Vietnam’s War Remnants Museum sits in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, right next to Independence Palace, the place where, in April of 1975, Saigon finally fell to North Vietnamese forces and the Vietnam War came to its official end. The museum features a queasy collection: Among its exhibits are photographs documenting the effects of toxic chemical defoliants—napalm, white phosphorous, Agent Orange—on soft human bodies; treatments of the My Lai massacre; collections of weaponry including, in the grounds of the museum building, bullet-riddled planes. There’s a reproduction of the torturous “tiger cages” the South Vietnamese government used to hold its political prisoners. There’s a guillotine that was used to execute those prisoners. Most strikingly, though, there is, in one corner of the museum, a series of jars. Each contains a human fetus, preserved in liquid, deformed by chemicals used to wage a war that found so many ways to kill.
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