Volker Grabowsky: Thirty Years after the Killing Fields: Course and Ideological Roots of the Cambodian “Red Terror”


In: Jahrbuch für Historische Kommunismusforschung 2009. Berlin: Aufbau-Verlag, S. 329–347

Three decades after the fall of the Pol Pot regime (January 1979) the surviving leaders of the Khmer Rouge have now been put on trial at a UN-backed Criminal Court for their crimes against humanity. During the four years of Democratic Kampuchea, as the Cambodian Communists officially called their state, one of the most radical and brutal social revolutions in modern times took place. According to various estimates, up to one-fifth of the Cambodian population of eight million lost their lives between April 1975 and January 1979. Forced labour, a deliberate policy of famine, and mass-executions of real or perceived opponents were much more widespread than in any other Communist revolution. For a long time many details of the monstrous political crimes and their personal responsibilities were not fully understood. This has changed during the last two decades largely due to the research of scholars associated with the Documentation Center of Cambodia and the Cambodian Genocide Project at Yale University. Based on this scholarship the present article examines the course of the Khmer Rouge revolution as well as its underlying ideological roots.

Über den Autor

Volker Grabowsky, Prof. Dr. phil, geb. 1959 in Bad Schwartau. 1977–1983 Studium der Geschichte und Mathematik, 1986 Promotion, 1990–1996 Wissenschaftlicher Assistent am Lehrstuhl fur Südostasienkunde der Universitat Passau und an der Abteilung fur Thai- und Vietnamstudien der Universität Hamburg, 1996 Habilitation, 1996–1999 Langzeitdozent des DAAD an der Abteilung fur laotische Sprache und Literatur der Nationalen Universität von Laos, seit 1999 Professor für die Geschichte Südostasiens an der Westfälischen Wilhelms-Universität Münster. Veröffentlichungen u. a.: Übers. und Hg.: Prinz Phetsarat: Ein Leben fur Laos (von Maha Sila Viravong), Münster u. a. 2003; The Gold and Silver Road of Trade and Friendship. The McLeod and Richardson Diplomatic Missions to Tai States in 1837 (mit Andrew Turton), Chiang Mai 2003; Bevölkerung und Staat in Lan Na: Ein Beitrag zur Bevölkerungsgeschichte Südostasiens, Wiesbaden 2004; Chronicles of Chiang Khaeng: A Tai Lu Principality of the Upper Mekong (mit Renoo Wichasin), Honolulu 2008.