Khmer Rouge

The Smell of Water by Lang Srey

1979, Cambodia, Eastern Zone: Two comrades, twelve and fourteen, are RUNNING to get away from their infantry unit before the invading Vietnamese kill all of them. They reach the foot of a mountain – and disappear into the jungle. Neither of them has any food or water. They have no blankets, either, or protective clothing of any kind.

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Oukoubah: Justice for the Cham Muslims under the Democratic Kampuchea Regime by Ysa Osman

The 1975-1979 regime of Democratic Kampuchea (DK), led by Pol Pot and the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, left more than one million Cambodians dead, their bones scattered like those of animals. All of the more than 6,000,000 people who survived the regime lived with constant horror and fear throughout those 3 years, 8 months, and 20 days.

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Golden Bones by Sichan Siv

While the United States battled Vietnamese Communists in the 1960s and 1970s, in neighboring Cambodia dictator Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge declared war on their own people, enslaving and slaughtering anybody who disagreed with them. Sichan Siv knew he would soon be a target—ending up, perhaps, as one of the millions of anonymous human skeletons buried in his nation's Killing Fields—so he heeded his mother's pleas and ran.

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Live to Tell by Sonita Zainal

Live to Tell is a gripping testimony from Sonita Zainal of bone true facts and emotional recollections; designed to show the world how even when only a young girl, from age five; for four years, with amazing grit and determination, she could endure and survive the horrendous Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia – eventually escaping through jungle infested landmines to United Nations refugee camps in Thailand.

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Cambodia's Curse by Joel Brinkley

A generation after the Khmer Rouge, Cambodia shows every sign of having overcome its history--the streets of Phnom Penh are paved; skyscrapers dot the skyline. But under this façade lies a country still haunted by its years of terror.

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Brothers in Arms: Chinese Aid to the Khmer Rouge, 1975–1979 by Andrew Mertha

When the Khmer Rouge came to power in Cambodia in 1975, they inherited a war-ravaged and internationally isolated country. Pol Pot’s government espoused the rhetoric of self-reliance, but Democratic Kampuchea was utterly dependent on Chinese foreign aid and technical assistance to survive. Yet in a markedly asymmetrical relationship between a modernizing, nuclear power and a virtually premodern state, China was largely unable to use its power to influence Cambodian politics or policy.

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To Destroy You is No Loss by JoAn D. Criddle

A documentary account of the treatment of Cambodians by the Khmer Rouge, written by a keen observor of character and events. Life changed radically for the 15-year-old narrator when the regime took control, turning lives and values upside down. Anyone with education was marked for death; the people of the cities were driven into the countryside to a life of forced agricultural labor under harsh conditions. Positions of responsibility were given to the uneducated and unskilled.

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Short Hair Detention by Channy Chhi Laux

In April 1975, Channy Chhi Laux was a happy thirteen-year-old girl who was excited to start a new school year. But as news reports announced that the Khmer Rouge was getting closer to taking control of Cambodia, Channy and her family were forced to relocate to Poipet, a border town to Thailand. From that point forward, Channy lived a life dictated by fear.

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Cambodia: Year Zero by Francois Ponchaud

Senator George McGovern (remember him?) publicly called for international intervention in 1978 to save Cambodia from barbarism. But most on the left were ambiguous (the stories beggar belief...give the revolutionaries time...they will grow out of their wildness). Cambodia was invisible in the world consciousness at the time - the west wanted nothing but peace and quiet after the Vietnam tumult.

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