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Cambodian Genocide. The Khmer Rouge Regime. Map Of Cambodia. History of Cambodian Genocide. In 1953, Cambodia gained independence after nearly 100 years of French rule Vietnam also defeated the French for their independence in 1954

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cambodian genocide

Cambodian Genocide

The Khmer Rouge Regime

history of cambodian genocide
History of Cambodian Genocide
  • In 1953, Cambodia gained independence after nearly 100 years of French rule
    • Vietnam also defeated the French for their independence in 1954
    • Prince Norodom Sihanouk took charge of the newly born state.
history of cambodian genocide4
History of Cambodian Genocide
  • Prince Sihanouk alienated the U.S.:
    • Struck up friendship with China, America’s foe
    • Irritated President Nixon by trying to keep Cambodia neutral in the war with Vietnam
  • U.S. backed Lon Nol
    • Pro-American, but also corrupt, repressive, and incompetent
    • Was able to temporarily dispel the government in 1970.
history of cambodian genocide5
History of Cambodian Genocide
  • Prince Sihanouk went on to found the Royal Government of National Union of Kampuchea (GRUNK).
    • This government boasted of many neutralists like the Prince and many non-Communists who eventually deflected to form the Khmer Rouge
    • Lon Nol now faced enemies of anti-communists and the Khmer Rouge
history of cambodian genocide6
History of Cambodian Genocide
  • A year earlier, 1969, President Nixon expanded the war into Cambodia
  • In April of 1970, he sends in ground troops to clean out North Vietnamese Communists in Cambodia
history of cambodian genocide7
History of Cambodian Genocide
  • The U.S. ground invasion occurred at the beginning of Cambodia’s 5 year civil war
    • One one side was Lon Nol and the U.S.
    • The other side were Vietnamese Communists and the radical Cambodian Communist Revolutionaries, the Khmer Rouge, or Red Khamer
history of cambodian genocide8
History of Cambodian Genocide
  • U.S. bombings in Cambodia were a derivative of U.S. designs on Vietnam so when the U.S. troops withdrew from Vietnam in 1973, the bombings in Cambodia were harder to justify.
  • U.S. bombings were resented by the Cambodians and were drawn to the promise of peace by the Khmer Rouge
pol pot
Pol Pot
  • He and his army, called the Khmer Rouge, came to power in Cambodia in 1975.
  • He was named prime minister of the new communist government in 1976 and began a program of violet reform.
  • In hope of creating a society free of western influence, he abolished religion, institute, private property and evacuated cities.
  • Under his regime, forced labor, execution and famine killed ~2 million Cambodians.
history of cambodian genocide10
History of Cambodian Genocide
  • Diplomats, journalists, and Cambodians speculated about Khmer Rouge intentions before they actually seized power.
  • The omens of imminent mass violence were there, but largely dismissed.
  • Elizabeth Becker, wrote a full-length feature for on the Khmer Rouge for the Washington Post in March 1974.
history of cambodian genocide11
History of Cambodian Genocide
  • The Toll of Cambodia’s 5 year civil war had been immense
    • 1 million Cambodians had been killed
    • Many were displaced, causing the capital to swell from 600,000 to 2 million by 1975
  • Many believed the KR atrocities were just a part of war, not their ideology
  • Lon Nol only promised more of the same and a U.S. backing.
history of cambodian genocide12
History of Cambodian Genocide
  • April 12, 1945, President Ford orders the American departure
  • April 17, 1945, the Khmer Rouge captured Phnom Penh and seized the government.
    • Order everyone to leave the capital
      • KR claims US B-52’s are going to bomb the capital
    • Knew they couldn’t feed the number of people in the swollen capital so force them to move closer to food sources
      • Slashed tires of cars so they had to travel on foot
history of cambodian genocide13
History of Cambodian Genocide
  • 1975 was deemed year zero
  • attempted to turn Cambodia into a classless society by depopulating cities and forcing the urban population into agricultural communes
  • Enemies were: ethnic Vietnamese, ethnic Chinese, Muslim chams, Buddhist monks, intellectuals (anyone completing 7th grade), anyone suspected of even momentary disloyalty
history of cambodian genocide14
History of Cambodian Genocide
  • Once reporters departed, the last independent sources of information dried up
  • For the next three and a half years, the American public would piece together a picture of life behind the Khmer curtain
history of the cambodian genocide
History of the Cambodian Genocide
  • May 1975, President Ford announced that 80-90 Cambodian officials and their spouses have been executed.
  • American administration had little credibility
  • It would be 2 years before most would acknowledge that this time the bloodbath reports were true.
history of cambodian genocide16
History of Cambodian Genocide
  • With embassy closed and journalists cut off, information was hard to obtain.
  • The “Southwest Asia fatigue” from Vietnam compounded the problem
  • Received very little newspaper or television coverage
history of cambodian genocide17
History of Cambodian Genocide
  • Americans clung to the few public statements of senior KR officials who consistently refuted the claims
  • Even Amnesty International, the largest human rights organization in the world, was not yet ready to respond forcifully.
history of cambodian genocide18
History of Cambodian Genocide
  • Many came around once they had personal contact with traumatized refugees.
  • The first photographs were not smuggled out until April of 1977.
history of cambodian genocide19
History of Cambodian Genocide
  • Those who tried to generate press coverage did so assuming that establishing the facts would empower the United States and other Western governments to act.
history of cambodian genocide20
History of Cambodian Genocide
  • Vietnam invades Cambodia on Dec. 25, 1978 and seizes Phnom Penh on Jan. 7, 1979.
  • Vietnam establishes the People's Republic of Kampuchea
history of cambodian genocide21
History of Cambodian Genocide
    • The Khmer Rouge were overthrown and sent into a retreat
      • They receive aid from the United States as well as hang on to the official Cambodian seat in the United Nations
  • Struggles continue as China supports and provides arms to the Khmer Rouge and Russia supports a fully Communist Vietnam
history of cambodian genocide22
History of Cambodian Genocide
  • Upon seizing the country, Vietnamese find evidence of mass murder everywhere.
  • The TuolSleng Examination Center in Phnom Penh, code named Office S-21, became an emblem of terror
    • Found instructions for inmates
    • Found an interrogators manual
    • Was turned into TuolSlengMusueum
history of cambodian genocide23
History of Cambodian Genocide
  • Torture center testified to the cruelty of the KR regime
  • 1979 -The Vietnamese then installed a puppet government consisting of Khmer Rouge defectors with HengSamrin as leader
    • People’s Republic of Kampuchea
  • The Khmer Rouge fought against the newly appointed government with the help of US training, funds, weapons
history of cambodian genocide24
History of Cambodian Genocide
  • 1989 Vietnamese troops withdraw from Cambodia
  • Country is renamed the State of Cambodia
  • Fighting continues for over a decade, before all political factions in Cambodia sign a treaty in 1991 calling for elections and disarmament.
  • Fighting broke out again in 1992
history of cambodian genocide25
History of Cambodian Genocide
  • 1993- The monarchy is restored, Sihanouk becomes king again. The country is re-named the Kingdom of Cambodia. The government-in-exile loses its seat at the UN.
  • 1998- Pol Pot dies and is never brought to trial
  • 2004- Elderly King Sihanouk turns monarchy over to son, King Sihamoni, but real political power is held by elected President Hun Sen, a former Khmer Rouge officer.
2 headlines from newspaper
2. Headlines from newspaper

“Never Again the Khmer Rouge”

New York Times, Oct 8 1988

“Difficult to prove genocide in Cambodia’s killing fields”

The Associated Press, September 5 2000

3 speech and quotes
3. Speech and quotes
  • “ I watched many Cambodians friends being herded out of Phnom Penh. Most of them I never saw again. All of us felt like betrayers, like people who were protected and didn’t do enough to Phnom Penh when the Khmer Rouger marched in victorious in April save our friends. We felt shame. We still do.”

a foreign journalist in 17th 1975

  • “ a number of people, many of them survivors of the Holocaust and other genocides risk oversimplification, and may lessen or even absolute guilt - a concern that is accentuated when perpetrators assert that they were ‘only obeying orders.’“

Alexander Laban Hinton , author of Why did they kill?

7 reporters and photojournalists
7. Reporters and photojournalists

Robert Bingham, Michael Perkins, Jeff Apostolou, Mark Norris, Don Riley, David Chandler, Sara Colm, Peter Maguire.

“The Photo Archive Group's work in Cambodia benefited from the generous help of numerous organizations and individuals, including Robert Bingham, Michael Perkins, Jeff Apostolou, Mark Norris, Don Riley, David Chandler, Sara Colm, Peter Maguire, The Indochina Media Memorial Fund, Calumet Holdings Inc., The Saunders Group, Light Impressions, The Lucius and Eva Eastman Fund”

8 role of the un
8. Role of the UN
  • “United Nations administrative tribunal helps those people who lived under Cambodian genocide to seek for their justice.”
  • “The United Nations Peace building Commission helps to ensure predictable financing for early recovery activities and sustained financial investment over the medium- to longer-term.”
9 members of the un
9. Members of the UN
  • “Responding to the invitation of the Secretary-General, His Excellency Kofi Annan, a Cambodian delegation led by His Excellency Sok An Senior Minister in Charge of the Council of Ministers has come to New York and has engaged in seven meetings - one with the Secretary-General himself, and six with representatives of the United Nations Secretariat, led by His Excellency Hans Corell, Legal Counsel, preparing for a resumption of negotiations for Khmer Rouge Trials for these crimes, in accordance with the General Assembly Resolution 57/288 of 18 December 2002.”
  • Thomas Hammarberg is the representative for Cambodia and was the one able to get the Cambodian government to ask for help from the United Nations
10 international communities response
10. International communities’ response
  • The process of justice for the genocide in Cambodia started on June 21, 1997, when the Cambodian co-prime ministers asked the United Nations to step in and help organize the trials for those involved in the Khmer Rouge.
  • In 1998 a group of experts was formed to examine the evidence, the law and different options of how to proceed with the trials of the Khmer Rouge. This group worked from July 1998 until February 1999 looking at three different things: evaluating the evidences and the crime, apprehending people responsible, the different option for bringing people to justice.
symbolic emblem
Symbolic emblem
  • SR-21, a former school was turned into a torture factory during the Cambodia genocide. Thousands of people who were sent here would be given a number tag, as a symbol of recognition. Those people would later be tortured or executed.
  • A total of 14,000 Cambodians were jailed here and only 10 of them survived.

Photos of prisoners with number tags on.

summary
Summary
  • By 1979, the Khmer Rouge regime had killed around 2 million people, which is about 30% of the population. The Khmer Rouge was head by Saloth Sar, better known as Pol Pot. On April 17th 1975 the Khmer Rouge , a communist group led by Pol Pot, took power in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia.
  • The Khmer Rouge turned back the clock on Cambodia to more uncivilized times. Institutions such as stores, banks, hospitals, schools, religion and family were all banned. City dwellers were all forced to the countryside and to work in labor camps. The citizens worked 12 to 14 hour days inside the labor camps.
  • The Khmer Rouge targeted Buddhist monks, Western –educated intellectuals, educated people in general, people who had contact with Western countries, people who appeared to be intelligent (for example, individuals with glasses), the cripple, the lame and ethnic minorities like ethnic Laotians and Vietnams.
bibliography
Bibliography
  • Burie, Vongko. “ Then UN should be held accountable in a major part of the genocide in Cambodia”. Cambodian Information Center, on the web 28 Oct. 2005. Oct. 29 2006. www.cambodia.org
  • Thul Chan,Park. “commune Chiefs: Where Was the UN from 1975-1979?. The Cambodia Daily. On the web 28 Jun. Oct. 29 2006. www.genocidewatch.org
  • Maguire, Peter. Facing Death in Cambodia, Colombia University Press, New York, 2005
  • Etcheson, Craig. After the Killing Fields, Praeger Publishing, Westport CT, 2005