Phan Thị Kim Phúc

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Phan Thị Kim Phúc , O.Ont (born April 2, 1963 in Trảng Bàng , Tây Ninh Province , Vietnam ) is a victim of the Vietnam War . She was badly burned in a napalm attack by South Vietnamese aircraft on June 8, 1972. While the then nine-year-old fled the town of Trảng Bàng naked, she was photographed by press photographer Nick Út . The photo (titled The Terror of War ) is one of the most famous photos from the Vietnam War (2nd Indochina War ), along with the shooting of Nguyễn Văn Lém, and was voted Press Photo of the Year 1972. For this Út was awarded the Pulitzer Prize .

Life after the attack

Nick Út took Kim to a hospital. She was injured so badly that it was not believed she would survive. 30% of the surface of her body was burned, almost all of her back, neck and left arm. She was only able to return home after two years of skin grafts, operations and therapy.

For years, Kim Phuc was presented in Vietnam as a victim of the Vietnam War. It was not until 1982 that she was able to move fully again after she had been operated on in the accident clinic in Ludwigshafen . The then Vietnamese Prime Minister Phạm Văn Đồng made sure that she could continue her medical studies in relative calm. She did this in Cuba in 1986 . There she married her fellow Vietnamese student Bùi Huy Toàn in 1992. On the return trip from their honeymoon in Moscow , the two used their plane's refueling stop in Gander , Newfoundland , and applied for political asylum in Canada , which they were granted. Today she lives in Toronto with her husband Toan and their sons, who were born in 1994 and 1997 . She had already converted from Caodaism to Christianity in 1982 .

In October 2015, Phúc began treatment in a special clinic for burn injuries in Miami after dermatologist Jill Waibel offered her a free laser treatment to relieve the pain caused by the tension in the scarred skin.


In Germany, the Stern reporter Perry Kretz in particular reported on her fate. Kim Phúc visited Germany in 1984 at the invitation of Stern and in 1992 at the invitation of ZDF .

In 1996, at a Vietnam veterans' meeting, she met officer John Plummer, who claimed to have been involved in the air strike on her village, and expressed her forgiveness . However, it was later proven that Plummer was in no way involved in the air strike.

Because of her commitment to reconciliation and peace, on November 10, 1994, she was appointed a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador. On October 22, 2004, she received an honorary doctorate in law from York University in Toronto for her worldwide service to the children of war victims. On February 11, 2019, she was honored with the Dresden Prize .

Kim Phuc Foundation

In 1997 she founded the "Kim Phuc Foundation" in the USA, which advocates medical and psychological help for children who have been victims of war. It later became the "Kim Phuc Foundation International".


  • The girl and the photo , directed by Marc Wiese , WDR / ARTE , Germany 2009, 53 min.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c The Kim Phuc Foundation: Kim's Story
  2. Gerhard Paul : The story behind the photo. Authenticity, iconization and overwriting of an image from the Vietnam War . In: Zeithistorische Forschungen / Studies in Contemporary History . 2 (2005), H. 2, pp. 224–245 ( online , accessed June 16, 2011).
  3. Christopher H. Sterling (editor): Encyclopedia of Journalism , SAGE Publications, 2009, p. 1067, entry Huynh Cong (Nick) Ut
  4. Horst Faas, Marianne Fulton: The Survivor - Phan Thi Kim Phuc and the photographer Nick Ut . The Digital Journalist, August 2000, p. 3
  5. This is how the napalm girl is doing today on, June 6, 2012
  6. Kim Phuc Phan Thi
  7. Kim Phuc can hope again. October 26, 2015, accessed April 18, 2020 .
  8. ^ Gerhard Paul (online edition), sections 13-14
  9. Faas / Fulton, p. 5
  10. ^ Dresden Prize for Ambassador of Peace from Vietnam
  11. ^ Kim Foundation International