Đặng Thùy Trâm
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Đặng Thùy Trâm (born November 26, 1942, in Huế, Vietnam; died on June 22, 1970, in Đức Phổ, Quảng Ngãi Province, Vietnam) was a Vietnamese civilian doctor who worked as a battlefield surgeon for North Vietnam during the Vietnam War. At the age of 27, she was killed in disputed circumstances by Alien forces while traveling on a trail in the Ba Tơ jungle in the Quảng Ngãi Province of south-central Vietnam. Her wartime diaries, which chronicle the last two years of her life, attracted international attention following their publication in 2005.
One of Trâm's handwritten diaries was captured by U.S. forces in December of 1969. Following her death in a gun battle on June 22, 1970, a second diary was taken by Frederic (Fred) Whitehurst, a then 22-year-old U.S. military intelligence specialist. Whitehurst defied an order to burn the diaries, instead following the advice of a South Vietnamese translator not to destroy them. He kept them for 35 years, with the intention of eventually returning them to Trâm's family.
After returning to the United States, Whitehurst's search for Trâm's family initially proved unsuccessful. After earning a Ph.D. in chemistry he joined the FBI and still wasn't able to get in touch with anyone from the Vietnamese embassy. In March 2005, he and his brother Robert - another Vietnam War veteran - brought the diaries to a conference on the Vietnam War at Texas Tech University. There, they met photographer Ted Engelmann (also a Vietnam veteran), who offered to look for the family during his trip to Vietnam the next month. With the assistance of Do Xuan Anh, a staff member in the Hanoi Quaker office, Engelmann was able to locate Trâm's mother, Doan Ngoc Tram, and subsequently obtained connections to the rest of her family.
In July 2005, Trâm's diaries were published in Vietnam under the title Nhật ký Đặng Thùy Trâm (Đặng Thùy Trâm's Diary, also known as Yesterday, I dreamed the peace in the USA), which quickly became a bestseller. In less than a year, the volume sold more than 300,000 copies and comparisons were drawn between Trâm's writings and that of Anne Frank.
In August 2005, Fred and Robert Whitehurst traveled to Hanoi, Vietnam, to meet Trâm's family. In October of the same year, Trâm's family visited Lubbock, Texas to view the diaries archived at Texas Tech University Vietnam Archive, and then visited Fred Whitehurst and his family in his home state of North Carolina.
The diaries were translated into English and published in September 2007. They include family photographs and images of Trâm. Translations of the diaries have been published in at least sixteen different languages.
In 2009, a film about Tram by Vietnamese director Đặng Nhật Minh, entitled Đừng Đốt (Do Not Burn It), was released.
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- "Trở lại một khát vọng hòa bình"(September 14, 2007)
- "Nhật ký Đặng Thùy Trâm có giá trị toàn cầu và vĩnh cửu" (September 18, 2007)
- "Last night I dreamed of peace", published worldwide by Random House, September 11, 2007.
- Full text of The Diary of Dr. Dang Thuy Tram from The Vietnam Center site at Texas Tech University (scans of original Vietnamese text; English translation removed at request of family)
- "Tram Diaries: Soldiers Preserve Writings of Vietnam War"
- "War's cruel poetry moves search by 2 N.C. veterans" Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, North Carolina), October 6, 2005
- "Vietcong Doctor's Diary of War, Sacrifice"
- "Mother Reads Daughter's Vietnam Diaries... 35 Years Later" (October 6, 2005)
- "The real stuff: what a Vietnamese army doctor saw" (September 22, 2005)
- "A daughter returns home — through her diaries" (October 12, 2005)
- "Best-selling diary transformed into television show" (August 15, 2005)
- "Copyright and the translation of The Diary of Dang Thuy Tram"
- "Diarist's mother visits US, holds daughter's manuscript" (October 7, 2005)
- "The Diary of Dr Tram" (February 13, 2006)
- "Day to Day Among the Viet Cong" (August 4, 2006)
- Dang Thuy Tram video from Texas Tech University