Jan/Feb 2024

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(This is an excerpt—click on the title to view the whole piece!)

On Tonlé Sap Lake, Cambodia

Pol Pot was not the dictator's real name, but rather a nickname he invented for himself that was short for "Political Potential." He had been born Saloth Sâr in 1925. While working as a teacher of French and History, he became involved with and eventually rose to leadership in Cambodia's Marxist-Leninist movement, which he formalized into the Communist Party of Kampuchea. His party was part of the resistance movement against the US-backed government of Lon Nol, which fell to Pol Pot's forces in 1975. His soldiers were popularly known as the Khmer Rouge.

Gina Elia