The Island Lord Palace

Tuesday - 19/07/2022 19:08
This historical relic was built in 1862 and is located in an area of about 2 hectares in the heart of town. The entrance of the palace overlooks The Pier and the Net  Department. It served as the living and working place of 53 generations of Island Lord and Prison Lord.
The palace was built 1.4m above the ground and solid as a  fortress. It has a separate office, a kitchen, and its own staff. To Prisoners and all relevant authorities, the director (sometimes called the foreman) was actually the  Island Lord. According to regulation, the Lord “had full authority over the relevant authorities and prisoners on the island, supervised their works in person,  took responsibility for necessary methods to ensure the security of the prisons and discipline the prisoners". 
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The Island Lord Palace, Therefore, prisoners usually called the director Great Mandarin, Island Lord;  called his residence Great Mandarin’s Palace, Island Lord Palace. The palace was the central headquarters of the island which gathered the power in, administrative,  judicature, and military. Simultaneously, this was home to form the ruling apparatus of the prison system and the commanding center of the island-wide repression. The first island Lord named Félix Roussel, Lieutenant, Deputy Head of the French Navy. There were island Lords whose brutality meant killing a lot of people. Andouard was one of them. 
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At that time, the executioner in Con Lon was reviled in South Vietnam’s newspapers for his brutality. He used machine guns to kill 83 life-sentence prisoners at the corner of Badge I yard (on February 14, 1918). In that group of prisoners, there were prisoners who were neither involved in the uprising nor had any weapons. 

The successor who inherited the most brutal qualities of Lord Andouard was  Bouvier. He was the island’s Lord in 2 periods (1927-1934 and 1935-1942).  Within 5 years (1930-1934), Bouvier’s terrorism had killed 802 prisoners. The  Than Trung newspaper called Con Lon “Hell on Earth” under the “Bouvier murdering regime” back then. 

Nguyen Van Ve was the typical brutal and evil prison lord of the American Era  (1965-1974). In the memory of thousands of prisoners, Nguyen Van Ve is a “gray tiger”, a “superior” among prison wardens. He used to reign 2 terms within 9 years in Con Dao. Ve established the harshest discipline called Tiger Cages. Those cases with sharp poles covered by copper, lime, sticks, and the security army organized by Ve had committed many barbaric crimes in the “Con Dao Tiger cage” in 1970  that shocked the community. 

Eventually, each Prison Lord is nothing but a henchman of colonialism and imperialism with different levels of loyalty. With their own instinct, each lord has different ways to commit crimes against our nation over a painful century as they built “Hell on Earth '' in Con Dao. The Island Lord Palace is a historical prison relic that has documented the plots and crimes, the head office of the prison administration apparatus in the French and American eras, and the place that had witnessed the most barbaric ruling methods and crimes in human history. 
 

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

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