First They Killed My Father

Angkar means “the organization,” and is the name by which the Khmer Rouge referred to its government. In her child soldier training camp, Loung is forced to shout chants of praise toward the Angkar.

Angkar Quotes in First They Killed My Father

The First They Killed My Father quotes below are all either spoken by Angkar or refer to Angkar. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Price of Survival  Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Harper Perennial edition of First They Killed My Father published in 2001.
Chapter 8 Quotes

“The Khmer Rouge are executing people perceived to be a threat against the Angkar. This new country has no law or order. City people are killed for no reason. Anyone can be viewed as a threat to the Angkar—former civil servants, monks, doctors, nurses, artists, teachers, students—even people who wear glasses, as the soldiers view this as a sign of intelligence. Anyone the Khmer Rouge believes has the power to lead a rebellion will be killed. We have to be extremely careful, but if we keep moving to different villages, we may stay safe.”

Related Characters: Pa (speaker)
Page Number: 54
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 11 Quotes

Ma is proud of her heritage but has to hide it before it proves dangerous to us all. Pa says that the Angkar is obsessed with ethnic cleansing. The Angkar hates anyone who is not true Khmer. The Angkar wants to rid Democratic Kampuchea of other races, deemed the source of evil, corruption, and poison, so that people of the true Khmer heritage can rise to power again. I do not know what ethnic cleansing means. I just know that to protect myself, I often have to rub dirt and charcoal on my skin to look as dark as the base people.

Related Characters: Loung Ung (speaker), Pa , Ma
Page Number: 92
Explanation and Analysis:
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Angkar Term Timeline in First They Killed My Father

The timeline below shows where the term Angkar appears in First They Killed My Father. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5: Seven-Day Walk, April 1975
Genocide, Racism, and Propaganda Theme Icon
...Kom Baul. Soldiers question families before they can pass and insist none lie to the “Angkar,” which Pa says means “the organization” and is the new government. Cambodia was a monarchy... (full context)
Chapter 6: Krang Truop, April 1975
The Price of Survival  Theme Icon
Genocide, Racism, and Propaganda Theme Icon
The Unbreakable Bonds of Family Theme Icon
...after the others, who are already hard at work on the farm. Pa says the Angkar have abolished schools and markets and banned money and items like watches and televisions. Loung... (full context)
Chapter 9: Ro Leap, November 1975
The Price of Survival  Theme Icon
Genocide, Racism, and Propaganda Theme Icon
The Unbreakable Bonds of Family Theme Icon
...chief tells the new arrivals that they must live by the strict regulations of the Angkar. Everyone must dress the same and wear the same hairstyles to avoid Western vanity. One... (full context)
The Price of Survival  Theme Icon
Genocide, Racism, and Propaganda Theme Icon
...“Meh.” There will be no private property in the village, as everything belongs to the Angkar. People will be fed according to how hard they work, with the base people and... (full context)
The Price of Survival  Theme Icon
Genocide, Racism, and Propaganda Theme Icon
...consists of the chief and Khmer soldiers, who make all village decisions and enforce the Angkar’s laws. The “base people” are largely free from oversight of the soldiers and do not... (full context)
The Price of Survival  Theme Icon
Genocide, Racism, and Propaganda Theme Icon
...between villagers, as people fear others will find a reason to report them to the Angkar in exchange for more food, or in some instances to save their own lives. Loung... (full context)
Genocide, Racism, and Propaganda Theme Icon
The Unbreakable Bonds of Family Theme Icon
The Khmer Rouge also ban religion, fearing it will detract from people’s loyalty to the Angkar. They destroy religious sites including much of Angkor Wat, the enormous monument built in the... (full context)
Chapter 10: Ro Labor Camps, January 1976
Genocide, Racism, and Propaganda Theme Icon
Women’s Treatment in Times of War Theme Icon
...Rouge army; with a wife, the Khmer Rouge know he can “gives sons to the Angkar.” Laine’s parents meanwhile want to protect her from being raped by soldiers. This happened to... (full context)
Genocide, Racism, and Propaganda Theme Icon
The Unbreakable Bonds of Family Theme Icon
...that has begun to be whispered around the village as the rumored leader of the Angkar. He may have given orders to increase the number of soldiers in villages, which has... (full context)
Genocide, Racism, and Propaganda Theme Icon
Kim explains that the Angkar borrowed money from China for weapons and supplies, and now the Angkar has to pay... (full context)
Chapter 11: New Year’s, April 1976
The Price of Survival  Theme Icon
Genocide, Racism, and Propaganda Theme Icon
The Unbreakable Bonds of Family Theme Icon
...pain in front of a horrified Chong. Loung thinks about how the chief said the Angkar would take care of them. She worries about the frail-looking Geak, who has lost most... (full context)
The Price of Survival  Theme Icon
Genocide, Racism, and Propaganda Theme Icon
...Meanwhile Kim says more people are talking about Pol Pot as the leader of the Angkar, though his identity remains mysterious. People say he is a fat, brilliant soldier with “kind... (full context)
The Price of Survival  Theme Icon
Genocide, Racism, and Propaganda Theme Icon
The Unbreakable Bonds of Family Theme Icon
...never did hard labor growing up. She must work to hide her accent because the Angkar is “obsessed with ethnic cleansing.” Loung rubs dirt and charcoal onto her own skin to... (full context)
Chapter 13: Pa, December 1976
The Price of Survival  Theme Icon
Genocide, Racism, and Propaganda Theme Icon
The Unbreakable Bonds of Family Theme Icon
...their suffering. She reflects that war has made her full of rage, and that the Angkar have made her “hate so deeply” that she wants to “destroy and kill.” (full context)
Chapter 15: Leaving Home, May 1977
The Price of Survival  Theme Icon
Genocide, Racism, and Propaganda Theme Icon
The Unbreakable Bonds of Family Theme Icon
The famine has ended, but the Angkar seems to sporadically increase and decrease food rations. Kim believes it is because they send... (full context)
The Price of Survival  Theme Icon
Genocide, Racism, and Propaganda Theme Icon
Women’s Treatment in Times of War Theme Icon
The Unbreakable Bonds of Family Theme Icon
...sadness turns to anger as she walks. She thinks Ma is weak, reflecting that the Angkar calls women “weak and dispensable.” Kim leaves them “without words of goodbye or good luck”... (full context)
The Price of Survival  Theme Icon
Genocide, Racism, and Propaganda Theme Icon
The Unbreakable Bonds of Family Theme Icon
At night Met Bong repeats propaganda lessons that the Angkar will protect them, and the children must chant “Angkar! Angkar! Angkar!” The other children bully... (full context)
Chapter 16: Child Soldiers, August 1977
Genocide, Racism, and Propaganda Theme Icon
The Unbreakable Bonds of Family Theme Icon
...Met Bong tells Loung that she is the hardest worker at the camp and the Angkar needs people like her. She is sent to a camp for stronger children, where she... (full context)
The Price of Survival  Theme Icon
Genocide, Racism, and Propaganda Theme Icon
The Unbreakable Bonds of Family Theme Icon
...two groups meet for propaganda meetings around a bonfire where they must fervently praise the Angkar. The supervisors talk excitedly about how the Khmer soldiers are slaughtering the Youns, who are... (full context)
The Price of Survival  Theme Icon
Genocide, Racism, and Propaganda Theme Icon
Pol Pot has grown to be more important than the Angkar and is given credit for seemingly anything that happens. The children get gory details of... (full context)
Chapter 19: The Walls Crumble, November 1978
Genocide, Racism, and Propaganda Theme Icon
...away by Khmer soldiers through muddy fields, along with everyone else deemed traitors to the Angkar. Ma thinks of Pa and wonders if he, too, was this afraid. The soldiers make... (full context)