Pol Pot

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Cynthia Bahorich
Extended Essay
Introduction
When Pol Pot took over Cambodia, it was one of the most horrible genocides next to the Holocaust, in the 1970’s; this was a big part of history. In March 1970, Marshal Lon Nol, a Cambodian politician who had previously served as prime minister, and his pro-American associates staged a successful overthrow to depose Prince Sihanouk as head of state. At this time, the Khmer Rouge had gained members and was positioned to become a major player in the civil war due to its alliance with Sihanouk. The Communist Party of Kampuchea (CPK), otherwise known as the Khmer Rouge, took control of Cambodia on April 17, 1975. The CPK created the state of Democratic Kampuchea in 1976 and ruled the country until January 1979. The party's existence was kept secret until 1977, and no one outside the CPK knew who its leaders were (the leaders called themselves "Angkar Padevat"). While the Khmer Rouge was in power, they set up policies that disregarded human life and produced repression and massacres on a massive scale. They turned the country into a huge detention center, which later became a graveyard for nearly two million people, including their own members and even some senior leaders. Their army was led by Pol Pot, who was appointed CPK's party secretary and leader in 1963. Pol Pot, born in Cambodia as Solath Sar, spent time in France and became a member of the French Communist Party. His returning to Cambodia in 1953, he joined a secret communist movement and began his rise up the ranks to become one of the world's most infamous dictators. Aided by the Vietnamese, the Khmer Rouge began to defeat Lon Nol's forces on the battlefields. By the end of 1972, the Vietnamese withdrew from Cambodia and turned the major responsibilities for the war over to the CPK. Pol Pot’s way of thinking showed dictatorship to the extent that he thought it was okay to kill people to create a purified society. He wanted to lead Cambodia into a communist...
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