History Of The Cambodian Genocide

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YEAR 10 ELECTIVE HISTORY: GENOCIDE

PART A
The Cambodian Genocide refers to Khmer Rouge Party Leader, Pol Pot’s, attempt to nationalize and centralize the peasant farming society of Cambodia, in accordance with the principles of Maoism, Stalinism, and the Chinese Communist agricultural model. All those who refused to conform, along with any traditional aspects of Cambodian society, were eliminated. The genocide rampaged from 1975 to 1979, claiming the lives of 25% of the country’s population through torture, mass relocation, executions, forced labour, malnutrition and disease.
The start of the Cambodian genocide can be traced back to 1962, where Pol Pot gradually formed an armed resistance movement known as the Khmer Rogue, and engaged
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Those who refused to vacate their towns, were slaughtered, as were those who were physically unable to do so. The Khmer Rogue also began to implement their radical Maoist and Marxist ideologies, with their ultimate goal being to transform Cambodia into a rural, classless society with no gap in wealth or status. Essentially all foreign influence, and any traces of traditional Cambodian culture were abolished and erased from history. All political and social rights were neglected, with families being torn apart and intentionally sent to separate labour camps. Infrastructure was dissolved, and professionals in any field, were murdered in addition to their family. Religion was suppressed, and all temples and religious structures demolished. The Khmer Rogue were so antagonistic towards traditional and foreign influences, that it was possible for someone to be shot simply for knowing a foreign language, or displaying outward expressions of emotion such as laughing. Their indifference towards the lives of others is shown in one of their popular slogans “To spare you is no profit, to destroy is no loss.”
Cambodians who survived the purges and marches were subjected to unpaid labour, working on minimum rations for endless hours. They were forced to live in public communes, similar to military barracks, with constant food shortages and rampant disease. Due to the inhumane conditions of slave labour, starvation, physical injury, and illnesses, many
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