Death in Cambodia:Khmer Rouge Podcast
Khmer Rouge - 1975-1979
A radical communist movement that left a bloody genocide.
If you are looking for a Khmer Rouge podcast, you have come to the right place. The Khmer Rouge or Cambodian Genocide was a Communist guerrilla movement from 1975-1979. The word "Khmer" means Cambodian and the word "Rouge" means red. Together. this meant the Cambodian Red Party. Initially the party started in remote areas of the country, drawing very little attention. But as political turmoil grew, so did the members of the Khmer Rouge party. The leader of this revolution was named Pol Pot who believed that the country needed a societal "cleansing". This meant a destruction of the higher class, westernized concepts and objects, and a push for communal self-sufficient living towards a revolutionary utopia.
In 1975, also known as Year Zero, Khmer Rouge soldiers forced families and children out of cities, and into the countryside to be overworked in rice plantation labor camps with little food and water. The purpose was to follow the 4-Year Plan, which forced the entire country to produce rice at an astronomical and impossible scale. People were overworked, starved to death, tortured, raped, or killed for no reason under the Khmer Rouge regime. Many government buildings, schools and temples were converted to torture sites, the most famous being S-21 Tuol Sleng. Fields of dead corpses were known as "The Killing Fields".
In 4 years, over 2 million Cambodians were systematically killed which is over 25% of the country's population. It wasn't until 1979, that the Vietnamese invaded and the UN got involved that allowed the remaining survivors to escape the country, and find refuge in France, Australia, or the United States.
Today, the majority of Cambodians residing in the United States are survivors from the 1970's Khmer Rouge.
Listen to Death in Cambodia: Khmer Rouge Podcast
I created the Death in Cambodia, Life in America Podcast to share an in-depth first hand account on what happened during the Khmer Rouge, and to give my father a platform to heal his trauma. This is the first podcast that documents the Khmer Rouge and refugee experience in this way. Through this series of interviews, Robert travels back for the first time in over 50 years and allows himself to be vulnerable. Where there is vulnerability, there is healing.
Robert no longer has nightmares about his past in Cambodia.