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Transcript of Cambodian Genocide
Pol Pot was inspired by the communist revolution in China, and thus attempted to "purify" Cambodia.
Pol Pot was eventually deposed, however 1.7 million people were murdered in his attempt to create a communist peasant society.
This particular episode of genocide will allow us to recognise and prevent similar episodes the future. Lesson Plan. Timeline
Character profiles: Pol Pot, Prince Sihanouk, the Khmer Rouge, victims
Contributing factors: political, social and economic background
Summary of the genocide
The Khmer Rouge take over
Conclusion and impacts on Cambodian society
Justice and what happened to Pol Pot 1925: Pol Pot born.
1953: Pol Pot joins underground communist movement.
1954: Cambodia receives independence and is a monarchy.
1962: Pol Pot forms the Khmer Rouge and wages guerrilla war.
1970: Prince Sihanouk is deposed and allies with Pol Pot.
1970: The US invades Cambodia as part of the Vietnam War.
1969-1973: US bombs Cambodia, peasants flee the countryside.
1975: US withdraws troops, Cambodia loses US military support.
1975: Khmer Rouge army seizes control of Cambodia – April 17 – begins attempting to create an ‘agrarian utopia’.
1975: Cities forcibly evacuated.
1975: People forced into labour in the ‘killing fields’.
1978: Vietnam launches full-scale invasion of Cambodia – December 25
1979: Phnom Penh falls à Pol Pot deposed January 7.
1979-1996: Pol Pot wages guerrilla war against succession of Cambodian governments,
1998: Pol Pot dies following his arrest in Thailand. Timeline. Pol Pot Source A: Pol Pot 1971. Prince Sihanouk Source B: Sihanouk 1954. Khmer Rouge Source C & D: Khmer Rouge Soldiers Victims Source E: Photographed Victim Victims' Accounts These victims’ accounts detail some of the reasons why people were chosen for the Khmer Rouge’s ‘purges’:
Suching’s story excerpt:
“A week later, the Khmer Rouge began to murder people such as generals, soldiers, lawyers and doctors, teachers, singers, actors, and the wealthy. They were condemned because it was said that such people had lived easy lives. Teenage girls who had been born into rich families were often raped and killed when they were found. After the purge, we were permitted to work in the fields, and eat together. I thought it would be fun to share food, but it didn't work out the way I imagined it.”
Sisowath Doung Chanto’s story excerpt:
“My father was one of the million victims who were killed by the Khmer Rouge genocide politics. Up to this today I cannot comprehend the reason for the execution of my father and other millions of my fellow country men. My father was not a man of politics nor was he a criminal by any means. As a far as I can remember, he was a family man like any other Cambodian men in the country… A great protector and provider for his family and for those worked in his shipping company. He was a patriotic man… Unfortunately, his patriotism was not greeted with gratitude but it was received by punishment then execution.” MAP. Source F: Map of Cambodia Political, Social & Economic Background. Gained independance in 1953
Monarchy led by Prince Sihanouk from 1953-1960s.
Sihanouk was neutral during the Vietnam War.
Sihanouk was deposed by the US in 1970, and a right winged government led by General Lon Nol replaced him.
Cambodia became a battlegroud in the Vietnam War.
Sihanouk allied with the Khmer Rouge and they attacked the Lon Nol government.
In 1975 Lon Nol was defeated by the Khmer Rouge and the genocide began. KHMER ROUGE TAKE OVER The withdrawal of US troops in 1973 resulted in a series attacks by the Khmer Rouge on Lon Nol and Phnom Penh.
The civil war in Cambodia led to increased control of the Khmer Rouge and an influx of refugees to Phnom Penh.
In April 1975, the Khmer Rouge seized Phnom Penh and Lon Nol fled to Hawaii.
On April 30, Saigon (Ho Chi Minh) fell to the North Vietnamese and communism. Lon Nol Source G: General Lon Nol Pol Pot's Ideas Cambodia could only develop on the basis of its agriculture.
The land-owning classes had to be eliminated.
Existing international relations hindered Cambodia's development.
Those who did not earn a living through agriculture should be liquidated. Course of Events. Phnom Penh was evacuated and it's entire population was sent to labor camps.
The entire Vietnamese population began to be expelled or exterminated.
Any potential opposition was murdered and by 1979, 200,000 "suspects" were dead.
In 1977 relations with Vietnam were suspended as a resukt of a supposed coup against Pol Pot.
In 1979, Phnom Penh was liberated. Source H: Cambodian Genocide Video Conclusion The genocide lasted from 1975 when Pol Pot came to power, to 1978 which saw the deposition of the Khmer Rouge.
Vietnam occupied Cambodia and fought the Khmer Rouge until withdrawal in 1989.
In 1998, Pol Pot died of natural causes and in 1999 the Khmer Rouge was officially dissolved. IMPACT. Approximately 1.7 million people lost their lives (21% of the population).
The literacy rate is a low 65% due to the eradication of people who could read.
1/3 of the Cambodian population have access to clean drinking water due to the use of toxic chemicals used to poison water supplies.
Average life expectancy is just over 50 years.
Approximately 5 million land mines are present in Cambodia, leading to Cambodia having one the highest disability rate in the world. Drinking Water Source I: Cambodian woman comparing drinking water quality. Disablity. Source J: Disability as a result of Agent Orange. DID YOU KNOW? The population of Cambodia was approximately 7.1 million in 1970, and its estimated population for 1979 at that time was roughly 9 million. However, due to Pol Pot’s violent rule, Cambodia’s population at the end of his regime was between 4.7 and 5.5 million people. This is the nearly 4 million less than it would have been had the Khmer Rouge not taken power. JUSTICE The UN called for a Khmer Rouge Tribunal in 1994. However due to the ruined economy from Pol Pot’s regime, trials were held until November 2007. Pol Pot's Trial Source K: Pol Pot at the closest thing to a trial. Aftermath. In 1991 a peace agreement (UNAMIC) was signed which was established to assist the Cambodian parties to maintain a ceasefire with Vietnam.
1993, Former monarch Prince Sihanouk, was elected to lead the new government.
It was once again legal to own land.The state religion, Buddhism, was revived.
From 1995 mass graves began to be uncovered, revealing the genocide's horrifying impact.
The recovered bones and skulls have been preserved to create memorials of the dead. Trials. Source L: Trials of the Khmer Rouge.