Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Cambodian Genocide Notes

In Cambodia, a genocide was carried out by the Khmer Rouge regime led by Pol Pot between 1975 and 1979.

 One and a half to three million people were killed.

 The KR had planned to create a form of agrarian socialism.

The KR policies of forced relocation of the population from urban centers, torture, mass executions, use of forced labor, and malnutrition led to the deaths of an estimated 25 percent of the total population (around 2 million people).

On April 17, 1975, the Khmer Rouge army marched into Phnom Penh, the modern capitol.  Khmer Rouge soldiers, young peasants from the provinces, mostly uneducated teenage boys who had never been in a city before, swept through town.  They set to their job right away, evacuating Phnom Penh and forcing all of its residents to leave behind all their belongings and march towards the countryside.

One goal, similar to Nazi Germany was to create a “master race”/ purification of the populace.
Leaders of industry, journalists, students, doctors, lawyers as well as the Vietnamese and Chinese ethnic groups being purged.

Journalists, intellectuals, and others were viewed as threats to the state.
Religion banned.

Factories, schools, universities, hospitals, and all other private institutions were shut down; all their former owners and employees were murdered along with their extended families.  It was very common for people to be shot for speaking a foreign language or wearing glasses as these were traits that were associated with the West.  Many were also shot for smiling or crying as it was forbidden to show any kind of emotion. 
Goal was to deconstruct Cambodia back to a primitive “Year Zero,” wherein all citizens would participate in rural work projects, and any Western innovations would be removed.

The genocide was ended following the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia.

Up to 20,000 mass graves, known as the Killing Fields, have been uncovered.

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