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Madame Nhu

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Uploaded on Aug 10, 2009

Madame Nhu, nicknamed the Dragon Lady, was born Tran Le Xuan in Hanoi. Her father was from an aristicratic family and her mother was a granddaughter of Emperor Dong Khanh and a cousin of the last Emperor Bao Dai. In 1943 she married Ngo Dinh Nhu and converted from Buddhism to Catholicism. When Ngo Dinh Nhu's brother, the former mandarin Ngo Dinh Diem, became President of South Vietnam in 1955 Madame Nhu became First Lady since Diem was unmarried. She became known for her fashions, her feminism and championing of Catholic morals. She was a fiesty, combative and outspoken woman who never hesitated to strike back at the enemies of her family and their regime. Her most famous comment was when she referred to Buddhist monks who had burned themselves to death as a 'barbeque'. Following the US-backed coup that killed her husband and brother-in-law she refused to stay in America and lived in exile in Rome and southern France.

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