I always wondered about that. I have been to Hiroshima plus it's a pretty city that is cool. Thanks for the info! I was just there a few months ago myself- while an city that is awesome the possible lack of historical ...
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- I always wondered about that. I've been to Hiroshima and it's a pretty cool city. Thanks for the info!
- I was just there a few months ago myself- while an awesome city, the lack of historical city landmarks (shrines, etc) was sadly noticeable to me compared with pretty much every other Japanese city I've been to 🙁 even Hiroshima castle is a recreation...
- It's shocking when that kind of observation/realization takes hold. I spent some time living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and it wasn't until I'd been there for a couple of weeks that it dawned on me that you hardly ever saw old people. And then I realized why...
- Read that and had the same revelation as you described it. Eye opening.
- Can you enlighten me? Idk anything about that
- In the 1970s a crazy guy named Pol Pot was the leader of a "communist" paramilitary regime called the Khmer Rouge, which "liberated" Phnom Penh and then enforced on the country several years of forced agrarianism while slaughtering pretty much anybody who was perceived to be among the 'elite'. A university education was pretty much a death sentence. They would round up people in the streets, and check their hands. If hey had "workers' hands" they were allowed to go "free" (which, of course, meant getting in line to be forcibly relocated to the country where they would work in slavery conditions to grow rice to meet increasingly insane quotas set by Pot and the other Khmer Rouge cadre). If they didn't, they were either killed on the spot or sent to a prison/interrogation centre, the most famous of which was Tuol Sleng, where a horrifying number of people were meticulously tallied, photographed and then tortured to death. It was a horrific time for the country, and by the time the Khmer Rouge were 'overthrown' (they remained the de facto power for quite some time, and only recently have any of them faced any sort of justice for what they did) roughly a quarter of the entire Cambodian population had died, either as a result of direction action (torture, murder, etc) or by being forced to live/work in horrendous conditions. If you're interested in the topic, I cannot recommend When The War Was Over enough. The woman I worked for there was among the few educated people who managed to escape just before the Khmer Rouge started their reign, and she personally recommended it to me. Incredibly eye-opening, and very, very angering. But it's an important topic on a chapter of history that many people don't know much about.
- I have always wondered about some of the less apparent effects of the loss of such a substantial part of an entire generation or culture. Since the Khmer Rouge essentially murdered a large number of the educated and skilled workers in Cambodia has that set back the growth potential of the country? Do you think that this genocide reduced Cambodia's potential for things like technological advancement or their ability to grow as a nation. I honestly don't mean to sound callous about mass genocide but I just wonder what other ways those atrocities managed to affect nations in the longer term.
- Absolutely it did. Pol Pot's vision was to create a "Year Zero" for the country, bringing it "back to its roots" and "purity" and other such bullshit. It was devastating for the country, and it's been a long road to where they are now. It really was like hitting the reset button.
- So, he "succeeded?"
- No... the big plan was to create an entirely self-sufficient agrarian communist utopia populated by a classless society. In reality, it was a fascist regime built on genocide, labor camps, and famine. They separated families, killed teachers, merchants, and the intellectual elite (they infamously went so far as to murder people with glasses because educated people stereotypically wore them) and moved the entire population out of the cities. Many people's only worldly possession was a spoon. Western medicine was prohibited in the name of self-sufficiency, and foraging for food was seen as capitalist behavior ("private enterprise") and punishable by death. It was like if the Dark Ages met Vietnamese re-education camps on a country-wide scale.
- Why do you think so many people (myself included) know so little about this? Just going off your post, this sounds like it was as bad as the Holocaust (if maybe just on a smaller scale). Everyone knows about the Holocaust, even if they haven't officially studied it in school. But how many people know exactly what Pol Pot and his party did? Read more comments