Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - DC-Cam publishes book on genocide

DC-Cam publishes book on genocide

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Students look at the skulls of Khmer Rouge victims at the Choeung Ek Killing Field. Hong Menea

DC-Cam publishes book on genocide

The Documentation Centre of Cambodia (DC-Cam) has published a book on historic incidents of genocide and mass murder and expressed its desire to see it included in the Cambodian school curriculum.

The book, Genocide and Mass Atrocities in World History: Overview for Cambodian Classrooms, looks at the mass atrocities committed against Armenians in World War I, the Holocaust of World War II and more recent genocides in Cambodia, Bosnia and Rwanda.

DC-Cam director Chhang Youk said the English language edition had already been printed, while the Khmer version was in the process of having typographical errors corrected.

He said he expected that the Khmer language edition would be ready for distribution in schools in December.

“I hope this book and the curriculum will be merely a small piece of a spectrum of other actions to shape the next generation of Cambodians’ understanding of history,” Youk said on Wednesday.

The English edition details each case of genocide or mass atrocities over several pages, followed by discussion questions and short answers.

Minister of Education, Youth and Sport Hang Chuon Naron said in the book’s preface that genocide was not spontaneous.

“There was a long chain of circumstances that brought about violence, and there were always opportunities in which the precipitating events could have been different.

“We owe the next generation a better world, where genocide and mass atrocities do not lurk at their doorstep.

“Education is not a panacea for all inhumanity, but it is an important factor in our common struggle to shape our world for the next generation. This curriculum is a useful step forward in this struggle,” he said.

So Farina, one of the authors, said on Wednesday that the book would enable students to learn more about mass atrocities and genocide in other countries, in addition to what had happened in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge.

She said it was written after four years of research using a scientific and objective approach.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A woman prays at the memorial at the Choeung Ek Killing Field. Hong Menea

“We have books and texts, but which parts the ministry will take and put into the school curriculum we don’t know,” she said.

She said the book was best suited for Grade 9 and 12 students, and the first year of university.

Ministry of Education spokesperson Ros Soveacha said 70 per cent of Cambodians alive today did not go through the genocide.

Consequently, the study of genocide in Cambodia and around the world would help students understand the history and serve as the basis for generational dialogue.

He said World Wars I and II and the history of Democratic Kampuchea were currently part of the curriculum for Grade 9.

The history of Democratic Kampuchea and the Killing Fields were taught in Grade 12, he said.

He said there were additional documents the Ministry of Education had integrated into the teacher training curriculum in collaboration with DC-Cam, including the genocides against the Armenians, the Jews, the Kurds in Iraq, Muslims in Bosnia and the Tutsi in Rwanda, as well as in Cambodia.

MOST VIEWED

  • Historic Battambang town bans billboards

    The Battambang town administration informed all house and business owners in Svay Por commune to remove all billboards by August 1 as it is preparing to submit the town to UNESCO for inclusion on its historical cultural heritage list. Its July 25 notice said all signage was

  • All foreigners' accommodations to be inspected: Sar Kheng

    The Ministry of Interior is undertaking a serious effort to inspect all the accommodations of foreigners in Cambodia – except diplomats – in order to find and identify human traffickers. Minister Sar Kheng said this would include inspections on the homes of foreigners employed by businesses, private

  • Ice cream, noodles flagged over carcinogen

    The General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) has identified three types of instant noodles and ice cream trademarks originating from Thailand, Vietnam and France that are suspected to contain ethylene oxide, which poses a cancer risk to consumers. The general department has

  • Exclusive interview with Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU

    CAMBODIA is hosting the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings this week with top officials from the US, China, and Russia and other countries in the region slated to attend and to meet with face-to-face with their counterparts on the sidelines. In

  • Khmer influence growing in Hollywood

    The rare success of The Cleaning Lady – an American TV series which stars Cambodian-French Hollywood actress Elodie Yung – sheds some light on Asian immigrants to the US, yet a significant representation gap of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) exists both on screen and behind

  • Rise in Thai air routes to Siem Reap fuels travel hopes

    Local tourism industry players are eager for regional airline Bangkok Airways Pcl’s resumption of direct flight services between the Thai capital and Siem Reap town on August 1 – home of Cambodia’s awe-inspiring Angkor Archaeological Park – which is expected to boost the growth rate of