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Cambodian Holocaust. Who is responsible for the Cambodian Holocaust?. Pol Pot (Soloth Sar). lived in Buddhist monastery for six years leader of the Khmer Rouge guerrillas tried to turn Cambodia into a self-sufficient, agrarian utopia

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pol pot soloth sar
Pol Pot (Soloth Sar)
  • lived in Buddhist monastery for six years
  • leader of the Khmer Rouge guerrillas
  • tried to turn Cambodia into a self-sufficient, agrarian utopia
  • took control of Cambodia in 1975
pol pot s goal
Pol Pot’s Goal
  • Create a Self-sufficient, agrarian, utopia (true communism)
he started over year zero

He Started Over = Year Zero

Eliminate all knowledge of the past!!!!

how did he intend to pull this off
How did he intend to pull this off?
  • By enlisting the youth (9,10, 11 year old kids) of the country in his new army known as the Khmer Rouge (the young are easy to influence).
  • By wiping the country clean of traces of the past (killing those with knowledge of the past).
  • By controlling all aspects of the country (politically, economically and socially)
By forcing all citizens into collectives to work according to age, gender and skill.
  • By holding indoctrination sessions every evening to remind them all of the wonderful rewards of communism.
  • By publicly murdering anyone that questioned the Khmer Rouge.
khmer rouge
Khmer Rouge
  • The Communist Khmer Rouge came to power in this small Southeast Asian nation in 1975 as part of the vast upheaval caused largely by the spilling over of the Vietnam War.
  • The Khmer are communist followers of Pol Pot
  • Most are young and enjoy their new power
when the khmer took over
When the Khmer took over:
  • The populations of Cambodia's cities were forced to evacuate the cities, move to the countryside and engage in agricultural labor. = Communes/Collectives/Cooperatives

They closed most institutions (schools, banks, government buildings, churches) and vowed to provided for their needs in the countryside.

  • They required absolute obedience from all Cambodians.
khmer slogan
Khmer Slogan
  • “Keeping new people is no benefit, losing them is no loss.”
who was murdered
Who was murdered?

People with glasses

People who could speak another language

People whom had traveled



educated prisoner
Educated Prisoner
  • Intellectuals and anyone else seen as standing in the way of the new social order were mercilessly killed, while many of those who escaped execution died from overwork and starvation.
s 21 prison
S-21 Prison
  • This building is now a museum devoted to helping those impacted by these events.
  • Many Cambodians travel here to try to understand what happened to their families and friends.
so what brought an end to all of this
So what brought an end to all of this?
  • The Vietnamese invaded and took over Cambodia ousting the Khmer Rouge from power.
  • The country remained communist for some time but not in such extreme conditions.
  • Pol Pot fled into the jungle and remained in hiding until his death.
  • Pol Pot denied that he had ever done anything wrong and truly believed he held the future of Cambodia in his hands.

The Cambodian genocide of 1975-1979, eliminated approximately 1.7 million people

(21% of the country's population)

A Killing Field

According to Yale University’s Cambodian Genocide Program
    • There were over 200 killing sites
    • 9,500 mass grave pits

Pol Pot's death in April 1998 heralded the end of the brutal career of a man responsible for overseeing one of the worst genocides of the 20th century.

so what is cambodia like after pol pot falls from power
So what is Cambodia like after Pol Pot falls from power?
  • DUMB literally!!!!
  • For four years all they have learned about is communism they have been shut out from the rest of the world. They farmed and read Mao’s Little Red Book. Generations of people are dead.
who is responsible for the cambodian genocide
Who is responsible for the Cambodian Genocide?
  • Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge (communists)
where and when did this occur
Where and when did this occur?
  • Cambodia
  • At the end of the U.S. involvement in Vietnam
  • 1975 - 1979
why and how
Why and How?
  • The communists wanted to purge the country of traces of the past and start over.
  • They used young minds and brutal treatment to enforce their ways.