Pol Pot

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Related to Pol Pot: Khmer Rouge, Stalin

Pol Pot,

1925–98, Cambodian political leader, originally named Saloth Sar. Paris-educated, and a Khmer Communist leader from 1960, he led Khmer RougeKhmer Rouge
, name given to native Cambodian Communists. Khmer Rouge soldiers, aided by North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops, began a large-scale insurgency against government forces in 1970, quickly gaining control over more than two thirds of the country.
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 guerrillas against the government of Lon NolLon Nol
, 1913–85, Cambodian general and political leader. He became defense minister and army chief of staff in 1955 in Norodom Sihanouk's government. He served as premier (1966–67) under Sihanouk.
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 after 1970. In 1975 he proclaimed the Democratic Republic of Kampuchea and served as its premier (1976–79). The systematic murder of members of various groups; the complete destruction of individual rights; forced labor, disease, and starvation in Cambodia's "killing fields"; the transformation of a developing country into a xenophobic agrarian society; and other horrors that can be ascribed to the cruelty or ineptitude of Pol Pot made him one of the most infamous leaders in modern history. Some 1.5 million out of a total population of about 7 million died during his rule, which ended with an invasion by the Vietnamese in late 1979. Although he retired officially in 1985, Pol Pot continued to control his guerrillas, the strongest antigovernment force, in western jungle areas of Cambodia until factional collapse shortly before his death.


See biographies by D. Chandler (1992, rev. ed. 1999) and P. Short (2005); study by B. Kiernan (2d ed. 2002).

Pol Pot

original name Kompong Thom. 1925--98, Cambodian Communist statesman; prime minister of Kampuchea (1976; 1977--79); his policies led to the deaths of thousands in labour camps before he was overthrown by Vietnamese forces; in 1997 his former supporters in the Khmer Rouge captured him and claimed to have tried and sentenced him to life imprisonment
References in periodicals archive ?
Pol Pot looked very ill and spoke in a barely audible voice.
Under the dictator Pol Pot, the Communist party Khmer Rouge committed genocide in its attempt to form a classless peasant society.
We did research on the houses of Pol Pot, Khieu Samphan and Son Sen in order to build replicas, and study groups are collecting the same materials that were used at that time.
1989: 96 football supporters were killed in Britain's worst-ever sporting disaster at Hillsborough 1998: The former Cambodian dictator, Pol Pot, whose regime led to the deaths of millions of his people, died.
To that end, Pol Pot immediately murdered the educated and those who wore glasses or had a high forehead (signs of intellect).
Pol Pot destroyed anything that represented capitalism and pre-revolutionary society, including hospitals, schools, Buddhist temples, and hotels.
Non Nou had been assigned to guard the 73-year-old Pol Pot after he lost power in a bloody internal struggle last year and was placed under loose house arrest by the victorious faction.
The regime was toppled in 1979 when Vietnam invaded and Pol Pot died in 1998.
They planned and schemed for years with Pol Pot as to what would take place when they seized power in this country.
Some 36 years ago at the close of the genocide, a life sentence may have meant more to the-then 40 and 50-year-old inner circle of Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot.
This is the biggest tragedy in more than 31 years after the Pol Pot regime," he said, referring to the Khmer Rouge, whose agrarian revolution from 1975-1979 killed an estimated 1.
Within hours of occupying the sleepy capital, nestled on the banks of the Mekong and dripping in French colonial grandeur, Pol Pot started 'Year Zero', one of the most violent social experiments in human history.