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White Elephant

My Escape from the Khmer Rouge

ByEnsayenna CheyKathy Mitchell

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White Elephant: My Escape from the Khmer Rouge By Ensayenna Chey with Kathy Mitchell and Wendy Anne Clark In 1975, the Khmer Rouge, a Cambodian guerrilla force determined to instate a communist regime, seized control of Cambodia, killing millions and capturing and enslaving millions more. White Elephant is the true story of one of the captured, a young woman named Ensayenna Chey, the daughter of a highly revered local mayor. Ensayenna was well educated, happily married, and expecting her first child when the rebel forces, many of whom were children themselves, took over, burning cities, towns, and villages to the ground, taking the citizens captive, and killing all who resisted. Because the Khmer Rouge were determined to eliminate all of the leaders, the educated, and the wealthy in order to maintain control, Ensayenna knew she had to conceal her identity to survive. Though she was able to survive, often by miraculous circumstances, nearly everyone she knew--family, friends, and neighbors--were all captured and tortured or murdered, leaving her alone to spend the following horrific years subsisting as a laborer under the merciless dissident regime. While most of the world closed its eyes to the appalling genocide taking place in Cambodia, some did not, including actress Jane Fonda, who joined others to provide support to an organization called Operation USA (formerly Operation California), which, through a miraculous chain of events, found Ensayenna and assisted in her escape to Thailand and, ultimately, to the USA. Ensayenna Chey has survived incredible odds to tell her story, and she conveys it with tremendous grace, courage, and faith. "White Elephant" is a testament to the unstoppable power of hope, and its message continues to resonate long after the final page is turned.


Publication Date
Jun 18, 2021
Biographies & Memoirs
All Rights Reserved - Standard Copyright License
By (author): Ensayenna Chey, By (author): Kathy Mitchell, By (author): Wendy Clark


Interior Color
Black & White
US Trade (6 x 9 in / 152 x 229 mm)

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