Children of Cambodia's Killing Fields: Memoirs by Survivors (Southeast Asia Studies)

Children of Cambodia's Killing Fields: Memoirs by Survivors (Southeast Asia Studies)

Dith Pran, Kim DePaul, Ben Kiernan

Language: English

Pages: 221


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This extraordinary book contains eyewitness accounts of life in Cambodia during Pol Pot's genocidal Khmer Rouge regime from 1975 to 1979, accounts written by survivors who were children at the time. The book has been put together by Dith Pran, whose own experiences in Cambodia were so graphically portrayed in the film The Killing Fields.

The testimonies related here bear poignant witness to the slaughter the Khmer Rouge inflicted on the Cambodian people. The contributors -- most of them now in the United States and pictured in photographs that accompany their stories -- report on life in Democratic Kampuchea as seen through children's eyes. They speak of their bewilderment and pain as Khmer Rouge cadres tore their families apart, subjected them to harsh brainwashing, drove them from their homes to work in forced-labor camps, and executed captives in front of them. Their stories tell of suffering and the loss of innocence, the struggle to survive against all odds, and the ultimate triumph of the human spirit.

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particular aromas and scenes of Cambodia before it turned into the horrid domain of the devil. In Cambodia I saw enough hell to last a lifetime. We were summoned by Khmer Rouge soldiers (whom VIBOLRETH BOU the world considers a Communist group but my mother calls "Maoist killers"). One of these devils stood u p in front of us and shouted in a loud voice. He became so excited as he gestured with his arms and hands and as he walked back and forth. When he would spit out a word, a vein in his

really hard in the fields but they didn't get enough food to survive. All the crops that they grew were sent to China. Sometimes I was out of rations, so I had to go out and steal all kinds of vegetables and fruit, such as potatoes, papayas, pumpkins, and watermelons. They were planted at the place where many people were buried in shallow graves. I went out almost every night to steal with my friends. I remember one rainy night when all the people around me were sleeping, and I asked one of my

marvelous than ever. As a nine-year-old, I believed this was the truth. There was going to be a future, if not democratic (I don't think I knew the meaning of that word), then one of tremendous prosperity. Our labors continued all day, every day We worked from sunrise until sunset, breaking only to eat. Our two daily meals consisted mostly of one watery cup of rice porridge. The lands, the forests, the villages after liberation become lively landscapes With laughter everywhere. People are

rice seedlings to transplant in the field. I didn't know my cousin was being beaten and killed. I thought it was somebody else. After he was killed with the bamboo stick, one of my friends came up and whispered, "Arn, do you know what happened to your cousin?" I said I didn't know. "Arn, if I tell you, don't get surprised, okay?" He told me that the man they put on the dike who was hit and died was my cousin. I said, "What? The man with the bloody body on the dike, he was my cousin?" He answered,

a farm dike by the tall grass, Suot and I tried to go back home to find out what was going on. We didn't walk along the farm dikes because we believed that the Khmer Rouge might see us. Instead, we walked along the mountainside. As we approached our section and were ready to cross the street, I heard a truck coming from the south. By that time Suot was about fifteen meters ahead of me, close to the street. I stopped and hid myself behind a sugarcane bush. My eyes were opened wide, staring toward

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