Due to the social differences, economic depression and military decline in Cambodia during the mid 1900s, Pol Pot along with his communist political party, the Khmer Rouge, were able to take power and force their ideals on the people of Cambodia through forced labor, genocide, and torture until their flaws led to their overall demise. In order to fully understand the horror which went on in Cambodia under the reign of Pol Pot, one must know about Cambodia before Pol Pot's rise to power, and the genocide which took place. The reign of Pot is still known in Cambodia to be one of the darkest times in their country's history because of the number of the victims claimed during the reign.
During the early 1900s, Cambodia was in a state of ruin, due to being tangled up in four wars which destroyed land, buildings, and people's sense of security. Various political parties were attempting to take power, and infrastructure was extremely limited owing to the constant military raids. Cambodia was in the middle of a civil war for human rights, and bordering countries of Cambodia were attempting to take over the weakening country. It was at this time Pol Pot created his own communist political party known as the Khmer Rouge. Pol Pot, or Saloth Sar, as he was known to his peers, was born in Cambodia during the Second World War. He was born into the lowest class of Cambodia composed of factory workers, farmers, and peasants.
Pot learned at a young age that the upper class was treated better and did much less work than the farmers who slaved over their land. This revelation was one which stayed with Pot during his later years as a communist leader. The lower class in Cambodia was extremely oppressed, and they lived in poverty with little sanitation, food, or money. Interestingly enough, even though Pot was born into a peasant family with little money, he was still given schooling in a private government run school which was rare for his social class. He was even lucky enough to be given a government appointed scholarship to the University of Paris for his exceptional studies in school once he had reached college level. It was here in Paris were Pol Pot began to learn about revolution, and how the First World countries lived.
[...] He told the children in charge to find any of these people, and to kill them or send them off to a torture center for interrogation. The children were to ask the workers who could read or write, and tell them that they were not supposed to be in the centers, that the camps were only made for the farmers and the educated would be released. The unsuspecting Cambodian educated fell right into the trap set out for them, because after they stood up or responded to the statement they would be taken off away from the rest of the workers and shot. [...]
[...] According to a report, Pol Pot stated that is better to kill an innocent by mistake, than to spare an enemy by mistake.” (Pot, Daily Mail) Over the course of the entire genocide which went on in Cambodia, it is reported that over two million people died, almost one seventh of the population of Cambodia at that time.” (Short, 113). The genocide in Cambodia will be known forever as the worst genocide of the Cambodian people of all time. Some say that an entire generation of Cambodia was lost during the genocide and that the amount of death is still unknown. [...]
[...] It was here in Paris were Pol Pot began to learn about revolution, and how the first world countries lived. In an interview which BBC produced in 2007 which questioned Pol Pot, Pot states, was given 100 francs to spend annually. I spent the money on books such as ‘L'revolution Francais' which taught me that even treatment is fair.” (Pol Pot, BBC) Pol Pot taught himself that there was a need for justice in the world, and it must be achieved in whatever way possible. [...]
[...] It was said that here, back in Cambodia, that Pol Pot began to formulate his plans of a communist regime which would be under his control. Every day as a teacher Pot saw the abuses against children, and how the lower class was abused. To fight this, Pot joined a group known as the Khieu Ponnary were he quickly rose in the ranks. The Ponnary was a political group made up of educated Cambodians whose goal was to infiltrate the government and help the peasants of Cambodia be treated equally to the upper class. [...]
[...] Once the Khmer Rouge became well known by the people of Cambodia, Pol Pot realized it was time for the group to take more power. In the late 1960s an election was held in which the Khmer Rouge party was on the ballot, but to the surprise of many party members the group lost to the Khmer Republic party. What Pot had failed to realize was the lack of knowledge that the peasant he helped had on the elections which were held. [...]
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