Sunday, March 7, 2010

Book: Children of the Killing Fields

Today I finished the book "Children of the Killing Fields - Cambodia's road from the of the country from terrorism to the tourist paradise".
A really well written book about the different aspects of Cambodias history and culture. Learned from each page of this book a lot and it is really written in a excellent style, good to read.

Thirty years after the end of the reign of terror of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, a special tribunal has been negotiated in Phnom Penh for their crimes. At least 1.7 million people and thus nearly one quarter of the population fell to the Communists, the fanatical regime of terror victims, who sought to catapult the East Asian country literally back into the Stone Age.
"Deep darkness will lie down on the people of this nation. The country will be ruled by barbarians who know no religion. And to survive, only the dumb and the deaf." That is a centuries-old prophecy that has been with the regime of Pol Pot and his henchmen gruesome reality. They systematically depopulated the cities, killed business, education, citizens, artists and intellectuals, whom they identified in doubt, the spectacles, wiping out entire families, or - what amounted to the same - they forced them to forced labor in the rice fields, where they are under miserable conditions slaved to death. Piled three feet high in some places the bones of those slaughtered in the bloody mud of the infamous "Killing Fields". After brief four years it was all over and nothing more than before.

Spiegel correspondent Erich Follath reveals the darkest chapter in the history of Cambodia. He lets followers, victims and survivors have their say, but also tracks down former criminals, mass murderers and torturers. Thus he speaks about with family members of Pol Pot and even the old King Norodom Sihanouk, one of the most colorful figures in the history of Cambodia. A plausible explanation for the horror Follath must remain ultimately pled guilty. But one thing is clear when reading his brilliantly written book: the reclamation of what happened even three decades later has only just begun.

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