This website has been put together by a number of people with specific interest in the history of the Khmer Rouge.
Much has been said, written and published about what we now know as the Killing Fields, when as much as 1/4 of the Cambodian population died under Pol Pot, the Khmer Rouge and the state he led at the time, namely Democratic Kampuchea.
Democratic Kampuchea existed for only a limited time as a state, less than 4 years in fact from 1975-1979. But it did exist as a functioning and indeed recognized state throughout this period, but you will find scant information online about Democratic Kampuchea, aside from the terrible things that occurred there. This site has been put together in part to look at how Democratic Kampuchea functioned as an actual country.
Whilst Democratic Kampuchea was overthrown in 1979, they continued to fight a civil war against the Vietnamese backed Peoples Republic of Kampuchea as the Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea. This left them in control of large swaths of the country, meaning that not only were they the “recognized” government of Cambodia, but they managed to continue with their interpretation of socialism in a large part of the country. With this site we aim to also look at what life was like in the rebel controlled areas during this period, as well as look at who was supporting Democratic Kampuchea internationally during this period.
By 1993 peace had been achieved and elections were planned for Cambodia, elections eventually boycotted by the Khmer Rouge. In July 1994, the Khmer Rouge would form an internationally unrecognised “state” known as the Provisional Government of National Union and National Salvation of Cambodia. This government controlled only the last outposts of the Khmer Rouge, but would soldier on, with various defections until the death of Pol Pot in 1997, the dissolving of the provisional government in 1998, and eventually the arrest of Ta Mok on the Thai border in 1999.
Amazingly there were still murders and even killing fields in these areas right until the bitter end, and the shadow of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge still looms heavily over the Cambodian people.
With this site we aim to look methodically at the parts of the Khmer Rouge and Democratic Kampuchean history that is rarely covered, rather than focus solely on the crimes of the regime, which have been covered in great depth. We aim for this to be a very neutral look at things, rather than presenting it simply from one angle, and by using multiple sources.
We hope you enjoy the site and welcome all comments sent our way.