A Survivor’s Story

Beautiful Hero by Jennifer Lau comes with the subtitle “How We Survived The Khmer Rouge.” I could not help but compare it to stories of the Nazi Holocaust; many others have made the same comparison, I am in no way original in doing so. This is the story of one family’s successful attempt to escape from a country occupied and ruled by a group of leaders who followed the politics of genocide. Pol Pot was the principal leader but could not exercise complete autocratic power. As recently as last year some of his close advisers were still appearing in court charged with war crimes. Things did not get much better for the Lau family after the 1978 Vietnamese invasion because there were pockets of the country still partially under control of remnants of the Khmer Rouge. We know that Pol Pot died in 1998 under suspicious circumstances. I was living in Cambodia at the time and have yet to see accurate information about the circumstances surrounding his death.