Angkor Wat during the Khmer Rouge

The Khmer Rouge was the name given to Cambodian communists , who infamously caused the Cambodian genocide in the 1970’s. This group, appreciated Angkor Wat as a symbol of the golden age in Cambodia. It represents a time where the Cambodians lived well – with high productivity, resources, and control over a substantial amount of South East Asia.

The Khmer Rouge aimed to restore these ‘golden days’ by destroying all forms of foreign influence, corruption and oppression that had originally tainted their land. Pol Pot was a Cambodian leader at the time, who famously said ‘If our people can build Angkor, they can do anything". The temple was such a symbol, that it appeared on the communist flag of Cambodia.

It therefore is understood, that during the period of civil war,the Temples were left neglected, as no Cambodian would ever threaten their beloved land. They respected the site fully and completely.

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