level the tomb with the ground. Strangely, after one night, the tomb was rebuilt to a higher level, with a memorial plaque made of cement, identical to the previous one The troops continued to vandalize, but each time they did, the tomb and plaque reappeared exactly as before. No one could recall precisely how many plaques were erected on Sau’s grave; various plaques alternately emerged, made from cement, clay, stone, wood, sheet metal, and notably, a plaque engraved on marble brought from a renowned sculpting facility in Cholon. This reflected the admiration of both prisoners and islanders for the young woman they revered.

Vo Thi Sau was the first female death-row prisoner in Con Dao and also the youngest. She was a resolute and courageous young woman. On August 2, 1993, the President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Le Duc Anh) posthumously awarded the Hero of the People’s Armed Forces to Martyr Vo Thi Sau, as stated in Decision No. 149-KT/CTN. On August 13, 1993, the First Class Victory Order was awarded by the President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Vice President Nguyen Thi Binh) in Decision No. 153-KT/CTN.

This is the shining example left by Sau for us to follow. We appreciate and are grateful for  Sau’s significant contributions. Let us continue her glorious revolutionary cause, working together to build a prosperous, civilized nation on the path of industrialization and modernization, towards the goal of a wealthy people, a strong country, democracy, justice, and civilization.

In 1975, the American-puppet regime repurposed this park as the headquarters for the Dat Do district police, utilizing it for the suppression of revolutionary forces and the local population in Dat Do.

Following the complete liberation and reunification of the country on April 30, 1975, it continued to serve as the headquarters for the Dat Do district police, now under the Long Dat district public security division.

In 1982, as a tribute to the significant contributions of Hero of People’s Armed Forces Vo Thi Sau, who was born and raised in Dat Do, the party and people of the district transformed this location into the Vo Thi Sau Monument Park. Construction commenced in 1982 and was officially completed in 1985, featuring a statue made of plaster.

By 1986, the Party Committee and people decided to replace the plaster statue with a bronze one. Renowned sculptor Tran Thanh Thanh and skilled artisans from Binh Duong province crafted the 6-meter statue, placed on a 2-meter concrete pedestal, located at the center of the park.

From 2001 to 2003, the Party Committee and people, with contributions from the district budget and the Ministry of Public Security, constructed the Vo Thi Sau Temple behind the monument. The building, covering an area of 960 square meters with two floors, serves as a museum displaying artifacts and images related to her revolutionary activities on the upper floor, while the ground floor functions as a reception area, security room, and guide room.

In 2012, the district party and people renovated and repaired the site, including creating new bas-reliefs with an investment of nearly VND 450 million. In 2018, the monument park was once again renovated, repaired, and repainted.

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