January 07, 2012



I'm Leon de Riedmatten who opened NW9 in 1980 with ICRC.

I would be pleased to be in touch to the ones who were there at the time.

With my best wishes

Leon de Riedmatten


Hưng said...

Hi Leon, Sorry I did not see your message until now. Due to spam on this site, I have to review the message before publishing it. I know some refugees from there, but none of the volunteer or staff for the camp.
Hope someone from NW9 will contact you. (did you know father Tom Dunleavy?)
Best wish to you

Anonymous said...

Hello Mr. Riedmatten,
First, I'd like to thank you for your generous work at Camp NW9.
We will never forget you and always want to show our gratitude toward those like you who risked their lives to care and protect us during those terrible days.
My name is Ysa Cosiem. I was one of the Vietnamese refugees who was admitted to Camp NW9 in May 1980. I would probably recognize you when seeing your picture. Yes! Leon was a familiar name for us. If my recollection is intact, you were tall but not skinny, eye-glasses and always wore the colorful Thai-fabric blue shirt made by a VN refugee in the camp. Your trade mark was the Kama (Cambodian scarf) hanging on your neck to soak the sweat of the day? Was it you who volunteered to sleep at the camp vice leaving for the city at the end of the work day, to ensure our safety from those Khmer paratrooper guards? FYI, I have been creating a Facebook (Ycosiem) site looking for other NW9 refugees to share camp NW9 pictures and camp NW9 stories which are very rare.
I hope to hear from you more, please! Thanks and take care!

Nhi said...

I was one of the refugees in NW9 Camp, admitted to the Camp late December of 1980.
I remember a few Volunteers from Swiss, one of the Gentleman named Francois Vincent whom I first met near border between Cambodia and Thailand, Non Chan Camp. Mr Vincent brought(3)of us to NW9 Camp, we were transported by Red Cross Jeep escorted by his Thais Assistant who also could speak Vietnamese language.

The life in the Camp were unbelievable harsh condition in those days, but we were able to pull together to survive until we were transferred to
Chonburi Camp for US resettlement.

Very grateful to the tireless dedications of all the Volunteers from Swiss, Germany and Japan.

Best Regards,

Anonymous said...

I'm a former refugee at NW9 and Chonburi from 10/1980 to 3/1981. To all the selfless volunteers who risked their life to help...strangers, THANK YOU! You are my inspiration and my heroes.
I was a minor and stayed at the Children Center in Chonburi from 12/1980 to 3/1981.

Anonymous said...

Good day to you and your family Mr. Leon. Thank you so much for your dedications and services. I do remember NW9 very well. The tank traps (trenches) dug around the camp and the male volunteers who did their best to patrol the camp at night to protect the women of NW9. Ahh, and who could forget, the living condition was brutal.

Hung Nguyen said...

Dear Mr. Léon,

I am so glad to come across your name on the land refugee stories and blog.

I read and read again, and again, the account of those Vietnamese land refugees at Nong Chan in the morning of April 21, 1980, and the event the day before. I try to visualize what had happened, wonder where everyone is now, how they are doing, and especially about what the place look like....all kind of questions.

I know the names, the place. I know for sure we the land refugees would not get to where we are today had not for the brave efforts of a few people like you and Denyse, valiant efforts that saved us, save the humanity on that brutal border...

Mr Leon, I am not among the refugees whom you saved that morning at Nong Chan, nor those who came later to NW9, even NW82. I am among those who arrived at Phnomchat and Nong Chan and Nong Samet after NW 82 was closed, but I hear many stories about NW9, NW82....I do not know you personally until now, but learn about your role in saving our fellow refugees.

The Vietnamese land refugees collectively own you a gratitude. We will never be able to repay, but can only pray God to reward you, and can only remember and remind our children of the great deeds you have done along that border to save their parents and their grand parents

We are forever indebted to you, Mr Léon. May God bless you and all of us.

Best regards


Anonymous said...

the things you did for us we never forgeted. how do we can contact with you if there any chance . thanks

Vo^ Danh Vo^ DDi.nh said...

Hi Leon,

I was one of the six (6) lucky people to that picked up from the Pol Pot camp in September 1980.

I was later transferred to Chonburi in May 1981 and arrived the USA in October of the same year.

In the USA, I worked part-time, went to college and finished with the Bachelor Degree in Electrical.

All I want to say is that I am one of the great successful stories of the walk people that you saved in the jungle of Cambodia during the darkest times of our histories.

We survived and have been successful in our new countries, all thanks to your kindness.

Please accept my gratitude and keep in touch.

Best regards,

Ha Thanh Nguyen
email: thenguyensfamily@gmail.com

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