Not only the civi1ian cadres and their families were killed but also all those who were ‘social negatives’ in the eyes of the Vietcong
Though the Viet Cong attacked more than 120 urban centres during the Tet offensive, their main attack was directed against the old imperial city of Hue. They managed to hold out for 25 days there. The result was not only that the greater pan of this cultural heart of Vietnam was destroyed, bur also that their terror came to a climax here.
Since the three northern provinces of South Vietnam have closest ethnic affinities with the North. Hanoi had expected massive defection to their side. Considering the somewhat non-committal attitude of the population from the beginning, Vietcong reaction could be expected to be ferocious indeed, when they found that even the Hue population gave them no support. When visiting Hue recently, we were struck by an even more outspoken anti-communist attitude than can be found in any other part of the country¬. This is quite understandable for there is hardly I family that did not lose one or more of its members. Many of them were found in the mass graves. Though the exact figures are not yet known, it has been established with certainty that at least 1,776 civilians were murdered. They did not accidentally get involved in the fighting; they were the victims of deliberate, wholesale slaughter.