Submitted by Marilyn Turkovich on Mon, 2009-11-16 11:34
Pol Pot's rule ended in 1979 with the victory of invading Vietnamese troops who set up a new, less fanatical Communist regime. Nearly 50 members of Ms. Ngo's own family did not survive the four-year ordeal. Ly Sieng Ngo finally was released from her work camp, and headed back to her village on foot. "In my village, we started with 500 people, and ended up with 34. She found one of her sisters waiting for her outside the house that had been theirs. The sister had been waiting for five months. Soon, two more sisters appeared. But the house was padlocked, and it never occurred to any of them to try to break the locks. "We didn't think of it," she admits, "and didn't have the courage to do it. You know? I was a student my entire life before I became a slave. We did not know what to do at all!" The four girls headed out of town to their grandparents' house, where they had spent much of their youth. The Vietnamese and their Cambodian allies were using the house, center of a substantial estate, as a hospital for wounded soldiers.