Khmer Rouge

On April 17th, 1975, The Khmer Rouge (a communist group led by Pol Pot), took over power in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. They forced all of the villagers into the countryside to labor camps. During Pol Pot's reign there are an estimated 2 million dead because of starvation, torture or execution.
Pol Pot declared the year to be zero. He began a radical program to create an idealized agrarian communist society. He crushed all social institutions like banking, religion, all stores, hospitals and schools. Intellectuals and anyone else seen as standing in the way of their new social order was killed on the spot, and from the many who did escape execution usually died from overwork and starvation. Everyone had to work anywhere from 12-14 hours a day, 7 days a week. Children were seperated from their parents to work in either mobile groups or as soldiers. All of the people were only fed one watery bowl of soup with a little bit of rice in it. The Khmer Rouge killed people if they did not like them, if the they did not work hard enough according to their standards , if they were educated, if they came from a different ethnic group or if they showed any kind of sympathy when they were taken away from their family, or if their family was taken away from them to be killed. All the people had to pledge allegiance to Angka, (the Khmer Rouge Government). Their campaign was based on proposing total fear and keeping the people of Cambodia off balance.
Once the Vietnamese invaded and released the Cambodian people 600,000 of them went to Thailand border camps. Ten million land mines were left in the ground though, one for every person of Cambodia. The United Nations then installed the largest peacekeeping mission in the world in Cambodia to make sure there were fair elections. Cambodia was ruined by the Khmer Rouge years. Pol Pot really did turn it back into year zero, and up to

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