Department of Lime Kiln

Monday - 25/07/2022 18:25
The Lime Kiln Department was built by the French colonialists, commonly known as the Lo Voi (Limestone Kiln) Department from December 3, 1864,  which is considered typical evidence of the policy of brutally exploiting the laborers, along with a draconian regime to quell the will of the patriots against the  French at that time.
The main tasks that the prisoners had to do were chopping wood to heat the kiln, firing bricks, smashing stones, making roads... There was  also the task of mining corals to fire lime, which was recorded as "Bai Canh or  Seven sides or Bai Kan which is an island forming Con Lon Island ... the south of  the island is where Lo Voi was built at the beginning of the construction of the  Lighthouse.” Limekiln specializes in heating corals to supply the whole island.  Prisoners in Bagne I were the main people who were responsible for heating the kiln. Usually, there were 4-5 crews to look after the furnace. One crew often had to dive for coral, and they had to get 4 coral barges each month. Therefore, they had to work extremely hard whether it was day or night. 
 
Di tích Sở Lò Vôi Côn Đảo - Một Bản Cáo Trạng Tội Ác Bóc Lột

Collecting corals was extremely harsh, and there were two seasons to collect corals depending on the rise and fall of the tides. The prisoners' feet were torn because they had to dive and stay in the water for a long time to dig holes in the coral rocks and bring corals to the Lime Kiln (Lo Voi) by means of 4-wheel and  8-wheel vehicles invented by prisoners. 
 
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The Department of Lime Kiln is an indictment of the extremely brutal policy that exploited prisoners' labor. They were forced to work during the day and locked in the cell when returning in the evening and suffered from the cold and hunger because there was not enough food to eat and clothes to wear. 

Lime Kiln Prison was built around 1920-1921 and used to temporarily confine prisoners during forced labor at burning kilns. The entire Lime Kiln prison operated until 1945 and then stopped. In the era of the American empire, this prison became a place to station troops, and an additional house was built by the  US at the same time. 
 
Di tích Sở Lò Vôi Côn Đảo - Một Bản Cáo Trạng Tội Ác Bóc Lột
 
 
In short, the Department of Lime Kiln together with other prison departments in  Con Dao created a complex of historical relics, which are evidence of the brutal forced labor policy of the French colonialists. 
 

Source: Department of Culture and Sport of Ba Ria-Vung Tau Provice, Photo: Internet

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