Pol Pot

related topics
{war, force, army}
{government, party, election}
{country, population, people}
{son, year, death}
{area, part, region}
{theory, work, human}
{group, member, jewish}
{law, state, case}
{black, white, people}
{school, student, university}
{build, building, house}
{disease, patient, cell}
{city, large, area}
{food, make, wine}
{town, population, incorporate}
{village, small, smallsup}
{line, north, south}
{game, team, player}
{land, century, early}

Saloth Sar was born in Prek Sbauv in Kampong Thom Province in 1925 to a moderately wealthy family of Chinese-Khmer descent.[11][12] In 1935, he left Prek Sbauv to attend the École Miche, a Catholic school in Phnom Penh. As his sister Roeung was a concubine of King Sisowath Monivong, he often visited the royal palace.[13]

In 1947, he gained admission to the exclusive Lycée Sisowath but was unsuccessful in his studies.


After switching to a technical school at Russey Keo, north of Phnom Penh, he qualified for a scholarship that allowed for technical study in France. He studied radio electronics at the EFR in Paris from 1949 to 1953. He also participated in an international labour brigade building roads in Zagreb in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1950. After the Soviet Union recognised the Viet Minh as the government of Vietnam in 1950, French Communists (PCF) took up the cause of Vietnam's independence. The PCF's anti-colonialism attracted many young Cambodians, including Saloth.

In 1951, he joined a communist cell in a secret organization known as the Cercle Marxiste ("Marxist circle") which had taken control of the Khmer Student's Association (AER) that same year. Within a few months, Saloth also joined the PCF. Historian Philip Short has said that Saloth's poor academic record was a considerable advantage within the anti-intellectual PCF, who saw uneducated peasants as the true proletariat.


As a result of failing his exams in three successive years, he was forced to return to Cambodia in January 1954. He was the first member of the Cercle Marxiste to return to Cambodia and was given the task of evaluating the various groups rebelling against the government. He recommended the Khmer Viet Minh, and in August 1954, Saloth, along with Rath Samoeun, travelled to the Viet Minh Eastern Zone headquarters in the village of Krabao in the Kampong Cham Province/Prey Veng Province in the border area of Cambodia.

Saloth and the others learned that the Khmer People's Revolutionary Party (KPRP) was little more than a Vietnamese front organization. In 1954, the Cambodians at the Eastern Zone Headquarters split into two groups. Due to the Geneva peace accord of 1954 expelling all Viet Minh forces and insurgents, one group followed the Vietnamese back to Vietnam as cadres to be used by Vietnam in a future war to liberate Cambodia. The other group, including Saloth, returned to Cambodia.

After Cambodian independence following the 1954 Geneva Conference, right and left wing parties struggled against each other for power in the new government. Khmer King Norodom Sihanouk played the parties against each other while using the police and army to suppress extreme political groups. Corrupt elections in 1955 led many leftists in Cambodia to abandon hope of taking power by legal means. The communist movement, while ideologically committed to guerrilla warfare in these circumstances, did not launch a rebellion because of the weakness of the party.

Full article ▸

related documents
Saddam Hussein
German Empire
Finnish Civil War
Israeli–Palestinian conflict
Qing Dynasty
Easter Rising
Battles of Saratoga
Russo-Japanese War
Battle of the Bulge
American Revolutionary War
Battle of Cold Harbor
History of Estonia
Medieval warfare
First Chechen War
Russian Revolution (1917)
Irish Republican Army
History of Poland
Oliver Cromwell
Battle of Trafalgar
Moscow theater hostage crisis
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
James Longstreet
Battle of Agincourt
Battle of Grunwald
Human wave attack