The massacre of more than six million Jews by Hitler was the largest massacre we have seen in recent history. There are several genocides in history. The 1994 genocide in Rwanda was also a major genocide.
It is estimated that nearly two-thirds of the country’s population was killed. The killings were sparked by a war between the Hutu and Tutsi tribes. Also, many people were killed in the 1961 communal conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The massacre of the Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot, who came to power in Cambodia in 1975, can be cited as another instance in which nearly a quarter of the country’s population died. There are a large number of deaths due to direct killing processes as well as epidemics, famine, and various diseases.
Although they held power in Cambodia for only a short time, the damage done was enormous. The victims were Cambodians, Vietnamese, Muslims, and several ethnic minorities. Many more died of famine and pestilence. The number of victims is close to two million.
This article brings you some of the most famous pictures of the Khmer Rouge massacre, led by Pol Pot, who came to power in Cambodia in 1975.
Khmer Rouge troops occupy the city of Phnom Penh
Saloth Sar, also known as Pol Pot, left for France in 1948 to pursue higher education. There he studied Marxism, using his eloquence and charisma to gather people around him. Returning to Cambodia from France in 1953, he and his colleagues joined the Cambodian Communist Party, and in 1963 Pol Pot became its General Secretary. In 1966, Pol Pot secretly started an armed group called the Khmer Rouge with his followers. The unpopular rule of King Norodom Sihanouk, who was currently ruling the country, and the US airstrikes on Cambodia caused by the Vietnam War were confusing people’s lives. Taking advantage of this opportunity, in 1970, with US support, Prime Minister General Lon Nol overthrew the king and seized power. But the political instability in the country continued.
In April 1975, the Khmer Rouge overthrew Nol’s government in a coup and seized power. The photo above shows the Khmer Rouge troops entering Phnom Penh. There, the people cheered and greeted Pol Pot’s army, and shortly after that, they never expected to die prematurely at the hands of this army.
Evacuation of people from cities
The main goal of the Khmer Rouge, which rejected industrialization while abolishing the use of money, was to boost the country’s economy through agriculture. To this end, the Khmer Rouge government took steps to establish large-scale agricultural farms in rural areas. Khmer Rouge troops were threatening to evacuate all townspeople from cities, including Pompeii, and transported them all to farms in remote areas. The picture taken at that time.
Khmer Rouge child soldiers
They were plotting to assassinate university lecturers, business people, journalists, and various graduates on the suspicion that they will seek to oppose the Khmer Rouge government. Child soldiers were often involved in killings and tortured of prisoners. The crimes committed by the child Khmer Rouge soldiers are said to be unbearable for their age.
Examination of the remains of many Khmer Rouge farms in 1985 checked and recovered. This photo shows the skull of a man who was blindfolded before the murder.
Over the country, there were more than 150 execution centers, Tuol Sleng was the most brutal, which was a school then a plant of death. Locked inside Tuol Sleng walls, around 20,000 people never saw the sun, only 7 were lucky.
The killing fields halted when the Vietnamese attacked Cambodia in 1979 and stopped the Khmer Rouge. As the Vietnamese walked through Cambodia, they discovered spots like Tuol Sleng. They revealed mass graves loaded with a large number of humans remains who never spoke a word.