After the Khmer Rouge – Two Photographs.
A photograph of a Cambodian road taken in 1979, after the fall the Khmer Rouge (© Time Life)
I recently came across two unusual colour photos, both taken after the Khmer Rouge were deposed in 1979, but which show how badly the country had been blighted by Pol Pot and his genocidal nutters.
In the above photo, a woman can be seen cycling past cars which have been taken off the road and piled up beside it. They were abandoned as people either escaped from Phnom Penh or were forced out of it after the city fell to the Khmer Rouge in 1975. This photo was taken in 1979 shortly after the regime had been deposed.
Under the Khmer Rouge the only people who used cars were very senior officials, and in some eyewitness accounts I have read, there are senior Khmer Rouge cadres riding around on horses.
The other interesting photo shows the National Bank of Cambodia in Phnom Penh, which had been blown up in 1975 by the Khmer Rouge as a symbol of their rejection of capitalism.
I read an eyewitness account of the aftermath of this explosion, about banknotes littering the roads and pavements, but everyone being too scared to even pick them up. Although, as the Khmer Rouge had abolished money, it would only have been for souvenirs, and who’d want to be shot for them?
© Peter Alan Lloyd
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