What was the brother system of the Khmer Rouge?

What was the brother system of the Khmer Rouge

The brother system of the Khmer Rouge was a semi-informal way to show various leaders of the Communist Party of Kampuchea (CPK) and the role they held in government.

The system was particularly prevalent during the time of Democratic Kampuchea during which time the CPK referred to itself as Angkor, or “the organization”.

Who were in the Brother System of the Khmer Rouge

Brother Number 1 – Pol Pot – This was Pol Pot the undisputed leader of there CPK, as well as being a member of the influential Cercle Marxiste. In power, or at the top of power from 1960 to 1997 and his death.

Brother Number 2 – Nuon Chey – Second in command o the CPK, as well as leader of the national assembly of Democratic Kampuchea. Many had thought he would become leader in 1962 as opposed to Pol Pot, with some even stating he was the real power, at least at times. Did not surrender until 1998.

Brother Number 3 – Ieng Sery – Deputy Prime Minister of Democratic Kampuchea, as well as holding the important ministry of foreign affairs post.

Brother number 4 – Khieu Samphan – Widely respected and at one time seen as a moderate Khmer Rouge member he succeeded Sihanouk as head of state of Democratic Kampuchea, as well as remaining politically active as party leader from 1985. Eventually defected to form the Khmer National Solidarity Party (link).

Brother number 5 – Ta Mok – Ta Mok held the mantle of leader of the National Army of Democratic Kampuchea, as well as being their last leader in Anlong Veng, still worshipped by many.

Brother number number 8 – Ke Pauk – Relatively little known he served as Regional Secretary of the Northern Zone and lived out his days in Anlong Veng where he died of natural causes.

Brother number 89 – Son Senn – Unknown why he got the mantle 89, although some thing it was as a combination of him and his wife. Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and one o the last Khmer Rouge holdouts before his brutal death at the hands of Pol Pot.

Yun Yatt – The aforementioned wife of Son Senn she served as minister of education and later as information minister following the arrest and brutal execution at S21 of Hu Nim. She too would be executed alongside her husband and 8 other family members on the orders of Pol Pot.

The Standing Committee of the Communist Party of Kampuchea

These figures were also the standing committee of initially the Workers Party of Kampuchea, before becoming the same in the Communist Party of Kampuchea.

Amazingly this group had almost hardly changed since the majority had met at the Cercle Marxiste, bar the odd execution. Many would also follow Pol Pot until the bitter end, again with the odd change of leadership.

What was the brother system of the Khmer Rouge

And that shows a brief look into the brother system of the Khmer Rouge. This is another aspect that is known to change as more names are added.

It should be seen with the irony that it deserves just how similar this was to “Big Brother” in 1984.