located at 28 Vo Van Tan Street in District 3 of Saigon
(also known as Ho Chi Minh City
). The War Remnants Museum was formerly named the American War Crimes Museum
; the name was changed to accomodate (or, depending on point of view, coddle) the recent influx of American tourists
The museum comprises a courtyard surrounded by a series of buildings which house several distinct exhibits. The courtyard features a variety of captured American equipment, ordnance, vehicles, and other materiel, with explanatory notes. The exhibits include general explanations and statistics of (American involvement in the) Vietnam War; Vietnamese military and civilian casualties; displays on weapons technology, UXO (unexploded ordnance), and Agent Orange; torture, massacre, and other war crimes; and an overview of world opinion regarding the war.
Former Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara's book, In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam, is on display in the museum, and a passage from the book has been adopted as the introductory note to the exhibits: "Yet we were wrong, terribly wrong. We owe it to future generations to explain why."
Although the museum is disturbing, and (as might and should be expected) focuses solely on the sins of the American military, it is remarkably civil; the exhibits are not especially accusatory, and display little or no Communist propaganda.