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Pol Pot

(Saloth Sar )
Born on May 1925
Leader of the Khmer Rouge
At age 14, he began high
school in Kompong Cham
In 1949, Pol Pot obtained a
scholarship to study radio
electronics in Paris
Encountered Marxism, joining
the Cercle Marxiste and the
French Communist Party.
In 1953, He came back to
Cambodia living by teaching
geography and history at a
private school while organizing
resistance to Sihanouk
What did Pol Pot want to
do?
Pol Pot helped assess the different groups rebelling against
the Cambodian government
Also authored the pamphlet Monarchy or Democracy
Pol Pot and others became convinced that the only way
for change in Cambodia was through revolution.

Pol Pots Goal
Create a Self-sufficient,
agrarian, utopia (true
communism). To bring
"real socialism" to
Cambodia

How did Pol Pot do
this?
He Started Over
= Year Zero
ELIMINATE ALL KNOWLEDGE OF THE PAST!!
DECONSTRUCT CAMBODIA BACK A PRIMITIVE

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.

Who are the 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:
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

Keeping new
people is no benefit,
losing them is no
loss.
What type of person was
the most threatening to
the Khmer Rouges
power?
Who was murdered?
People with glasses
People who could speak another
language
People whom had traveled
Foreigners
Counter-revolutionaries
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-21Prison
(Interrogation Center)
(a former high school)
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.
http://www.downtheroad.org/Asia/Photo/2Camb
odia_Pictures/9Tuol_Sleng_Genocidal_Crime.htm

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 Universitys
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.
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/asia/june97/cambodia_6-18a.html
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 Maos Little
Red Book. Generations of
people are dead.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/78988.stm
Where and when did this
occur?
Cambodia
At the end of the U.S.
involvement in Vietnam
1975 - 1979
Want to see a great
movie on this historical
event?
The Killing Fields