History of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union

Web.HCYU: In each historical journey of the people, Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union had gone through various forms of revolutionary struggle and tasks; thus, its name was changed accordingly.

Spring 1931, the second meeting of the Party Central Committee, which took place from 20 March to 26 March, spent a significant part of the agenda to discuss the work concerned youth. Important decisions were made including all levels of the Party committees from central to local immediately assigned their members to be in charge of youth affairs.

As the Union rapidly developed in all three regions - North, Central and South of Vietnam, many youth bases emerged with about 1,500 members each; a number of places even established youth unions to grass-root level. The restless development of the Union had promptly met the demand of strong youth movements across the country. It was an objective process consistent with the country's revolution. At the same time, it reflected enormous effort of the Party and the beloved President Ho Chi Minh - who had founded and trained the youth union.

Approved by the Politburo of the Central Committee and President Ho Chi Minh, at the request of the Central Committee of the Vietnam Labour Youth Union, the third National Congress held from 22 March to 25 March 1961 decided to take the 26 of March (the last day of the second Central Party meeting devoted to discuss and decide on crucial youth issues) as the establishment day of the youth union. Since then, the 26 of March has become the glorious day of Vietnamese youth and the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union.

  • From 26 March 1931 to present, the Youth Union had been renamed several times timely fulfilled its tasks in each revolutionary period: 
  • From 1931 to 1936: Vietnam Communist Youth Union, Indochina Communist Youth Union;
  • From 1937 to 1939: Indochina Democratic Youth Union;
  • From Nov 1939 to 1941: Indochina Anti-Imperialist Youth Union;
  • From May 1941 to 1956: National Salvation Youth Union;
  • From 25 Oct 1956 to 1970: Vietnam Labour Youth Union;
  • From Feb 1970 to November 1976: Ho Chi Minh Labour Youth Union;
  • From Dec 1976 to present: Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union.

Generations of Vietnamese youth, who bravely fought for the country’s independence, freedom and socialism, had made extraordinary victories and greatly grown.

In each historical journey of the people, Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union had gone through various forms of revolutionary struggle and tasks; thus, its name was changed accordingly. 

Indochina Democratic Youth Union

May 1935, the French People’s Front was established and won the election with majority of votes in June 1936. The leftist government came to power in France. July 1936, based on the international and domestic situations, the Central Party meeting set forth the guidance, methods of organization and revolutionary struggle for the next stage.

As a result, the tasks of the Party and the people were focused on defeating the counter-revolutionists, colonial agents; at the same time, asking freedom, democracy and improving living conditions for Vietnamese people. Therefore, the Party established the Anti-imperialism People’ Front, later changed to the Democratic Unity Front. In July 1936, the Central Party Executive Committee held a meeting and put forwards important decisions to strengthen the Party's leadership for mobilizing youth. Accordingly, in the revolutionary period from mid-1936 to autumn 1939, the Indochina Communist Youth Union was renamed the Indochina Democratic Youth Union to be in line with the Party's resolution concerning the political tasks. The Indochina Democratic Youth Union was publicly operated; it also had its own press agencies including "The People’s Friend”, "The World", "The New" issued in all three regions of the country. The Union gathered thousands of youth members consistently fighting under the flag of the Party and following the glorious traditions of the Indochina Communist Youth Union (1931-1935).

In addition to distributing the press, the Union set up societies for those who were interested in books, arts, sports, especially the Marxist study. Many political work and literature of K. Marx, F. Anghen, V. I. Lenin, M. Gorky such as "The Manifesto of the Communist Party", "Capitalism", "What is the State?", "The Mother" as well as books written by Vietnamese communists such as "The peasants" by Qua Ninh and Dinh Van, "General Introduction to Marxism" by Hai Trieu and To Huu’s poems were also welcomed by a large number of young readers. Being supported by all levels of the Party, the Union’s movements and the organization itself were strengthened, widely and systematically developed from the grassroots up to provinces, cities and country at large.

Until September 1939, as the Second World War started, the French colonial implemented repressive policy, terrorize movements of people of all classes and the youth. The Union had to secretly operate. 

Indochina Anti-Imperialist Youth Union

November 1939, the 6th Central Party meeting held in Ba Diem (Hoc Mon District, Gia Dinh). Its resolution emphasized that national liberation was the first-priority task of the revolutionary liberation of the country which was also the task of the Indochina Revolution. The meeting proposed the establishment of the National Anti-Imperialist United Front in Indochina to unite wider level of people, classes and all the peoples in Indochina worked together to overturn the French imperialist and its followers.

According to the guideline of the Party, the Indochina Democratic Youth Union took the name of the Indochina Anti-imperialist Youth Union, inheriting the glorious work of the preceding communist and democratic youth unions. The Union started building its base in the countryside, factories and schools.

Anticipated the hostile circumstances, the Union had secretly operated and tightly organized. Besides, the Democratic Youth members of the Party were put in to challenges, and transformed into Anti-Imperialist Youth members of the Party. Many members were assigned work for challenging and training purpose.

September 1940, the Japanese fascist invaded Indochina. The people of Vietnam faced two oppressors - the French and the Japanese. Nevertheless, the youth and the people during this period did not give up resisting: September 1940, the Bac Son uprising erupted; November 1940, Nam Ky uprising broke out with the first appearance of the Red flag with Gold star; January 1941, a mutiny organized in Cho Rang and Do Luong. 

The Democratic Youth Union, then the Anti-Imperialist Youth Union had mobilized youth being vanguards to the forefront of the struggle and carried out the armed flight in part, signaling a new era: preparing to organize a general uprising retrieving the government from the enemies.

Vietnam National Salvation Youth Union

November 1940, the 7th Congress of Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam held in Dinh Bang Dist. (Bac Ninh province) laid out “the mass organizations’ issues” in which the resolution noted “As the Party’s current policy is national salvation; the main task is to focus on how to save our homeland. Vietnam National Salvation Youth Union becomes the union of the youth aged from 18 to 22, who shall strive against the French and Japanese occupation”.

On 28 November 1941, Nguyen Ai Quoc secretly returned Vietnam to directly guide the Vietnam revolutionary movement, along with the Party Central Committee. This was one of the most significant events in the process of the nation’s revolution.

May 1941, acting as a representative from the Communist International, Nguyen Ai Quoc convened the 8th Congress of the Party Central Committee held in Pac Bo (Cao Bang province). The Congress affirmed that “In this critical moment, if the national liberation is left unsolved and the independence and freedom for all are not fulfilled, not only the country and our peoples have to suffer slavery and drudgery but also the rights of the working class will never be claimed”.

To mobilize and encourage all classes of Vietnamese people standing up to fight against the French - Japanese fascist, the Congress decided to establish the Vietnamese Independent Alliance Association (Viet Minh) and other national salvation organizations including the Vietnam National Salvation Youth Union, an association of patriotic young people carrying on the accomplishments archived and directed by the Party, the great leader Nguyen Ai Quoc and his preceded leaders.

The 8th Congress of the Party Central Committee had a historic implication. The conference completed the novel strategic direction for this new period. The Congress pointed out the roles and responsibilities of the Vietnam National Salvation Youth Union’s movement in the struggle for national liberation.

From 1941 through 1956, Vietnam National Salvation Youth Union had significantly contributed; shed blood for the country; together with the people rose up and took the glorious victory of the August Revolution which officially established the Republic Democratic of Vietnam, the first people's democratic state in South East Asia.

In February 1950, the Congress of the National Salvation Youth Union was convened at the revolutionary base of Viet Bac. This was the first national congress hosted by the youth Union with more than 400 delegates from all the North, Central and South of Vietnam.

Furthermore, the youth Union motivated its members and the youth to follow more than 9 years of resistance, significantly contributed to the world-shaking Dien Bien Phu victory; thus, liberated completely the North of Vietnam (July 1954); started building a socialist backing base in the North while providing assistance for the liberation revolution in the South.

Vietnam Labour Youth Union

July 1954, the North had successfully restored the peace, based on the new situation and tasks, in the plenary session of the Politburo of the Central Communist Party of Vietnam in September 1954, it was agreed to rename the National Salvation Youth Union as the Vietnam Labor Youth Union, making the youth Union the Party’s the right arm and reliable reserved force. The resolution indicated “Our Party is the Labor Party of Vietnam. The National Salvation Youth Union was renamed Vietnam Labor Youth Union to inspire young people, they will be dedicating and unifying under the Party’s flag.”

According to “The resolution of renaming the National Salvation Youth Union to Vietnam Labor Youth Union and the plan” (Approved by the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam – 19 October 1955), it clearly indicated the fundamental nature, tasks, organizational issues and plan of building Vietnam Labor Youth Union. The resolution also stated: “The Vietnam Labor Youth Union had been set as an advanced mass organization of Vietnamese youth, under the direct leadership of the Party. It is considered as a school of Marxism-Leninism for young people, fostering the Party’s reserved forces and willing to implement the Party’s policies.”

In addition, the Party’s resolution outlined the Union’s tasks in the new period and proposed strategic plans of building the Union. They were:

a) Ensured the advanced nature of the Union, and taking member selectively, and not to admit massively without consideration. Maintained previous Union name if there were not enough of conditions to work on the new name.
b) Made youth members fully aware of the Vietnam Labor Youth Union. Took new name or admitted new youth members shall perform under voluntary basis.
c) Incorporated with implementation of impending main tasks proposed by the Party, Vietnam Labor Youth Union must be built with the lead and specific plans for each area.”

The resolution concluded “Having renamed as Vietnam Labor Youth Union is an important process on building large youth movement all over country, develop the party branches from masses of the labor and completing present revolutionary tasks. All levels of the party committees need to have a thorough understanding of the Party’s youth mobilization strategy, directly lead the implementation of this resolution.”

Ho Chi Minh Labor Youth Union

On 2 September 1969, President Ho Chi Minh, the great leader, the hero of national liberation, great man of the world culture, and founder of the Party passed away with the endless regret of the people and the country, the members of Union, the Vietnam Young Pioneer and Children. Uncle Ho and the Party considered the maturity of the younger generation as one of the greatest accomplishments of the revolution, directly related to the cause of the construction and defence our homeland current and future.

Acting upon the testament of Uncle Ho and fulfilling the expectation of the younger generation, as well as proposal from the Vietnam Labor Youth Union, on the 40th ceremony of the establishment of the Party (3/2/1930 – 3/2/1970), the Party Central Committee laid down the resolution to the Youth Union, Young Pioneer Organization, Children’s Organization with the honor of being named “Ho Chi Minh”. The resolution pointed out: “…According to the desires of the youth and the suggestion from the Vietnam Labor Youth Union, Central Committee of Vietnam Labor Youth Union decides:

  • The Vietnam Labor Youth Union renamed the Ho Chi Minh Labor Youth Union;
  • The Vietnam Young Pioneer Organization renamed the Ho Chi Minh Young Pioneer Organization;
  • Vietnam Children’s Organization is now renamed the Ho Chi Minh Children’s Organization. 

The youth Union, young pioneer and children organizations called under Ho Chi Minh’s name were great honors. This also comes with great responsibility toward the homeland and people of Vietnam. Being reamed would clarify the purpose and the characteristic of the Union. That was the fighting front of the youth; the youth shall take the lead to strive for the revolutionary ideology of Party and Uncle Ho, i.e., national independence and socialism.

Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union

April 1975, the historical Ho Chi Minh campaign marked a great victory liberated entirely the South of Vietnam. On 26 March 1976, a 45-year anniversary of the Union establishment ceremonially held in Hanoi. At this ceremony, the Youth Unions in the whole country unified to agree the name of Ho Chi Minh Labor Youth Union.

At the 4th Party Congress held from 14th to 20th December 1976 in Hanoi capital, it was determined to change the name from the Workers Party of Vietnam (February 1951) to the Communist Party of Vietnam. Furthermore, on request of the Union members countrywide, the Party Congress decided to rename the Ho Chi Minh Labor Youth Union (1970) to the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union.

The Party Congress noted the tasks and movements of the Youth Union in the next stage as “the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union must be built and well maintained in terms of politics, ideology and organizational structure so as to deserve being a socialist school of the youth as well as a reliable reserve force of the Party”.

Having named as the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union is the great honor and the pride of all the youth Union members in our country./.