Khmer Rouge

Stay Alive, My Son by Pin Yathay

On April 17, 1975, the Khmer Rouge entered Phnom Penh to open a new and appalling chapter in the story of the twentieth century. On that day, Pin Yathay was a qualified engineer in the Ministry of Public Works. Successful and highly educated, he had been critical of the corrupt Lon Nol regime and hoped that the Khmer Rouge would be the patriotic saviors of Cambodia.

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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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Survival in the Killing Fields by Haing Ngor

Nothing has shaped my life as much as surviving the Pol Pot regime. I am a survivor of the Cambodian holocaust. That's who I am," says Haing Ngor. And in his memoir, Survival in the Killing Fields, he tells the gripping and frequently terrifying story of his term in the hell created by the communist Khmer Rouge. Like Dith Pran, the Cambodian doctor and interpreter whom Ngor played in an Oscar-winning performance in The Killing Fields, Ngor lived through the atrocities that the 1984 film portrayed.

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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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Cambodia in Depth by Peace Corps

Cambodia is a history buff’s dream, with rich stories of empire and tyranny over the past 1,000 years. There are a variety of books and websites (some of which are listed in the Resources for Further Information section) that provide excellent summaries of Cambodia’s ancient and recent history. Wikipedia's site (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambodia) provides a good overview. Cambodia is a successor state of the once-powerful Hindu and Buddhist Khmer Empire, which ruled most of the Indo-Chinese peninsula between the 11th and 14th centuries.

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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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Cambodia and the West: 1500 - 2000 by T.O.Smith

This volume brings together an interdisciplinary team of established and emerging scholars from the disciplines of history, political science and communication studies, to provide a historical reappraisal of Cambodia’s relationships with the West. Contributors to the volume examine moments of historical import in Cambodia's history, from the sixteenth to the twenty-first century.

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When Broken Glass Floats by Chanrithy Him

Chanrithy Him felt compelled to tell of surviving life under the Khmer Rouge in a way "worthy of the suffering which I endured as a child."

In the Cambodian proverb, "when broken glass floats" is the time when evil triumphs over good. That time began in 1975, when the Khmer Rouge took power in Cambodia and the Him family began their trek through the hell of the "killing fields."

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