The Khmer Rouge

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citizens greet the Khmer Rouge

Citizens at first welcomed the Khmer Rouge in Phnom Penh


The Khmer Rouge (a communist party group) led the struggle to defeat the US-backed Lon Nol democratic regime. When they succeeded, many in Cambodia welcomed the change, seeing western influence as imperialism.

However, between 1975 and 1979 over 1.7 million people (estimated) died from starvation, execution, disease, and over-work at the hands of the Khmer Rouge. This was the Cambodian Genocide.


Part of The Cambodian Genocide exhibit