Archive for the ‘khmer rouge’ Category

Surviving Cambodia

Posted: April 15, 2012 in cambodia, khmer rouge

The book I read to research this post was Surviving Cambodia by Bun T Lim which is one of the best books I have ever read & which I bought from Kindle. In the 70’s the Khmer Rouge or Red cambodians took over Cambodia. They were eventually driven into the jungle by an invasion by the North Vietnamese Army. The Khmer Rouge under Pol Pot & his brainwashed henchmen murdered millions of Cambodians. They singled out people who were educated & then anyone who irritated them. People who were uneducated were less likely to see through them. Often anyone who complained about the work or conditions was tortured & then murdered gruesomely. There favourite way of killing someone was to tie them to a tree & then smash their head in with a rifle butt. They were real sadists who enjoyed making life unpleasant for Cambodian civilians. They ran concentration camps throughout Cambodia which worked & starved people to death. This book is about Bun’s experiences under the Khmer Rouge & how he fled first to Thailand & then the USA with some of his family. One disturbing story concerned how he was returning to his accommodation from working on the paddy fields on an ox cart. It was late at night & all of a sudden they heard a baby crying even though there was no baby to be seen. The ox must have seen something that they couldn’t see because it took fright. Often animals can see things like spirits. Anyway they thought the crying was the ghost of a baby that had been tortured & murdered by the Khmer Rouge. They were terrified but had to be careful not to let the Khmer Rouge know because they were such sadists they would have tried to torment them by sending them on that route late at night regularly. Bun’s father & uncle were murdered by the Khmer Rouge. At the beginning they made them leave their houses & wouldn’t let them pack. They drove them out of Pnomh Phengh on foot into the wilderness & many people were either murdered or died of starvation & were left to rot by the roadside. They were then forced to work on things like the paddy fields. If someone got ill there was a good chance they would be murdered. If someone crossed them they wouldn’t just torture & murder them but the whole family would suffer the same fate.