A Short History
1953- Cambodia gained their independence from France. King Sihanouk becomes the ruler.
1960- The Communist Party of Kampuchea is formed and is nicknamed the Khmer Rouge.
1963- The Khmer Rouge begins a rebellion against Sihanouk's rule. Pol Pot is the party's leader.
1965- Sihanouk allows North Vietnamese to set up bases in Cambodia, and cuts ties with the US.
1970- Lon Nol overthrows Sihanouk and fights against the North Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge fighters.
1975- Coined the phrase "Year Zero." The Khmer Rouge overthrows Lon Nol and takes over Phnom Penh, forcing everyone into the countryside. All basic freedoms are taken away. Citizens must work in agriculture and children are brainwashed. They are told education and intelligence is an enemy, and to report anti-communist parents.
1976- They rename the country Democratic Kampuchea and the leaders devise a four-year plan where Cambodians must work all day in the rice fields.
They are given very little food and many starve.
1977- The Angka are the leaders of Cambodia, and their identities remain a secret until Pol Pot introduces himself as the leader. He soon orders that all those against communism be killed, and all Cambodia citizens are at risk. Fighting against the Vietnamese begins.
1978- Vietnamese forces invade.
1979- The Vietnamese take over Phnom Penh and the Khmer Rouge regime falls. Old ways of life begin to be reestablished.
This video features a survivor's story of the Cambodian Genocide. Her story compares to Loung Ung's First They Killed My Father with her stories of lying to stay alive, sickness, and starvation. Her account differs from "Swimming in Cambodia" because she actually experienced the Khmer Rouge and the hardships, unlike Spalding Gray.