Pol Pot: The Cambodian Genocide

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Tim Walz once said, “You must understand what caused genocide to happen. Or it will happen again.” One of the most famously proclaimed genocides in history is Hitler’s persecution of the Jewish people, but that is not where the killing stops. There have been hundreds of deliberate mass killings just like that throughout history. One of the most horrifying took place in the small country of Cambodia in the late 1900’s. This genocide was marked by its ruthless tyrant and it’s dehumanization factor. By examining the history of the region, the brutal deaths, and the state of conflict, it is clear that the Cambodian genocide was a horrible tragedy. Cambodia’s troubles all began with a man named Pol Pot. He was born in 1925 in a small village north…show more content…
He influenced the KPRP to become Marxism-Leninism minded. Cambodia was against communism, so Pol Pot and other KPRP leaders had to move deep into the jungle. In 1968, Pol Pot and his new Khmer Guerilla army launched an uprising against Cambodia’s current heredital government. This battle would rage on until 1973 with all of Vietnam and even the United States stepping in to help. By August 1973, Pol Pot’s army had grown large and became a force to be reckoned with. The civil war in Cambodia went on until 1975, ending with the KPRP and Pol Pot on top (Pol Pot). He was soon given the role of prime minister, which would be unfortunate for everyone. Half a million Cambodians had died and this was just the…show more content…
Large killing fields, or giant mass graves, were found all throughout the country. Almost all of the victims in the fields were gruesomely murdered by being beaten because bullets were “too expensive” (S-21 Victims). Along the edges of the fields were trees. These trees held nooses, some where people were hanged. Other held nooses to tie the children up so the executioner could beat them to death. One particular tree for children was referred to as the Killing Tree. Each victim killed had to be sent to Pol Pot to get his approval (S-21 Victims). This once school teacher was purposefully sending millions to die. Pol Pot had been assigned prime minister and had brutally abused his authority. Overall an estimated 1.7 million Cambodians were killed. In December 1978, the Vietnamese government sent 60,000 troops to Cambodia. They took over Phnom Penh and finally ended Pol Pot’s four year reign of terror (Pol Pot). Cambodia’s genocide was held in secret. The people who lived there were not even aware of the horrible things going on until after their freedom was reissued (Zoltan). The genocide began in the history of the region, dehumanized it’s victims, and changed Cambodia forever. The country will never be the same, but just as Tim Walz said, this history must be shared so it never happens
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