Cambodian Genocide Essays

Pol Pot, The Khmer Rouge, And Cambodian Genocide

The Communist Party of Kampuchea, also known as the Khmer Rouge, took control of Cambodia on April 17, 1975, which lasted until January 1979. For their three-year, eight-month, and twenty-one day rule of Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge committed some of the most heinous crimes in current history. The main leader who orchestrated these crimes was a man named Pol Pot. In 1962, Pol Pot had become the coordinator of the Cambodian Communist Party. The Prince of Cambodia, Norodom Sihanouk, did not approve of the Party and forced Pol Pot to flee to exile in the jungle. There, Pol formed a fortified resistance movement, which became known as the Khmer Rouge, and pursued a guerrilla war against Sihanouk’s government. As Pol Pot began to accumulate power, he ruthlessly imposed an extremist system to restructure Cambodia. Populations of Cambodia's inner-city districts were vacated from their homes and forced to walk into rural areas to work. All intellectuals and educated people were eradicated and together with all un-communist aspects of traditional Cambodian society. The remaining citizens were made to work as laborers in various concentration camps made up of collective farms. On these farms, people would harvest the crops to feed their camps. For every man, woman, and child it was mandatory to labor in the fields for twelve to fifteen hours each day. An estimated two million people, or twenty-one percent of Cambodia's population, lost their lives and many of these victims were brutally executed. Countless more of them died of malnourishment, fatigue, and disease. Ethnic groups such as the Vietnamese, Chinese, and Cham Muslims were attacked, along with twenty other smaller groups. Fifty percent of the estimated 425,000 Chinese living in Cambodia in 1975 perished. On December 25, 1978, Vietnam initiated an invasion of Cambodia, finalizing Khmer Rouge border attacks. On January 7, 1979, Phnom Penh fell and Pol Pot was deposed. These events were later to be known as the Cambodian Genocide.
Ever since the actions in Cambodia occurred, it has been debated whether it was an actual genocide. The general definition of genocide is the purposeful and methodical execution of a national, racial, political, or cultural group. The Khmer Rouge in Cambodia demonstrated that a government can be guilty of genocide against its own nation. The radical communist party led by Pol Pot took over Cambodia from 1975 to 1979. After 1979, the Khmer Rouge left a traumatized Cambodian culture that continues to undergo the repercussions of the genocide. People over the age of forty in Cambodia have stories to tell of fear, cruelty, hunger and the loss of family members. However, the Cambodian government is not making an effort to recognize the negative occurrences that have posed itself in the history of their culture.
After the Pol Pot invasion ended and Cambodian began to heal from its past, Prime Minister Hun Sen came into power. He conducted a socialist-democratic government in...

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Two Similar but Different Genocides: The Holocaust and Cambodian Genocide

1539 words - 6 pages It’s hard to imagine that people would support and act upon plans to kill millions of innocent human beings. The Holocaust and Cambodian genocide were two of the most horrific genocides in the history of civilization. The Holocaust and Cambodian genocide has not only similarities but also differences. How they treated their victims, USA involvement, and that they both killed millions of people are some things they share. Differences they...

The Pol Pot Rule of Cambodia

1352 words - 5 pages The Pol Pot Rule of Cambodia "The worst blow fell in 1975, when the Khmer Rouge (red Khmer) guerrillas under the leadership of Pol Pot overthrew the Khmer Republic and established Democratic Kampuchea." The Khmer Rouge were, at least partially, a reaction to the loss of political power and the social disorder brought on by the regional wars of the 1960s and 1970s, as well as an extreme and localized response to the growing question of...

Cambodia: War, Political Turmoil, and the Khmer Rouge as a Significant Source of Change.

2716 words - 11 pages Cambodia 1Running Head: CambodiaCambodia: War, Political Turmoil, and the Khmer Rouge as a Significant Source of ChangeSOC 352 - Social ChangeCambodia 2Cambodia: War, Political Turmoil, and the Khmer Rouge as a Significant Source of ChangeThe most significant source of social change in Cambodia in contemporary times is the rule of Pol Pot and the

The Affect of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia

1516 words - 6 pages How can someone put years worth of suffering into a five-page paper? Is it even possible to communicate the fears, worry, and suffering that an entire race of people endured? I am not sure if these things are possible, but I will attempt to show you what horror the people of Cambodia were subject to during the years of the Khmer Rouge.Cambodia is located in southeastern Asia, between Thailand and Vietnam. 90% of the people in Cambodia...

The Cambodian Genocide: A Tragedy Hidden from the World

2451 words - 10 pages Genocide is the mass slaughter of a certain type of people because of who they are. The Cambodian Genocide was the mass slaughtering of people who were foreign, educated people, not Khmer (the native race in Cambodia), as well as other people the Khmer Rouge considered to be enemies. It was one of the most horrific events in modern history, and it was discovered years after it began. It took place over a four-year period, from 1975-1979, and left...

Explain why the Khmer Rouge became such a significant force in Cambodia by 1979

2259 words - 9 pages 'Explain why the Khmer Rouge became such a significant force in Cambodia by 1979.' Respond to this statement in approximately 2000 words.When Cambodia was retitled Democratic Kampuchea in 1975, the alteration of title not only signified the acquisition of the nation by a recently instated governing force, but also heralded the destruction of the country's history, technology and over 1.7 million lives at the hands of...

Survival of the Fittest: Exploitation of Cambodia Under the Khmer Rouge

1259 words - 5 pages Slavery has existed throughout history and it even exists today in various forms. Slavery is the imprisonment of an individual by another. Herbert Spencer proposed the idea of survival of the fittest in human society. With slavery, especially in today’s time, there are people who are socially stronger taking advantage of those who are weaker and more vulnerable. The societies of today view money as a form of power, and with this power it is...

The Holocaust and Khmer Rogue

1155 words - 5 pages “Night”, by Elie Wiesel was an autobiography in which Wiesel shares his experiences in Auschwitz-Birkenau, one of Hitler’s concentration camps. Wiesel was one of the Jews to survive the Holocaust during World War II. His family did not make it through with him. On the other hand “When Broken Glass Floats” by Chanrithy Him is a story about life in the Killing Fields when the Khmer Rouge attempted to create an agrarian utopia in Cambodia. About 1.7...

Pot: The reason and the limit

1297 words - 5 pages Why do they do it? Why do people need to smoke up? And for those that don?t smoke up, especially teenagers who are surrounded by smoking friends, how come they avoid it? What is the reason behind the decision of every teen who says ?yes? or ?no? when the green leaf comes their way?In 1999, an estimated two million people above the age of 12 tried pot for the first time (www.samhsa.gov). The drug is most prevalent among the youth of our...

The Armenian Genocide and The Jewish Holocaust

1346 words - 5 pages You have heard of “ Martin Luther King Day,” or “Columbus Day,” but have you ever heard of “National Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day?” This lesser known genocide was a precursor to the Holocaust. It started on April 24, 1915 and lasted up until 1923. It was calculated that over one and a half million Armenians died during this period of time. This genocide was planned out by the Turkish government, against all the Armenians of the Ottoman...

The Causes and Consequences of Genocide

1061 words - 4 pages "The twentieth century was termed the 'century of genocide' because of the high number of cases of genocide during that time period," (Maritz 2012). Genocide is the deliberate killing of people who belong to a particular racial, political, or cultural group. It is said to originate from the ideals of Enlightenment, which makes men have the desire to control nature and, therefore, other people. The extermination of a group of people is done to...

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Cambodian Genocide Dead bodies everywhere you turn. The smell of gunpowder, filth, and death choke your lungs. You wonder everyday whether it will be your last. All your body feels is pain; all your heart feels is emptiness. One might think this is how life was for Jews during the Jewish Holocaust. In reality, this is how life was for many Cambodians during the reign of Pol Pot between 1975 and 1979. This event, known to many as the Cambodian genocide, left a profound mark on the world around us.
In the late 70’s, nearly 2 million Cambodians died of overwork, starvation, torture, and execution in what became known as the Cambodian genocide. A group known as the Khmer Rouge took control of the country in April 1975. Over the course of…show more content…

This communist movement, known as the Khmer Rouge, was the result of the people becoming angry with the U.S. forcing Cambodia into their conflict with Vietnam. This movement brought promises of hope and tranquility to Cambodia. Pol Pot’s forces had grown to well over 700,00 men by 1975. Out of all the chaos that was happening, the Khmer Rouge began taking full control of the country. With his movement finally in control, Pol Pot put into motion his plan for an agrarian utopia.
Once the genocide started, it seemed like nothing to stop it. Everyone that appeared to be educated was executed. If you had glasses, you were killed. Braces, killed. If you had any type of formal education, you were killed. Citizens who could speak English, religious figures, and anybody opposed to the regime were executed. Everyone that was left was sent to work in Labor Camps. In similar fashion to the Nazis, the Khmer Rouge had people evacuate the cities into the countryside. Once there, you would be forced to work on the Rice fields Day and Night. The only people that were exempt from working were children who were not old enough to understand what was going on. From sunrise until sunset, work was expected without rest. Any sign of pain or weakness meant immediate death. To discourage any kind of revolt from the people, the Khmer Rouge separated everyone into different groups. Men in one group,

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