Pol Pot

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Pol Pot

Pol Pot in 1978

In office
February 1963 – 1981 (party dissolved)
Preceded by Tou Samouth
Succeeded by None (party dissolved)

In office
May 13, 1976 – September 27, 1976
Preceded by Khieu Samphan
Succeeded by Nuon Chea
In office
October 25, 1976 – January 7, 1979
Preceded by Nuon Chea
Succeeded by Pen Sovan

Born May 19, 1925(1925-05-19)[1][2]
Kampong Thom Province, French Indochina
Died April 15, 1998 (aged 72)
Anlong Veng, Kingdom of Cambodia
Political party Communist Party of Kampuchea
Spouse(s) 1) Khieu Ponnary (div.)
2) Mea Son
Prek Sbauv, birthplace of Pol Pot.

Saloth Sar (May 19, 1925April 15, 1998), widely known as Pol Pot, was the leader of the Cambodian communist movement known as the Khmer Rouge[3] and was Prime Minister of Democratic Kampuchea from 1976–1979.

Pol Pot's parents were peasants. He spent 6 years in a buddhist monastery as a child. First he learned the profession carpenter. 1949-1953 he studied electronics in Paris. There he got acquainted with communistic ideas. After returning to Cambodia he became a teacher, and he also teached communistic propaganda his pupils. Since prince Norodom Sihanuk persecuted communists, he moved to the jungle near the Vietnam boarder, and agitated peasants for his communistic ideas. Due to suffering in Vietnam war peasants were responsive to communistic ideas. Pol Pot stressed, that problems were caused by conflicts between land and cities, and he wanted to solve these by preferring agriculture and land life.

Pol Pot became the de facto leader of Cambodia in mid-1975.reference required During his time in power, Pol Pot imposed a version of agrarian collectivization, forcing city dwellers to relocate to the countryside to work in collective farms and forced labour projects, toward a goal of "restarting civilization" in "Year Zero". He said, the country does not need educated people, and considered people with eye glasses as educated people,who were unnecessary. The combined effects of slave labour, malnutrition, poor medical care, and executions resulted in the deaths of an estimated 750,000 to 1.7 million people, approximately 26% of the Cambodian population.[4] After the reduction of educated people there remained 50 medicine doctors out of 5000 before, and 5000 teachers out of 20.000 before.

In 1979, after the invasion of Cambodia by neighboring Vietnam in the Cambodian–Vietnamese War, Pol Pot fled into the jungles of southwest Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge government collapsed.[5]. The USA then supported the Red Khmer with weapons in the war against Vietnam. From 1979 – 1997 he and a remnant of the old Khmer Rouge operated from the border region of Cambodia and Thailand, where they clung to power and United Nations recognition as the rightful government of Cambodia.

Pol Pot died in 1998 while held under house arrest by the Ta Mok faction of the Khmer Rouge. Since his death, rumours that he was poisoned have persisted.[6]

People who assisted him to mass murder people still live without any kind of punishment in Cambodia, partly in high administration positions. If the victims were Jews, this would never be possible.

Part of this article consists of modified text from Wikipedia, and the article is therefore licensed under GFDL.


  1. BBC – History – Historic Figures: Pol Pot (1925–1998). BBC. Retrieved on January 25, 2011.
  2. Chandler, David (August 23, 1999). "Pol Pot". Time Magazine. http://www.time.com/time/asia/asia/magazine/1999/990823/pol_pot1.html. Retrieved February 4, 2011. 
  3. "Red Khmer", from the French rouge "red" (longtime symbol of Communism) and Khmer, the term for ethnic Cambodians.
  4. The Cambodian Genocide Program. Genocide Studies Program. Yale University (1994-2008). Retrieved on 2008-05-12.
  5. Time necropsy
  6. Horn, Robert (25 March 2002). "Putting a Permanent Lid on Pol Pot". Time Magazine. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,219924,00.html. Retrieved 2008-09-03.