Historical Background

THE KHMER ROUGE GENOCIDE IN CAMBODIA

In 1975 a Communist regime called the Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot, overthrew the Cambodian government. To achieve their dream of an agrarian utopia, they immediately evacuated all cities and relocated the entire population to the countryside to work in labor camps. In an effort to create a classless society, the intelligentsia and bourgeois class of Cambodia were killed. Ethnic minorities were exterminated and every Cambodian lived in constant fear for their life. Approximately 2 million people, one quarter of the population, died from execution, starvation and disease in the four years the Khmer Rouge were in power.

25 years later, there has been no collective outlet to remember and heal for ordinary Cambodians. In fact, in Cambodian today, the history is often not taught in schools and some in the younger generation grow up believing that the genocide did not happen at all.

 
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