Pol Pot

   Born as Saloth Sar, Pol Pot was prime minister and dictator of Cambodia between 1976 and 1979. He renamed the country Democratic Kampuchea, and instigated a repressive campaign to remodel the nation according to his own communist design. It is estimated that under his rule a million people died as a direct result of the actions of his regime, particularly in the notorious “killing fields.”
   Pol Pot became embroiled in Marxist ideology while on a scholarship to study radio electronics at the École du Livre in Paris. Here he became active in the Association of Khmer students, in particular the “Marxist Circle” of the group under the leadership of Ieng Sary. However, owing to poor results, Pol Pot’s scholarship was withdrawn (a factor some have put behind his later persecution of intellectuals), and he was forced to return to Cambodia where he became a teacher. Having received his grounding in Marxism in France, Pol Pot was central to the inception of the Kampuchean People’s Revolutionary Party (KPRP) in 1960, and became a member of its original Politburo. In 1962 he became KPRP general secretary, and the following year oversaw the transition of the party to an underground guerrilla campaign group that later became the Khmer Rouge. The group unsettled the governments of Prince Sihanouk and General Lon Nol, and by 1975 had utilized its strength in the countryside and taken power, heralding the birth of Democratic Kampuchea. Pol Pot, using that moniker for the first time, became prime minister of the Khmer Rouge regime in April 1976.
   It took until September 1977 for Pol Pot to announce in a statement that the Democratic Kampuchea of the Khmer Rouge regime amounted to a front for MarxistLeninist groups, chiefly the previously unacknowledged KPRP. The leader asserted that as relations with neighboring Vietnam were fractious, an increased emphasis on building and developing resources inside Democratic Kampuchea was imperative. In order to facilitate this, Pol Pot had set about bringing into fruition his vision of a peasant-dominated, fully agrarian society free from the shackles of the urban proletariat and bourgeoisie. However, the result of this was not the achieving of a revolutionary dream, but the death of hundreds of thousands of citizens, as Pol Pot initiated the forced migration of residents from the capital Phnom Penh to the countryside, with many executed on the way. Pol Pot had been correct to sense the depth of friction with Vietnam, as toward the end of 1978 the Vietnamese army invaded Democratic Kampuchea. The invasion was successful as Khmer Rouge troops fled into the jungles on either side of the border with Thailand, causing countless fatalities on their way. Pol Pot’s regime had been deposed and Democratic Kampuchea had ceased to exist. The former dictator only officially resigned the leadership in 1985, and many suspected he was still pulling strings from his place of hiding in Thailand throughout the guerrilla-ridden occupied Cambodia of the 1980s. These fears were finally allayed when a United Nations–brokered peace occurred in 1991 between warring factions within Cambodia, establishing a coalition government following the withdrawal of Vietnamese troops two years previously.
   Pol Pot’s Democratic Kampuchea was the first socialist country to declare that contradictions between urban and rural dwellers, and physical workers and intellectuals, had been eradicated. This erasing of the metropolitan remnants of Western imperialism had been achieved by measures to eliminate the industrialized and the bourgeoisie, for instance through the abolition of a formal education system and mass-enforced migration to rural areas. The reality, however, was something far removed from a peaceful return to modest bucolic life. Pol Pot was captured in 1997, escaped the following year and was recaptured in April 1998, dying shortly afterwards.

Historical dictionary of Marxism. . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pol Pot — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Pol Pot Secretario General de Jemeres Rojos 1963 – 1998 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Pol Pot — (1926 98) the leader of the Communist Khmer Rouge group, and Prime Minister of Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, during which time about 3 million people were killed. Pol Pot was taken prisoner by government soldiers in 1997 …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Pol Pot — (izg. pȏl pȍt) (o.1928) DEFINICIJA kampućijski političar, od 1975. generalni sekretar KP Kampučije, zaveo režim rigidnog političkog terora; od 1979. šef oružanih snaga Crvenih Khmera koji su izveli masovna prisilna preseljenja i genocid nad… …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • Pol Pot — (Saloth Sor ou Sar, dit) (1928 1998) homme politique cambodgien. Secrétaire général du parti communiste khmer en 1962, il dirigea les opérations milit. contre le régime de Lon Nol (1970 1975) et, après la chute de celui ci, devint Premier… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Pol Pot — Infobox Prime Minister name =Saloth Sar Pol Pot caption = Pol Pot in 1977 at the height of his power order =General Secretary of the Communist Party of Kampuchea term start =1963 term end =1979 deputy = predecessor =Tou Samouth successor = None… …   Wikipedia

  • Pol-Pot — Büste Pol Pots im Tuol Sleng Museum Pol Pot (eigentlicher Name Saloth Sar, * vermutlich 19. Mai 1928[1] in der Provinz Kompong Thom, Kambodscha; † 15. April 1998 in Ânlóng Vêng) war ein kambodschanischer Politiker …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Pol Pot — Büste Pol Pots im Tuol Sleng Genozid Museum Pol Pot (* vermutlich 19. Mai 1928[1] in der Provinz Kompong Thom, Kambodscha; † 15. April 1998 in Anlong Veng; eigentlich Saloth Sar) war ein kambodschanischer …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Pol Pot —  Ne doit pas être confondu avec Paul Potts. Demande de traduction …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Pol Pot — orig. Saloth Sar born May 19, 1925/28, Kompong Thom province, Cambodia died April 15, 1998, near Anlong Veng Prime minister of Cambodia. He joined the anti French resistance under Ho Chi Minh in the 1940s and became a member of the Cambodian… …   Universalium

  • Pol Pot — Saloth Sar (19 de mayo de 1925 15 de abril de 1998), más conocido como Pol Pot, fue el líder de los Jemeres Rojos y el primer ministro de Camboya (oficialmente República Democrática de Kampuchea durante su mando) de 1975 a 1979. Nació en Prek… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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