Comparing Genocides

Comparing Genocides:

Cambodia & the Holocaust


Cambodian Genocide:

            Cambodian genocide first began in 1975 when the Khmer Rouge group led by Pol Pot took over Cambodia. The Khmer Rouge group gained control over Cambodia when its numbers reached to 700,000 soldiers willing to fight with the Khmer Rouge guerilla movement. Pol Pot received so many supporters because of his enthusiasm towards Communism. Cambodian’s were tired of Lon Nol and American forces taking over the land during the Vietnam War, and Pol Pot was very convincing that Communism would change Cambodia for the better. Events took a turn for the worst when Pol Pot demanded confiscation of all Cambodian properties, and forced poeple to participate communal labor. Cambodians were also sent to labor camps, and collectivized farms. Since Pol Pot wanted the perfect communist community several citizens were killed for not meeting his requirements. The genocide included people who were intellectuals, Thais, Vietnamese, Muslim, Buddhist, monks, professionals, Christians, had Chinese ancestry, and anyone who opposed Pol Pot’s ideas. Not only did Pol Pot torture and kill people who he did not approve of, he also starved the Cambodians who worked for his labor camps and collectivized farms. Between the years of 1975 to 1979 1.7 million people were killed during the rule of the Khmer Rouge group. Fortunately in 1979 Khmer Rouge was removed from power.

The Holocaust:

            The Holocaust first began in 1933 when Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany. Hitler placed his principles and beliefs upon Germany, and soon his followers became known as Nazis. The Nazis enforced the anti-Semitic laws that Hitler believed were correct, and almost isolated Jews from having normal lives. Anti-Semitism escalated when the Nazis were arresting Jews and sending them to Ghettos, and forced labor camps. At these facilities Jewish, Roma, and homosexuals or undesirables were worked, and starved to death. To further disable the Jewish race or any undesirable characters, Hitler called for concentration camps to be set up where the Nazis would keep the people and kill them in very unorthodox ways. Victims were also sent on Death Marches. During the Holocaust 11 million people were killed under Hitler’s rule. The Holocaust ended in 1945 when the         Nazis surrendered to Allied Powers. This mass genocide has left a major mark on history, and is the most well known tragedy today.


            The Cambodian Genocide and the Holocaust were very similar in events. A persuasive ruler came to power, enforced his ideas, and killed any of those who stood in his way. Both Pol Pot and Hitler aimed at specific groups to kill. Both men also had large amount of followers, and both were successful of ridding of any people who were thought to be adjunct to their plans. The mass genocides have both effected the world, and the leader’s unjust ways will never be forgotten.


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