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Chilling Stories About The Torture Methods Used In The Hoa Loa Vietnamese War Prison

Updated 5 Aug 2019 557.7k views12 items

"Hanoi Hilton" is the nickname given to Hoa Lo Prison in Hanoi, Vietnam, by American POWs. John McCain, who was held there for five years, said of the memorial: "The ‘museum’ is an excellent propaganda establishment with very little connection with the actual events that took place inside those walls."). 

What is the Hanoi Hilton? The Hoa Lo Prison, nicknamed the Hanoi Hilton by American POWs during the Vietnam War, began as a French colonial prison. It was built over a period of 15 years, from 1886 to 1901, and named Maison Centrale (Central House). In 1913, it was renovated to hold 600 prisoners, though overcrowding swelled the number to 2,000 by 1954. The prison and its poor conditions were a focal point of hatred and resentment of French rule among the Vietnamese. Locals dubbed it Hoa Lo, translated as "fiery furnace" or "hell's hole."

Who was in the Hanoi Hilton? During the Vietnam War, the North Vietnamese re-purposed the prison to hold POWs, and the North Vietnamese government used extreme methods of torture on Americans to extract information. Much of this torture occurred in the infamous Blue Room. Among those housed and tortured at the prison are Sen. John McCaine, Navy Cmdr. James Bond Stockdale, and Brigadier General Robinson Risner. Many have written books about their experiences.

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