Clip from Interview with SivHeng Ung


Clip from Interview with SivHeng Ung


Sophorn Cheang


Streaming Media


An excerpt from a video interview with SivHeng Ung, part of the Cambodian American Community of Oregon's oral history project documenting the experiences of survivors of the Cambodian genocide of 1975-1979.

Interview by Sophorn Cheang, 4 April 2009.


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Oral histories, Cambodia -- Politics and government -- 1975-1979, Political atrocities -- Cambodia

Publication Date



Asian History | Social History


SivHeng Ung

Interviewed by Sophorn Cheang, 4 April 2009

Transcribed by Patricia Schechter, 9 September 2014

Clip: 27:22-30:45

What made you decide to leave Battambang heading for the refugee camp?

I could not stay there. There was too much. You never know if they will “come by,” you know? It’s too much.

How did you find out about the refugee camp?

I listened to the radio, American radio. So we listened and we found out that people escaped toThailand. There were French or Americans who took them. So we decided to go. It was very hard. Along the way we went and saw the Vietnamese shot at us. And then the Khmer Rouge shot at us. And the Thai bandits took everything that we had before we got to the border.

So just you and your little brother…

And my present husband but at that time… we weren’t in love yet.

How did you meet grandpa?

In my home town, I went to visit my sister. He knew my sister. He went to say goodbye. He said, “Tomorrow I am going to go toThailand.” Then I asked him, I did not know him much, I knew his name, but I didn’t know him more than that so I asked him if I could go with him. He said fine.

My brother did not even know that he was supposed to come. He was just only very short. Then one day I yanked his arm and I said, “Let’s go.” Later on I found out that he got very upset, because he didn’t want to come. He just went for a short time because all his other sisters [were gone]. He just meant it for a short time. He didn’t want to come. Somehow we came to the U.S.

So what was the journey to go from Battambang to Thailand?

It was hard but it was a lot better than the communists. We walked all day. Like I said, we met the Vietnamese soldiers, who shot at us. We ran through the jungle and then the Khmer Rouge shot at us. The Thai bandits took us away and robbed us of everything.

Persistent Identifier

Clip from Interview with SivHeng Ung