Pol Pot: The Man Behind the Khmer Rouge
Two things before we get started today one, there are weird pronunciations. In this one I'm looking, them up when I can I have a laptop right here sometimes, it doesn't exist sometimes there just aren't the pronunciations, available, I'm doing, my best but have a go me in the comments if you want second, thing this video is brought to you by Squarespace. Whether, you need a domain, website or online store make it with Squarespace, check out Squarespace, comm for a free, trial, find. A link below alright. So for three years and eight months Pol, Pot ruled over Cambodia with an iron fist the, legacy that he left is, horrific millions. Of families were torn apart hundreds, of thousands, were terribly tortured, and. 1.7. Million, of his own people were. Put to death so, how, did, it end this way well, in this week's biographic, s-- we attempt to seek answers as we, delve into the, life of Pol, Pot. The. Man knew the world would come to know his Pol Pot was borned, Saloth, SAR on, January the 25th 1925, in. The small village of prax, above in Cambodia, his was a peasant family and from an early age he found himself working long hours in the rice fields, the Salaf clan were better, off than many being landowners. Who worked their own rice fields, Tsar's father loth owns nine hectares, and would employ local, workers at harvest time his, mother sock nem was a devoutly, religious, woman who brought up her children as Theravada. Buddhists, saw was the second, to youngest of nine children, however three, of them died early according to his brother nap, Tsar was a considerate. Kind and hardworking, child, during, the day he and his brothers would work in the fields then play in the rivers and on the outskirts of the jungle in the evening they would gather around an open fire and sing the teachings, and histories, of a local religious leader for, the vast majority of rural Cambodians, life revolved, around the rice fields, in the village if you ever traveled, beyond the borders, of their birthplace, however, loft wanted his sons to experience. More from life so when he was six tsar and his older brother were sent to the cambodian, capital, but on pen loth, had a cousin by the name of meek who was employed as a consort, to the king of Cambodians, the boys were sent to live with him no longer considered, as peasants Tsar, and his brother were now among the privileged as such they were educated, by the French colonial rulers, in a school where the teaching was done in the French language Tsar studied a French literature, and history filling, his head with the events, of the 1789, French Revolution, and the reign of terror that followed under the orchestration. Of maximilien, robespierre, former, schoolmates rather that saw was a quiet introspective, young, man who kept his thoughts to himself he, was an average student at best apparently, being held, back two years most. Of his classmates were the children of French officials, or Catholic, Vietnamese, Cambodia. Was officially. A monarchy, but the king he, ruled in name, only with, the real power lying with the French colonial government, at this time the French were tied up in a bitter struggle to hold on to their power in, neighboring Vietnam there, the communist army under Ho Chi Minh, was leading, the struggle for independence, the, Vietnamese revolutionaries. Had started, to Train small groups of Cambodians, and infused them with the desire for independence from. This European rule this, was a movement that was spreading, throughout, all, of Indochina. At this time. At. The age of 20 Sur traveled, with some friends on a pilgrimage to the famous, temples at Angkor Wat this, site was the rallying, point for Cambodian. Nationalistic. Pride the, trip left a lasting impression on the young man in 1977. He stated if our people could build an co-wash they could do anything. We must revive, on national, soul and pride in order to defend the nation builds, the country well and preserve, it forever the, trip marked the awakening. Of SARS political, consciousness and his drive for independence, in 1947. He passed the exams and gained entrance, into the CC, sawara Secondary. College and pnom pen the, following, year he failed the entry exam into, the upper classes and he had to leave the school with, his academic career seemingly, at a standstill he began to study carpentry, then in 1949, he won a scholarship to study at an elite engineering, school in Paris. For. The first few months he indulged, in the excesses that Parisian, social life had to offer but things, changed, when he came into contact with some fellow Cambodians. Who had views that built upon the spark of nationalist, pride that, had been ignited at, ankor wat the, great began meeting at Tsar's apartment, and discussions, soon led to the formation of two groups one, who advocated, working peacefully towards, independence, from the French and the other who were in favor of armed, resistance from.
The Very start Saab, was in the latter camp he and his like-minded, friends they pointed, to other countries around the world where, armed, overthrow was, working, and they. Noticed they all had one thing in common the, rebels were all communists. There, was a vibrant, communist, movement in Paris at the time and sirens those of his group who worked for armed rebellion, began attending, meetings saw, began studying, the teachings of Karl Marx but found them difficult to understand. However, he readily, cottoned, on to the writings of Joseph Stalin and became a lifelong, advocate of, Stalinism, with his emphasis on, rapid. Industrialization. Totalitarian. Government and the cult of personality in, 1951. He joined the Communist Party and by the time that he returned to Cambodia in, 1953. He had committed himself to the cause of the Cambodian Revolution. Once back on Cambodian, soil sir journeyed, north to join up with cambodian, forces who had attached themselves to the Vietnamese, communists, in their fight for independence from the French he, now lived, in the jungle as a prospective. Guerrilla fighter but first he, had to do an apprenticeship. For, the first few months its duties consisted, of maintaining, the group's vegetable, patch he later recalled most, everyone, there was Vietnamese there were very few Cambodians. For, a long time there was nothing, for me to do after, a while they let me work in the kitchen but really, the Cambodians. Were there in name only. Victory. Was achieved by, Vietnamese, communists, in 1953. Following the French disaster. At the Battle of Dien Bien Phu the French pulled out of not a severe Nam but Cambodia. Also however the new nationalist, Cambodian, government was, headed, not by a communist, by, the King Norodom, Sihanouk, still. The top third of Cambodia, was under the control of Viet, Minh, sarens other local communists, urged the Viet Minh to continue, pushing south until the entire country, was communist, but the leadership of the Viet Minh resisted. Their surgeons, a truce, was arranged with the king sir, now return to / phnom penh where he continued, to work for the political Underground's his day job was as a school teacher where, he taught history by, night however he worked to establish contacts. With every strata of society from, intellectuals. To peasants, in order to garner, support for the coming communist, revolution, around, this time sir met the man who would become his closest, political associate, and second-in-command. Nuan, chair chair, later recalled, that sir had an innate ability to, charm people and bring, them into the party having the ability to explain things in a way that simple. People were able to understand, sir, also met up with a revolutionary, students, who he had worked with in Paris by the name of King, van sack together, they worked on plans for the country's first free and open, political elections, sir, winter vans ax house for breakfast every morning to work on their party's manifesto however. Their work did not come to fruition king sia nukid, renounced, his throne and formed his own political party, the sangkum he threw his hat into the 1955, general, election, and won becoming, Cambodia's, new prime minister see anouk had achieved this victory though, by throwing his political rivals, into prison for serb the sham election, marked the end of any hopes, he may have had for a democratic.
Means To bring about change in his country he confirmed his commitment to violent overthrow and threw himself towards. Working toward that goal in july of nineteen, fifty-six sir married a fellow communist party member by the name of coupon, re like sir she had been educated in france and was equally committed to the revolutionary. Cause they, soon became the power couple of the under, and communist, movement. Life. Was increasingly. Dangerous, for the Communists, under the rule of C Anouk he had outlawed the Communist Party and given, them a new name the Khaimah Rouge the, pace of imprisonments, killings and general, terror was stepped, up as the Prime Minister sought, to stamp out any and all opposition to his rule the Communist Party secretary a close friend of Sir was taken, to the outskirts have been on pen and killed, is during, this climate of fear that sir accepted. The leadership of the Khmer Rouge it, was constantly, followed by the police who knew, who he was but not his position in the party by, 1963, things had gotten too hot for sir in the capital city and he left to dwell in the jungle in the north here he was taken in by the Viet Minh who had set up camps on the Vietnam Cambodia border, they were now focused on a new enemy within their country that's of course the United States from, there Cambodian, bases they would regularly, travel into Vietnam to make lightning strikes before retreating, back over the border in response, the Americans, dropped hundreds, of thousands, of tons of bombs in North Cambodia, in an attempt, to kill, the Viet Minh in the process they killed over the course of the war nearly, a hundred, and fifty thousand, Cambodians, the American bombing had the effect of drawing more and more people to the Chi LaRue's and, soon served, no longer had to rely only on the Viet Minh he, now had his own guerrilla camps stretched out along the border and he himself he had transformed, himself in the mould of his hero Joseph Stalin he, was the unquestioned. Party leader and he now went by the name Pol Pot he, lived apart from the rank-and-file, of his army and only allowed a select few the privilege of having an audience with him Paul believed that the lifeblood, of his revolutionary, forces would come from the peasantry, but he also believed that they needed to be molded so their sole allegiance.
Was To the party new, recruits would undergo, an intense period of initiation, where, they would be locked in a Cell until they were proven to be obedient Paul, instead uses a rigid, disciplinary, structure, which included, group meetings where members, had to confess their weaknesses, and seek, forgiveness. In. 1970. Prime Minister C Anouk was overthrown, by a military dictatorship he, escaped to the north and sought to establish an alliance with his former enemy the Khmer Rouge bolstered. By the supporters, of C Anouk the Khmer Rouge numbers rose by, 64,000. By the spring of 1964. Many, of them were now armed with Chinese, supplied rifles, Pol Pot's army had gradually, filtered, down from the border area and now controlled, two-thirds. Of Cambodia by, December of 1974, Pol felt in a strong enough position to make an assault on the capital the crime Eruzione circle / Phnom Penh and began to close in those who could fled the city as the streets became war zones within, five days the military government was overpowered. And the, revolution was over April, the 17th 1975. Was, day zero in the life of a new Cambodia, Cambodia, was, now called Kampuchea. And it was under the control of its Stalinist, leader Pol. Pot now, just before we get into the really really dark part of this video Pol Pot's reign of terror I do want to thank today's sponsor I know ads in the middle of these videos are a little bit disruptive but these sorts of videos I think they're important, to make and they would be impossible without our sponsors, so I really, do hope in exchange for this long video about the life of Pol Pot you won't mind a quick word from the fantastic, Squarespace, if you've got an important message to share you can do it with Squarespace or maybe you like me and you need a place on the web for people to find you or maybe you're starting a new business and you need to set up a website for an online, presence, or a store well you should do all of that with Squarespace and with Squarespace it all starts, with a stunning, template, they really are super good looking or if you hate their beautiful templates I promise you're won't you, can start from scratch and make your own Squarespace make it all super-easy to make something that looks amazing, furthermore you can easily move over an existing, domain and if you've hosted websites anywhere else just, move over to Squarespace it's easy to do and then everything, after that point is just a lot easier with Squarespace there's, no patches, there's no updates, there's no tech crap that you have to deal with all the time no one likes any of that further Squarespace, does have 24/7, support before making this out I went on and I tried it to see if I could reach someone just randomly and, absolutely, could solid.
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And Enemies of the party he devised a great purge to weed, out those non conformists, a state, secret interrogation center, was set up to imprison, and torture those who were expected, of being traitors the, families of those arrested, would also be, taken to the prison and tortured. If a child was too young to be interrogated, it would be taken, away and simply, killed immediately any, adults who survived their torture, were taken, out to the killing fields, and beaten to death of. The 14 thousand prisoners who passed through the gates of the main interrogation, Center in Panem pen only seven, survived, many, of those killed were loyal, Khmer Rouge supporters, who, were falsely accused of treason Pol. Pot's had succeeded, in imposing his ruthless, iron-fisted, control within, the borders of Cambodia, but, there was a new threat to his regime just over the border the Vietnamese having seen off the Americans, now turned their attention on Cambodia. A border dispute threatened, to bring, these two countries to, war as, the tensions were rising Pollard of his latest purge right, on the border zone he suspected his defensive, forces in that area of colluding, with the Vietnamese after, being viciously interrogated. More than a hundred thousand, soldiers and party officials along, with their wives and, their children were. Executed, as a result of this wholesale, massacre of his own defense forces, po left his eastern border with Vietnam, opened to invasion and that invasion, came on Christmas, Day, 1978. Taking, just 13, days for the capital of the Phnom Penh to fall Pol Pot managed to slip away and escape into the Jang but at least his three-and-a-half year reign of terror was, over in total, it had cost the lives of nearly two million. People the, Khmer Rouge may, have been over at the party persisted. For nearly twenty years a remnant continued, to wage guerrilla, warfare from its jungle bases Pol Pot set up a base near the Thai border and rebuilt his military force with the aid of the Chinese, and Thai governments meanwhile, the Vietnamese had installed a new government made up of Khmer Rouge supporters, who had escaped Paul's purges. From. His base in the northern part of the country Paul gave occasional, interviews to reporters, in which he would invariably, accuse, those who opposed, him of being traitors in 1985. It was announced that he was retiring from, the leadership of the Khmer Rouge shortly. Thereafter the, Vietnamese clamped down on the Khmer Rouge moving into, their stronghold, and decimating, their bases Paul managed, to escape into Thailand where he remained for the next few years in, 1988. He went to China to undergo treatment for cancer the venom YZ withdrew, from Cambodia, in 1988. Prompting Paul to return from Thailand for the next eight years the, Khmer Rouge ran guerrilla, operations, against government forces in 1996. The government began engaging in peace negotiations. With individual. Khmer Rouge leaders leading, many of them to defect away from the organization, meanwhile, Pollard suffered a stroke and was paralyzed down the left side of his body but this didn't stop him from handing, out death sentences when. He heard that his longtime right-hand, man Sampson was negotiating. With the government he ordered his arrest and execution. Around this time 11 members of Paul's family were also killed though it is unclear whether he ordered those killings on June, the 19th 1997. Pol was arrested by the head of the Chi Minh military who had had enough of his murderous ways a show trial was conducted for the ordering of the execution, of sun-sin and Paul was confined to house arrest for the rest of his life. In. His. Final years Paul had become an avid listener to The Voice of America radio, show on the night of April the 17th 1998. He was surprised to hear that the Khaimah Rouge had agreed to hand him over to an international, tribunal for crimes against humanity later, that night he died him Abed Pol, Pot's body was requested, by the Cambodian, government for, inspection, however he was cremated by his followers before the government could get their hands on it this has led people to speculate, that he actually committed suicide rather, than being handed over to the court as a result neither he nor anyone, else has ever faced justice, for, the horror of Cambodia's.
Killing Fields so, I'm not going to ask whether you enjoyed that video but I do hope you found it informative and, maybe brought this part of history to light for you if you did like it please do give us a thumbs up below and don't forget to subscribe and hit that notification bell, if you do want to hear about our videos just hitting subscribe doesn't, do what it used to on YouTube so do, hit that Bell as well so you find out when we put out new videos and if you're looking for something else to watch right now why not check out some other bios linked to on the screen now and as, always thank. You for watching.