The world witnessed a catastrophic event between 1975 and 1979, which many would call the Cambodian Genocide. During the four years of the genocide, the Khmer Rouge regime will be responsible for an estimated two million deaths. Events such as the Vietnam War and authoritarian rule in Cambodia gave rise to Pol Pot. The main culprit, Pol Pot will be responsible for carrying out the Cambodian Genocide. While conducting the Cambodian Genocide, the Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot, violated many human rights in accordance with the International Bill of Human Rights.
“The Cambodian Genocide refers to the attempt of Khmer Rouge party leader “Pol Pot” to nationalize and centralize the peasant farming society of Cambodia virtually overnight, in accordance with the Chinese Communist agricultural model.” When Sihanouk becomes the head of state, he breaks ties with the US and allows North Vietnamese guerrillas to set up based in Cambodia. In return, the US begins to plot secret bombings against the North Vietnamese on Cambodia soil. In 1970, Sihanouk is overthrown in a coup by the Prime Minister Lon Nol. He proclaims Cambodia, the Khmer Republic, and sends an army to fight the North Vietnamese. Lon Nol is overthrown as the Khmer Rouge led by Pol Pot occupies Phnom Penh.
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
Their violent tactics to do this included forcing every citizen from their home into labour camps in the countryside. All sources of education, hospitals and factories were closed down and families were separated and children put into separate labour camps. Pol Pot’s harsh terms didn’t stop with the labour camps; people could be executed for talking another language and even for smiling. Pol Pot used mass propaganda to create extreme fear among Cambodian citizens. One of the slogans that illustrates Pol Pot’s ideas of his communist state said “To spare you is no profit, to destroy you is no loss”.
The Cambodian genocide occurred between 1975 and 1979. The mass murder was committed by Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge against the Cambodian people. There were several reasons for this genocide, including Pol Pot's desire to make Cambodia an agrarian society, to indoctrinate the people of Cambodia into the Marxist Ideology and to ensure the security of his government against political and military attacks The ideology of communism was rising rapidly in the 1900s and was one of the major causes for the Cambodian genocide. Pol Pot was inspired particularly by Marxist Communist ideals. He saw the communist ideals as a way to allow for social and political change to happen in Cambodia.
When looking at the Cambodian genocide, they were more in relation to the Nazis with their use of the camp system (Tuol Sleng), while the Armenian genocide was more pre 1941 Nazi extermination. I would compare their death marches and removal from property to the Nazis from 1933 to 1941 where there was still other options for these people, but not in the case of the Armenians. There were deliberate attacks on the populace by murdering death squads released by the Ottoman Empires prisons. In contrast, one can make an analogy to the poles eliminating their Jews in their villages. Another thing to look at is that Cambodia was a revolution trying to change a societies social norms, where as in the Ottoman Empire, it was a destruction of a people and had truly nothing to do with revolutionist tendencies.
The Cambodian Genocide took a toll on many and affected their physical, mental and emotional well-being. Throughout the genocide, the Khmer Rouge transported people to camps, deprived them of all of their possessions, starved them so they could barely work, separated them from their families resulting in relationships being torn apart, and forced them to conceal their past just so they can stay alive. This was the case with Luong Ung and her family. They went from being a wealthy family that was very tight-knit to each other to having most of them be killed and have no food or clothes. In the novel First They Killed My Father, Luong Ung portrays Pa as a generous and lovable man before the Cambodian genocide, but during the Cambodian genocide, Pa is drastically changed into a stern and isolated person.
A communist group called the Khmer Rouge believed that Cambodia was ruled by the educated like doctors, lawyers as well as muslims. They killed over 1.7 million people by intense work and no food. This can relate to the tactics that the Nazis used in the Holocaust to torture the Jews. Hard work with little or no food at all. Sadly, there is still a genocide happening right now in Sudan.
In the 1970s, Cambodia was involved in Civil War and invasion from foreign countries for several decades, which destroyed everything including infrastructure, human resources, and physical structures in this country. Additionally, the political system was a monarchy with King Norodom Sihanouk as the Head of State. After the King went outside of the country for a conference, General Lon Nol used a military coup to overthrow the King. He became President and changed the name of the country to the Khmer Republics in the year of 1970. During his administration, he allied with America; and received financial funding and technical support such as military weapons to control his regime.