Saturday, July 15, 2006

Another "We Must Not Forget"

I remember when Pol Pot fell from power there were pictures of his genocide in National Geographic and I nearly cried over the horror of the scenes of starving people and stacks of dead bodies and could not believe it happened in my lifetime.

In terms of the percentage of the population killed, there were few internally generated genocides as bad as the Cambodians under Pol Pot. Out of a population of 8 million, he killed 2 million or one quarter of his own population. Two different sources are saying that the Cambodians seem to be forgetting this. The above document is two years old and said that they were forming a tribunal to try the surviving perpetrators of the genocide, of which little is further said.

Furthermore an interview with Cambodian teenagers reveals that they are not taught enough about the genocide, and at least one of the kids fears a repeat.

I think the German people sometimes overdo it with national guilt over the Holocaust (only a tiny sliver of the current German population was alive when it happened and I strongly believe that no one should be held responsible for the crimes of their ancestors, especially the ones commited before they were born!) but at least the German government has taken steps to reduce the likelihood of a second Holocaust.

Cambodia needs to put up museums and memorials which would be visited by as many school children as the economics and logistics allow. Each community should have a monument, even if it's just a painted wall with the name of every townsperson killed, directly or indirectly, by Pol Pot's murderous regime.

Pol Pot's name needs to be "elevated" to the level of Hitler, Stalin and Osama. This is a history that must be remembered and never repeated.

Update: 11:13 If you view the video in the above link be sure to take a look at the next video, (The Killing Field) which is a visit to one of the monuments they do have. It is shocking.

4 Comments:

Blogger AB5SY said...

In 1988, I made about 200 copies on VHS of 'The Killing Fields" and gave them away free to the Children of families that had relocated to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area when the U.S. pullout of Vietnam. I agree those left behind in Country and those who wre lucky enough to relocate, should never forgot this historical horror story. If it is forgotten, it will be repeated.......but we already see it, Africa, former Soviet Nations, South America...

12:54 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

Sadly, it will be repeated time and again, remember it or not. It's happening now in Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan, North Korea and Gaza. When can we forget all this talk of fighting and dying with honor and figure out how to live like human beings?

2:43 PM  
Blogger ABFreedom said...

As long as there is individuals striving for ultimate power and authority we will continue to have these situations.

8:57 PM  
Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said...

Wow!!! An excellent, educational post! I learned a lot from this. Sadly, I knew very little about this chapter in history so I took the time to read all your links. The importance of knowing history is so we don't repeat the sins of the past.

10:50 PM  

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