Refugee Narratives: Ten Stories of Cambodian Refugees

Entry 5 (Diplomatic Transcription)

Adventures in the Cruel Hell
During the Pol Pot’s Regime (The K.R.)
By [K.K.]

On the 17th April 1975, a long queue of people was moving slowly step by step from Phnom Penh city to the country sides. Their pale faces showed us that they were afraid for the lives in the future.

We spent our long journey for a couple weeks until we reached my father’s native village at Prey Veng. When we were getting out of the ship, we saw many soldiers who were standing on the beach. They ordered us to give them about information of our works. But our faithfulness didn’t make them from the death. The “Khmer Rouge were written down in the death roll and were sending my father and uncle that were both the well-educated, to learn about the revolutionary doctrine.

The period of the Communist Regime behaving by Pol Pot, was took the people living in poverty. We worked too hard like slave and earnt 200g. of rice per day. We hadn’t any supplementary food for reward. Then we had find a new solution for our living: pretended that we were ignorant. It seemed that we were animals in the jungle and the life did not seem very hopeful. “It is the prison without wall.”

I was separated from my family, and went to have a hard work at a big farm whom stay place hundred kilometers from my village. 

I had a new surname. They called us “NEW PEOPLE.”

[Page 23] I had a hard time with too much work and too little food.

I worked in the interests of my life, because the K.R. had controled on me from time to time.

On day, there was an event. They pointed accusingly at me. Because in 1974, my father was a DIRECTOR OF FISHERIES OFFICE, and I was student of eight years. So that the K.R. had a notice of my family situation.

The guarrillars always holded meeting every week with a long discourse, in a speech filled with menace. They had many special slaughter-houses where stay place not far from my home.

During the night, I hearded a comming sound from the horse galloping. This sound must be came as news to people that some of them will send back to heaven. 

The K.R. had several ways to kill the honest people.  They used cold stell for slaughter and cut the bile out. Some were made a massacre of burried alive. Sometimes by the hammer or the bamboo.

It is the true! Pol Pot soldiers wanted to kill the women, children, old men, well educated persons, and soldiers in a cold blooded manners.

The criminals used the pagodas whose people were worship for the Buddha to replace in hospitals, ware houses or prisons. 

About the people health service system, the chimists  [Page 24] cured and used the traditional home made system for the tablets and injections.

There were some primary school in each villages, that learned only about the revolutionary doctrine of Communist Regime. Theirs studies were: how to work hard by streight and got many experiences to practise. The K.R. took many teachers who were the unknowledges.

When we were talking about the situation in the Communist period, we were so sad. We reminded the day that the silly K.R. were revenged on people by gathering ornaments set with jeweleries and starved rather than beg for food. The K.R. always forced the young boys and girls’ hand in married.

During four years ago, my mother spent a lot of golds for exchange with rice and nutritions. We had no social security. We always had “Hopelessness in life, and smiled with pale face.”

The dramatic changed in our nation situation. From 1975 until today, I am uncertainty of mind, why these men who are the same nation and would like to slaughter their own people just like barbarians.

One day, I had a bad emotion, cause of my hopelessness, and had a low and, so low standard of living. I am a bony man. My life get into hot water, I became a foolish man and wanted to suicide.

But on the 7th January, 1979, the Vietnamese forces [Page 25] included with the Khmer Revolutionary troups arrived to P. Penh. They destroyed and over thrown the Pol Pot’ Regime from the power…

I’ll finish my adventure here, so I can’t tell you “sisters”, all of my whole life in Communist Regime. But I hope that you know clearly from my close friends history, too.

I would pray the God to bless you all the time, and not to let you “Paula & Madeleine”, fall into such cruel event.

Have an happy life forever!!
I hope that you will have a nice trip to USA!!

From your poor student,

P.S. Sending to you my favorite proverbs:
“While there is life, there is hope.”
“Life is a struggle.”

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