Much like Anne Frank’s diary, Loung Ung’s , gives a personal account of what it was like as a child to be faced with a regime that sought to systematically exterminate large portions of its citizens.Ung’s is a story of resilience that will truly inspire you.Before escaping Phnom Penh, Ung’s family had led comfortable lives, as befitted their high social status.
Much like Anne Frank’s diary, Loung Ung’s , gives a personal account of what it was like as a child to be faced with a regime that sought to systematically exterminate large portions of its citizens.Ung’s is a story of resilience that will truly inspire you.
It wasn’t until I began reading that I realized, a majority of young Americans have never even heard of Pol Pot.
Every time a friend asked me what I was reading, I got blank stares back.
Lucky to have a very wise father who knew how to act under the new regime, they were able to avoid the first of many killings.
Her family lived in the city of Phnom Penh, was fairly wealthy, and well educated. The Khmer Rouge tried to rid the country of anyone who would be able to rebel or who was smart enough to overthrow them.
Her perspective as a refugee in the United States has allowed her to reflect on and process what she has been through.
Hers is a story, above all, about the strength of family bonds.When she went back inside the apartment, Ung witnessed her family throwing their possessions into suitcases.Within a few hours, she, her parents, her two sisters and her three brothers left their family home, never to return.It was carried out so quickly and on such a scale that estimates of the number of victims vary widely; we may never know the full extent of these crimes.Statistics and secondary sources will never truly convey the horror of what it meant to confront this sudden, brutal reality.In contrast, Phnom Penh’s poor lived without modern conveniences in makeshift tents. Not only did they have the luxury of going to school six days a week, they also went to the cinema, ate out and regularly went shopping.Her father even drove a fancy Mazda sports car, a symbol of wealth and status that few in Cambodia at that time could afford.This Communist rebel army had been fighting a civil war against Cambodia’s incumbent, democratic government – and the rebels had just won.The Khmer Rouge’s form of communism demanded that Cambodian citizens should all live simple, peasant lives off the land. As they marched through the city, they hollered at people to leave its confines, or else they would be shot down.Anyone who admitted they had been connected with the overthrown government was escorted away.Ung believes that these people were all murdered soon thereafter. While they were allowed to pass, it was just the beginning of the deceit.