The Pol Pot Genocide which is also known as the Khmer Rouge Rebellion was a mass killing of people in Cambodia between the years 1975 to 1979. The killing was caused by a group of men called the Khmer Rouge who is led by a man called Pol Pot. The Khmer Rouge had come to power after they had overthrown the Nol Government which had been ruling at the time. The Khmer Rouges reasons for the massacre of millions was that they wanted to have an equal and pure race of Cambodian civilians. They believed that in order to do so, they must kill everyone who had any knowledge.
The first and most important cause of the Cambodian Genocide was because of communism. Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge were a communist party and saw that the city of Phnom Penh was a centre and heart of capitalism in Cambodia. Pol Pot had forced the urban city dwellers to move out into the country side where they would work as farmers and become peasants. Pol Pot wanted to create an agrarian society where there were no social classes which was very similar to China under the reign of Mao Zedong which he looked up to. This had also meant that people who had any form of education were unequal and would be eliminated as Pol Pot believed that those people would eventually build up an army and over throw the Khmer Rouge. Many of the city people who moved to the country after the rise of the Khmer Rouge had also been executed as they were seen as capitalists and therefore, opponents of the communists. Pol Pot had disregarded their occupation and their age and assumed that since they chose to live an urban area, they strongly supported capitalism. Thus, capitalism was one of the major causes of the Pol Pot Genocide.
Another cause of the Cambodian Genocide was because of Pol Pot’s idea of have a country full of Cambodian people. Pol pot believed Cambodia should be restored to its previous state where there were no other cultures or nationalities. He wanted to create an isolated country which only supported the Khmer regime. In order to achieve this goal, Pol Pot had executed thousands of people who were from other countries such as China or Vietnam, as well as people who spoke Khmer with a Chinese or Vietnamese accent, by placing them in labour camps where they were made to farm. They were slowly taken out of their camps and were shot individually. People who had also worshipped other religions were exterminated. Pol Pot had only allowed the worshipping of the Angkor and forced people in the camps to chant that the Angkor were superior. Pol Pot had killed all the religious people such as monks and priests and burnt down temples and churches. Thus, another cause of the Cambodian Genocide was because of Pol Pot wanting a whole country of pure Khmer people who worshipped the same religion.
Question 2 – Explain how the Cambodian Genocide affected the people involved at the time and how it has impacted the world we live in today.
The Cambodian Genocide lasted for 4 years between 1975 and 1979. The genocide had resulted in the death of between one to three million Cambodian people which is approximately one quarter of the population of Cambodia. The Cambodia genocide heavily impacted the people who endured the Cambodia genocide and the effects have also carried on into the modern world. Some of the short term effects which it had on the people during the time was that it has created a horrifying memory for the people who survived. The Genocide