Khmer Rouge

Father Missed His Plane: A Memoir by Vincent Lee

On April 12, 1975, just days before Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge seized control of Phnom Penh, Vincent's father missed a chance to take his family and leave Cambodia on a US Marine Corp helicopter. Had they boarded the chopper, Vincent would not have had to endure four years of brutality and starvation.

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When The War Was Over by Elizabeth Becker

Award-winning journalist Elizabeth Becker started covering Cambodia in 1973 for The Washington Post, when the country was perceived as little more than a footnote to the Vietnam War. Then, with the rise of the Khmer Rouge in 1975 came the closing of the border and a systematic reorganization of Cambodian society. Everyone was sent from the towns and cities to the countryside, where they were forced to labor endlessly in the fields. The intelligentsia were brutally exterminated, and torture, terror, and death became routine.

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  • Published in Politics

The Politics of Lists by James A. Tyner

Scholars from a number of disciplines have, especially since the advent of the war on terror, developed critical perspectives on a cluster of related topics in contemporary life: militarization, surveillance, policing, biopolitics (the relation between state power and physical bodies), and the like.

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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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The Cham Rebellion by Ysa Osman

The Khmer Rouge kept constraining religion, bit by bit. First they forbade during work hours, claiming it was a loss of labor. Even when prayer did not impact work hours later in the day, they still would not permit it. They closed the mosque. One day during the Royaveitaros holiday [Raya Idul Fitri], some villagers made the difficult decision to ask for permission to observe morning prayers since this is such an important day in Islam.

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The Lost Executioner by Nic Dunlop

Between 1975 and 1979 the seemingly peaceful nation of Cambodia succumbed to one of the most bloodthirsty revolutions in modern history. Nearly two million people were killed. As head of the Khmer Rouge's secret police, Comrade Duch was responsible for the murder of more than 20,000 of them. Twenty years later, not one member of the Khmer Rouge had been held accountable for what had happened, and Comrade Duch had disappeared.

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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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Watching Cambodia by Serge Thion

Watching Cambodia opens with a visit to the Khmer Rouge zone in 1972, the only one by a western observer before Pol Pot's victory in 1975. But legwork in the rice fields was not enough. Understanding Cambodia is not an easy matter. It requires sifting through mountains of documents, from Angkorian stone inscriptions to Khmer Rouge radio transcripts, as well as reading and evaluating piles of books written by scholars, travelers, journalists, and technicians.

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