Yem Yon is a 57 year old widow who is living in Daun Sor, a village
outside of Phnom Penh. When the Khmer Rouge took over, Yem and her
family was forced to do labor work in the country side. Yem says,
“I was seven months pregnant and treated like a slave.”
She added, “my boys were sick and forced to work. It killed
them. My husband went to beg for some rice and they used the plate
to beat him over the head.”
Her husband later disappeared,
and all of her kids died off one by one from over work and sickness.
Their bodies were put in holes with other corpses and some were
even thrown away like they were nothing. All this suffering was
inflicted upon them because of her husband working for a customs
official in the time before the Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia.
Faulder, Dominic. " Special Report: Indochina: In the years
of Dying: Human Bones bear mute-testimony to Pol Pot's Cambodia;
Here Survivors give their accounts. Asian Week. (April 7, 2002):
p ASWK10449687. (Expanded Academic Index).
Sophea Mouth was 12 years old when the
Khmer Rouge seized control of Cambodia. Many of her family members
were killed during the reign of the Khmer Rouge. Sophea recalled
that her uncle and his family, including his pregnant wife were
slaughtered in cold blood. The Khmer Rouge fighter shot her mom
along with killing another one of her uncles.
Sophea lived in Battambang,
Cambodia’s second largest city. After the Khmer entered, they
forced everyone in the city to evacuate. When they left, Sophea
and her family only managed to take a little bit of food for the
In the country side, Sophea
was exposed to many horrible sights. She witnessed truck loads of
people getting butchered by the Khmer Rouge soldiers with machine
guns. These bodies were dumped into bomb craters and left to rot
in the tropical country side of Cambodia.
The stench of these corpses
reached Sophea and her family every time the wind blew by, carrying
the foul odor of rotting bodies. The unbearable smell of the corpses
was so bad that it made them vomit when ever they were eating.
Source: Mouth, Sophea."
Memoirs of a Survivor" The Progressive. v61 n9 (September 1997):