Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Photographer returns for the first time since '75

Photographer returns for the first time since '75

Photographer returns for the first time since '75

T HE only person to have taken film footage of the Khmer Rouge takeover of Phnom

Penh on April 17, l975 is back in town for the first time in 20

years.

Christophe Froehder of the German ARD television network is in

Cambodia to produce a documentary centered on the upcoming 20th anniversary of

the fateful event that brought about the almost four year Khmer Rouge reign of

terror.

Froehder visited Cambodia three times during the Lon Nol era as

an ARD TV journalist. His last visit had him arriving in Phnom Penh on April 14,

l975 on the final flight from Thailand before regular air service to Bangkok was

cut off. At that time he was the only passenger on the plane.

"Luckily,

I'd been in war zones before," says Froehder. "I just got off the plane, got my

camera out and started shooting."

Froehder spent three days in Phnom Penh

and captured on film the arrival of the first Khmer Rouge cadre driving down the

streets of Phnom Penh before he sought refuge in the French Embassy compound,

along with other foreigners who remained in the capital.

They were

eventually driven to the Thai border and released by the Khmer

Rouge.

Since his recent arrival in Phnom Penh, Froehder has been

attempting to locate some of the people he filmed two decades ago.

To his great surprise he found Hok Bo, 53, a fireman who like all Phnom Penh

residents was forced to leave the city. Bo survived the Khmer Rouge era and

returned to take up his previous position with the city's fire department, where

he has continued to work.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all