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Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Cambodia: 17 April 1975

Location of Cambodia. Wikipedia
Last Saturday marked the 35th anniversary of the Khmer Rouge’s rise to power in Cambodia. You can read the absolutely great record of a Cambodian woman, who managed to survive the genocidal Govt:
The Khmer Rouge, I understood later, intended to eliminate the rich, the intellectuals, and anyone educated – like doctors, engineers and professors, the majority of whom tended to live in the city. For the Khmer Rouge these people were part of a dictatorial and corrupt regime that exploited the poor, and they sought to destroy everything they thought belonged to this world: buildings, luxury cars, villas, refrigerators.
…Everyone became quiet for a long time while wondering who would be the next victim. My heart was heavy with sorrow for the families of the deceased. Moreover, I had almost lost my daughters in the jungle during this same journey – a story too long to describe here.
With time, more and more of the new people died – from hunger, disease, from a plague of sheer exhaustion, but most of all from the massacres perpetrated by the Khmer Rouge. They killed people on perfectly ridiculous pretexts: wearing spectacles, knowing how to read or how to open the door of a car, even for having a white mark on the wrist (a sign of having worn a watch). For the Khmer Rouge, these were all signs that the person concerned belonged to a rich, dictatorial class.
It was common to see a man whose face was pale, trembling with fear, being paraded through the village with his hands bound behind the back, guarded on either side by Khmer Rouge cadre carrying large machetes. It was terrifying: everyone knew that they were going to decapitate this man. The scene served its purpose of warning us that the Khmer Rouge wielded absolute power. We lived from one day to the next. We had no idea what might happen to us in the night or on the following day.
Read it all. :(
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MK said...

it's saddening to see how evil ideology can be.

Claudia said...

But there are people who don't learn. They keep on supporting ideologies that try to anhilate others...

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