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Nguyen Van Lem
Photo by Eddie Adams

On this day in history, February, 1st 1968, Nguyễn Văn Lém was executed by General Nguyen Ngoc Loan. The execution was caught on film by photojournalist Eddie Adams and has become one of the most iconic images of the horror and hostility of war.

Nguyễn Văn Lém was a Viet Cong soldier who was caught during the Tet Offensive and brought before General Nguyễn Ngoc Loan. At the time, General Nguyễn was the Chief of the Republic of Viet Nam National Police. He simply pulled out his service sidearm and summarily executed the Viet Cong soldier in front of Eddie Adams and television cameraman Vo Suu.

In 1969, Eddie Adams won a Pulitzer Prize for this photograph.

About Mandy Southgate

Mandy Southgate is an accountant living and working in London. She is passionate about world events such as genocide and apartheid and has a desire to understand how these events continue to occur in the modern world. With a focus on the 20th and 21st centuries, A Passion to Understand reflects her continuing research and reading on these topics.
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