USF Libraries | Special & Digital Collections | Exhibits

The Leaders of the Khmer Rouge

Dublin Core

Title

The Leaders of the Khmer Rouge

Subject

Genocide -- Cambodia.
Parti communiste du Kampuchea.
Pol Pot.

Description

Oral history video clip featuring Ben Kiernan, Professor of History and Director of the Genocide Studies Program at Yale University. This video was originally produced by Media Entertainment, Inc., for the 2000 documentary The Genocide Factor.

Creator

Media Entertainment, Inc.

Source

Genocide Factor Collection, Oral History Program, Tampa Library, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida.

Publisher

Tampa, Fla. : University of South Florida Tampa Library.

Date

1999-06-04

Contributor

Kiernan, Ben

Relation

G36-00047
Tape number: 4007G

Format

video / mp4

Language

English

Type

Oral History

Coverage

Cambodia.

Oral History Item Type Metadata

Interviewee

Kiernan, Ben

Location

Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut

Transcription

I think it's important to understand the leaders of genocidal regimes, and the decisions that they make are obviously key to the implementation of their policies. And I think it's important to understand that they're often not particularly informed; they're not particularly intelligent. They have skills that have enabled them to come to power.

Pol Pot was a very effective guerrilla organizer, a very effective secret Party administrator. He was in some ways very smart, but he didn't know very much. He had very little understanding of the world, and many of the policies that the Khmer Rouge carried out were so impracticable as to be laughable, if they weren't so criminal and tragic. And I think that combination of ignorance and ideological preoccupation on Pol Pot's part, as well as the undoubted skills that he used to purge his opponents and rivals in a secret and conspiratorial manner, go a long way towards explaining how the Pol Pot regime could have committed the genocide that it did.

Original Format

Beta tape

Duration

00:02:02

Citation

Media Entertainment, Inc., “The Leaders of the Khmer Rouge,” USF Library Special & Digital Collections Exhibits, accessed November 19, 2019, http://exhibits.lib.usf.edu/items/show/389.

Geolocation