A reminder of a great evil, which began thirty-five years ago, in Lest We Forget: April 17, 1975, by Var Hong Ashe. Just a few hours after the Khmer Rouge marched into Phnom Penh,
our misery started. The Khmer Rouge ordered us to leave the city “for three hours only” and to carry nothing with us so that they could search the place for republican soldiers who had gone into hiding. . . .
I left my house with my mother (who was going blind for lack of essential care after an eye operation), my two daughters, three sisters and two brothers. My father and my husband were not with us, and I was to learn their fates only later. My father, a colonel and head of a regiment of 2,000 soldiers was at the frontline; the Khmer Rouge killed him along with his brother officers when they surrendered. My husband was in Paris during this period; the Khmer Rouge tricked him into returning to Cambodia, and killed him on his arrival.
Five hours passed, one day, two days, three days…. We realised by now that this was a trip without return.