25 percent of the countryspopulation dies from starvation, overwork and executions.
Cambodia: You Must Know• 1962, Pol Pot becomes head of the Cambodian Communist Party.• Forced to flee into the jungle to escape the wrath of Prince Norodom Sihanouk, leader of Cambodia.• Pol Pot forms an armed resistance that is known as the Khmer Rouge (Red Cambodians) and wages a guerrilla war against Sihanouk.
• 1970, Prince Sihanouk is ousted, by a U.S.- backed right-wing military coup.• A bitter Sihanouk retaliates by joining Pol Pot, his former enemy, in opposing Cambodias new military government.• U.S. invades Cambodia to expel Northern Vietnamese from their border encampments, but instead drives them deeper into Cambodia where they ally themselves with the Khmer Rouge.
• 1969 until 1973, the U.S. intermittently bombs North Vietnamese sanctuaries in eastern Cambodia, up to 150,000 Cambodian peasants die.• Peasants flee countryside by the hundreds of thousands and settle in Cambodias capital city, Phnom Penh.
• These events resulted in economic and military destabilization in Cambodia.• 1975, the U.S. withdraws its troops from Vietnam.• Taking advantage of the opportunity, Pol Pots Khmer Rouge army, consisting of teenage peasant guerrillas, marches into Phnom Penh on April 17 seizes control of Cambodia.
• Begins a radical experiment to create an agrarian utopia inspired in part by Mao Zedong‘.• Change to Democratic Republic of Kampuchea.• "This is Year Zero," and that society was about to be "purified." Capitalism, Western culture, city life, religion, and all foreign influences were to be extinguished.
180g of Cooked Rice = 6oz or 2/5 lbs 300 – 350 Calories Every 48 Hours
• Millions of Cambodians accustomed to city life are forced into slave labor in Pol Pots "killing fields" where they soon began dying from overwork, malnutrition and disease, on a diet of one tin of rice (180 grams) every two days.• Workdays in the fields began around 4 a.m. and lasted until 10 p.m.
• Throughout Cambodia, deadly purges were conducted to eliminate remnants of the "old society" - the educated, the wealthy, Buddhist monks, police, doctors, lawyers, teachers, and former officials.• Ex-soldiers were killed along with their wives and children.• Anyone suspected of disloyalty to Pol Pot
• Ethnic groups : Vietnamese, Chinese, and Cham Muslims were targets. 50% of Chinese living in Cambodia in 1975 perished.• Khmer Rouge also forced Muslims to eat pork and shot those who refused.• On December 25, 1978, Vietnam launched a full-scale invasion of Cambodia seeking to end Khmer Rouge border attacks. On January 7, 1979, Phnom Penh fell and Pol Pot was deposed.
Children of Genocide:• Exit questions• Multigenerational problems…• Education gap. Kids who teach parents?
What factors helped cause genocide in Cambodia?• (previous governments were corrupt and didn’t treat people well, hatred toward the rich, racism toward Vietnamese, chaos due to bombing, destabilizing the government by overthrowing Prince Sihanouk, charismatic leader with a strong vision, socialist and Maoist ideology)
Why were the Khmer Rouge so angry?• (Anger due to economic injustices and foreign intervention, from the French and US and historically from the Thai and Vietnamese; fear of loss of sovereignty; numbing due to exposure to violence in civil war; anger from exposure to domestic violence in childhood)