Khmer Rouge, a communist regime, led by Pol Pot, was the cause of
nearly two million deaths in Cambodia between 1975 and 1979. On
April 17, 1975 the Khmer Rouge soldiers marched into Phnom Penh
(the capital of Cambodia) and proudly established their new form
of government. In the four years they were in control, they managed
to convince all urban residents to trek the long and excruciating
journey to the countryside where most met their deaths, including
children. Those that did survive, however, wished they had died
during the journey rather than suffering under the crucial conditions
of the Khmer Rouge inflicted upon them. The Cambodian people were
forced to leave the city in a false pretense they were leaving for
something better. They couldn’t be farther form the truth.
They left their comfortable dwellings only to be placed in communal
huts with as many as four families in one cubicle. Everyone had
a job in these “camps,” most worked in rice fields for
over 13 hours only to be feed thin rice gruel later in the evening.
If you didn’t starve to death in these camps then you were
personally killed by one of the Khmer soldiers. These major human
injustices have been overlooked over the years. Most educational
curriculums these days require students to learn about the Holocaust
or the mass killings in Rwanda, but they don’t even touch
on the subject of the mass genocide that occurred in Cambodia nearly
thirty years ago.