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. profitable and hugely informed, he were severe of the corrupt Lon Nol regime and was hoping that the Khmer Rouge will 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 arriving of the Khmer Rouge in Phnom Penh to his get away into Thailand, Pin Yathay is a strong and haunting memoir of Cambodia's killing fields.
With seventeen contributors of his kin, Pin Yathay have been evacuated by means of the Khmer Rouge from Phnom Penh, taking with them no matter what they could want for the 3 days earlier than they might 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 turned months, they turned the "New People," displaced city dwellers forced to reside and paintings as peasants, their days have been jam-packed with compelled handbook hard work and their survival depending on ever extra meager communal rations. The physique count number fastened, first as malnutrition bred rampant illness after which because the Khmer Rouge singled out the dissidents for unexpected demise within the darkness.
Eventually, Pin Yathay's kinfolk used to be diminished to only himself, his spouse, and their one closing son, Nawath. Wracked with ache and disorder, robbed of all they'd owned, dwelling at the very fringe of death, they confronted a way forward for escalating horror. With Nawath too ailing to commute, Pin Yathay and his spouse, Any, needed to make the heart-breaking choice even if to go away him to the care of a Cambodian sanatorium on the way to make a determined holiday for freedom. "Stay alive, my son," he tells Nawath earlier than embarking on a nightmarish break out to the Thai border.
First released in 1987, the Cornell version of Stay Alive, My Son contains an up to date preface and epilogue by means of Pin Yathay and a brand new foreword via David Chandler, a world-renowned historian of Cambodia, who attests to the ongoing worth and urgency of Pin Yathay's message.