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Genocide and the Holocaust (October 2023): Cambodia, 1975–1979

By Claudene Sproles

Cambodia, 1975–1979

Under the leadership of dictator Pol Pot, the Khmer Rouge, the popular name for the Communist Party of Kampuchea in present-day Cambodia, engaged in mass exterminations of its own populace in an effort to create an egalitarian, agrarian society. Anyone seen as even remotely in opposition to the regime’s goals was targeted. Victims included intellectuals, politicians, religious groups, ethnic groups, the educated, and even people wearing glasses. Experts have estimated the final death toll to be between 1.5 and two million Cambodian citizens, or roughly twenty percent of all citizens.8 A complete history of the Cambodian genocide can be found in Ben Kiernan’s The Pol Pot Regime.

8. USC Shoah Foundation, “Cambodian Genocide,”, accessed June 20, 2023.

Works Cited