By Pin Yathay
On April 17, 1975, the Khmer Rouge entered Phnom Penh to open a brand new and appalling bankruptcy within the tale of the 20 th century. On that day, Pin Yathay was once a certified engineer within the Ministry of Public Works. winning and hugely informed, he were severe of the corrupt Lon Nol regime and was hoping that the Khmer Rouge may be the patriotic saviors of Cambodia.
In Stay Alive, My Son, Pin Yathay offers an unforgettable testomony of the horror that ensued and a gripping account of private braveness, sacrifice and survival. Documenting the 27 months from the coming of the Khmer Rouge in Phnom Penh to his get away into Thailand, Pin Yathay is a robust and haunting memoir of Cambodia's killing fields.
With seventeen participants of his relations, Pin Yathay have been evacuated by means of the Khmer Rouge from Phnom Penh, taking with them no matter what they may want for the 3 days earlier than they'd be allowed to come to their domestic. in its place, they have been moved on from camp to camp, their possessions confiscated or deserted. As days turned weeks and weeks grew to become months, they turned the "New People," displaced city dwellers pressured to stay and paintings as peasants, their days have been full of compelled guide exertions and their survival depending on ever extra meager communal rations. The physique count number fixed, first as malnutrition bred rampant illness after which because the Khmer Rouge singled out the dissidents for unexpected loss of life within the darkness.
Eventually, Pin Yathay's relations used to be lowered to only himself, his spouse, and their one closing son, Nawath. Wracked with ache and affliction, robbed of all that they had owned, residing at the very fringe of loss of life, they confronted a way forward for escalating horror. With Nawath too in poor health to go back and forth, Pin Yathay and his spouse, Any, needed to make the heart-breaking selection even if to go away him to the care of a Cambodian medical institution so one can make a determined holiday for freedom. "Stay alive, my son," he tells Nawath ahead of embarking on a nightmarish break out to the Thai border.
First released in 1987, the Cornell variation of Stay Alive, My Son contains an up-to-date preface and epilogue through Pin Yathay and a brand new foreword by means of David Chandler, a world-renowned historian of Cambodia, who attests to the continued worth and urgency of Pin Yathay's message.