OlesiastockholdResistance

OlesiastockholdResistance - Dith Pran and the Killing...

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Dith Pran and the Killing Fields of Cambodia
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au·to·gen·o·cide [ àwtō jénn s d ] noun Definition: killing of fellow citizens: the extermination of people by members of their own society –MSN Encarta 2009 When I hear the term genocide, I immediately think of the Jewish Holocaust. I think of Hitler and his Nazi Party, Anti-Semitism, racial profiling, and the beauty of diversity being torn into pieces. The term genocide does not refer to racism alone. In 1975, millions of Cambodians were led into concentration camps by their own kind. They had no idea that this could happen to them. They could not be sure who to trust or why they were being killed. They had no chance of survival. This was a genocide that grew out of psychotic behavior. An “alien” force that swept through a nation of beautiful, joyful people who smiled even when times were tough, and remained neutral throughout the war in Vietnam. Within this nation, there was a man named Dith Pran. Dith Pran understood the evil, fought against the evil, saved his friends from being murdered by the evil, and lived to tell his story to the world so that we can fight to prevent this evil from rearing it’s head ever again. While doing research on the subject of Dith Pran and the Cambodian Genocide, I was haunted by a nightmare. Images of the “Killing Fields,” the march of the citizens being led to their deaths, the faces of the dead started back at me from the photos that are hung in the former high school, turned torture and death camp, S-21, suddenly I was there in the fields and could not get out. When I woke up, the question I asked over and over was, did this really happen? This answer to that question chills me to the bone. I am lucky because I got to wake up from the nightmare. 2
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History Surrounding the Genocide The Cambodian genocide was and is one of the most horrific acts of human injustice and disrespect for human life that the 20 th century, and the world’s history have ever seen. This was not a genocide based on another country’s hatred of Cambodia, and not a question of battling ideologies within a country. This is an event that had no valid logical explanation except to be the work of pure evil and psychotic behaviors. Cambodia is a tiny country about the size of Missouri 1 that borders Thailand to the West and Northwest, Vietnam to its East and South East, Laos to the northeast and the gulf of Thailand to the south. 1 The country depends on its agriculture, as it’s main economic source. The capital of Cambodia (or Khmer) is Phenm Pehn, and today the population boasts about 14,000,000.1 Besides the majority being Buddhist, the nation has a Vietnamese, Muslim and Chinese smaller population. The French controlled Cambodia as part of French Indochina up until 1953 when they gained their independence.1 The leader of the nation was Prince Noordom Sihanouk who took over in 1960. The Cambodian government opted to remain neutral to the Vietnam War and other politics, but could not stay that way for very long. The US supported General Lon Noi to take Sihanouk
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This note was uploaded on 02/17/2010 for the course HIST 2 taught by Professor Heideman,a during the Summer '09 term at Front Range Community College.

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OlesiastockholdResistance - Dith Pran and the Killing...

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